It's late summer 1793, and the streets of Philadelphia are abuzz with mosquitoes and rumors of fever. Down near the docks, many have taken ill, and the fatalities are mounting. Now they include Polly, the serving girl at the Cook Coffeehouse. But fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook doesn't get a moment to mourn the passing of her childhood playmate. New customers have overrun her family's coffee shop, located far from the mosquito-infested river, and Mattie's concerns of fever are all but overshadowed by dreams of growing her family's small business into a thriving enterprise. But when the fever begins to strike closer to home, Mattie's struggle to build a new life must give way to a new fight-the fight to stay alive.
When the outbreak hits the city of Philadelphia, Mattie is faced with the hard facts that she might lose those around her and it forces her to grow up fast. It's said that the yellow fever outbreak took 10% of that city, which is a devastating statistic.
I enjoyed watching Mattie grow and learn to make decisions for herself. I did find the wanderings with her grandfather to be a bit tedious. It was one minute of being fine, and then things began to happen very fast, and would recover fast -- almost like the scenes weren't needed. They didn't add to Mattie or her grandfather's journey, except to delay it some. Once they found their way back to the coffee house I found things to get interesting. Suddenly, Mattie had a lot to face, and dangers that weren't just a disease. People get ugly in times of strife, and the author revealed some of the things I'd fear if trapped in a time like that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. You can follow her adventures on Twitter,http://twitter.com/halseanderson and on her tumblrhttp://lauriehalseanderson.tumblr.com/
Check out Laurie's website, http://madwomanintheforest.com/ .