Fever 1793

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson is a fictionalized account of the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 that swept through the city of Philadelphia, the capital of the United States of America at the time, killing ten percent of the population. The narrative unfolds as seen through the eyes of Mattie Cook, a young woman caught between the carefree days of childhood and the responsibilities of adulthood. It’s a period of history I wasn’t too familiar with, and I found the historic touches to be especially interesting as they blended effortlessly with the fictional. Besides being informative, the story of Mattie’s plight and survival was at times heartbreaking and triumphant, even if her triumph was jut to be able to go to sleep with food in her belly.

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