Mary Beth Keane
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Fever casts a brilliant light over the life of a figure once described as 'the most dangerous woman in America'. Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant in turn-of-the-century New York, is headstrong and brave, a woman who has battled fiercely to better her lot in life and keep her wayward lover Alfred on the straight and narrow. She works her way up the ranks to cook for the wealthiest families in Manhattan, but leaves a trail of death and disease in her wake. When she is imprisoned in complete isolation, despite being perfectly healthy herself, she refuses to understand her paradoxical situation. Condemned by press and public alike, she is branded a murderer, but continues to fight for her freedom. Mary Beth Keane's fictional account is as fiercely compelling as Typhoid Mary herself and Keane presents us with a very cleverly wrought conundrum: was Mary Mallon a selfish monster, or was she a hounded innocent?
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