Could the city’s future rest with its most unlikely scientist?
Every week more people fall ill, and despite thorough investigation, there’s no cause in sight. It’s not until sixteen-year-old Prudence Galewski takes a job as an assistant in a laboratory that the evidence begins to fall into place. It seems one person has worked in every home the fever has ravaged: Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant quickly dubbed “Typhoid Mary” by the press. Strangely, though, Mary hasn’t been sick a day in her life. Is the accusation against her an act of discrimination? Or is she the first clue in a new scientific discovery?
Prudence is determined to find out. In a time when science is for men, she’ll have to prove to the city, and to herself, that she can help solve one of the greatest medical mysteries of the twentieth century.”-the inside of the book
Deadly was a good historical fiction novel, portrayed by Prudence’s diary entries beginning a little while before she takes the job as an assistant and goes on until the end of Mary Mallon’s court case. I was actually surprised about how much I liked it, because until I started reading it I hadn’t realized it was going to be a ‘diary’ style book; which I’m not usually a big fan of. However, it does usually work with me for Historical Fiction, and this is no exception. It reminded me of Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson, which I remember really liking, although I haven’t read it in a long time.
My favorite part about Deadly was probably Prudence and her journey throughout the book. She starts out a kind of shy girl who wants to work as an assistant for the Department of Health and Sanitation, but she still doesn’t really know what she wants. By the end she’s more opinionated and she knows what she wants and that she’s going to go get it; and she’s not nearly as timid.
I really appreciated how Prudence wanted to explain to Mary and treat her nicely although she wouldn’t allow it. She was the only character to truly attempt to understand her. I know there had to be ‘that’ character, but it was still good. I kind of felt myself thinking that although she took a journey, and we’re reading her ‘diary’ entries, we weren’t that close to Prudence. I didn’t feel completely immersed in her character, even though it was in first person which for me helps.
I did feel immersed in the story of the historical fiction novel, and overall really enjoyed it. I’m loving historical YA lately and this is no exception. If you like historical fiction in diary form for pretty much any age then you’ll probably like Deadly. Also, this is a rather quick read, probably because diary entry books tend to be that way, and also because there’s all these cool drawings from Prudence in her ‘diary’.