It’s the 1940’s. America are fighting two wars. One on foreign soil and one at home, in the form of the polio epidemic that surges every summer. Tess is a young woman in Baltimore, studying to be a nurse. She is also engaged to her childhood friend Vincent who has recently become a doctor. While Vincent is away in Chicago studying polio, Tess and her friend Gina take the train to Washington, D.C. for an overnight visit. But something unexpected happens to Tess while she is there and it turns her life upside down and destroys her dream of a life with Vincent. Tess suddenly finds herself all alone in the world and grasps desperately at a chance for redemption that takes her to Hickory, NC. Here she comes face to face with the issues of racism and gender bias.
I was captivated by this story from the beginning. Tess is a well-rounded young lady with a lot of spunk (as my grandmother would say). She has a great deal of empathy for others and she fit in perfectly with my image of working class young ladies during the period. The author very deftly guides her through the hard choices that she finds herself having to make and surrounds her with a whole host of wonderful characters. While reading this book, I really felt like a “fly on the wall” of Tess’s life. It’s also obvious that the author put in a lot of time researching life at the time in Hickory and the realities of treating polio patients. The story moved at a really good space and every scene helped to push the story forward. This is a book that you won’t want to miss.
Alinefromabook’s rating: 4.5 stars!!
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