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Friday, December 8, 2017

#Book #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Queen of Hearts by Martha Brooks #MarthaBrooks @GroundwoodBooks #CanadianAuthor

AUTHOR: Martha Brooks
PUBLISHER: Groundwood Books
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 208 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
ISBN: 9780888998286
On the prairies of Canada during World War II, a girl and her two young siblings begin a war of their own. Stricken with tuberculosis, they are admitted to a nearby sanatorium. Teenager Marie Claire is headstrong, angry, and full of stubborn pride. In a new strange land of TB exiles she must "chase the cure," seek privacy where there is none, and witness the slow wasting decline of others. But in this moving novel about fighting a way back to normal life, it is the thing that sets back Marie Claire the most--the demise of her little brother--that also connects her with the person who will be instrumental in helping her recover.

I chose this book because it was written by a local author and the setting is in the area where I live.

The story takes place in the early 1940s in Southern Manitoba. A 25-year-old man named Gérard, who had been living a nomadic lifestyle for the previous six years, arrives on his older brother’s doorstep. Henri takes in his younger brother, and he lives with Henri’s wife, Sylvie, and their three children: Marie-Claire (14 years), Luc (10 years), and Josée (6 years). Several months later, Gérard is diagnosed with tuberculosis. Despite having an infectious disease, he continues to live with Henri’s family because there is a waiting list at the Pembina Hills Tuberculosis Sanitorium. Eventually, a bed becomes available and Gérard goes there for treatment. The following year, all three children become ill and are sent away to the sanitorium.

This story was heartbreaking! I felt so sad for those poor children and what they had to endure. I was surprised to learn of how they treated TB way back then (such as sleeping outside in the cold air), but the writer is accurate based on my own research on the subject. I found it all rather interesting! As a mom, my heart broke for poor Sylvie. I can’t imagine being separated from my children like that.

I really enjoyed this book, and I intend to read more from this local Canadian author.


4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you enjoy historical fiction.

This book qualifies as:

1 comment:

  1. I remember reading this one, and felt the same -- fascinating to learn about the TB sanatoriums, and quite sad as well. It was a solid read.


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