genre: young adult historical fiction
Mathilda's life working in her mother's coffeehouse in Philadelphia isn't easy, not by a long shot, but it's heaven compared to what it becomes in August of 1793 when Yellow Fever descends upon the city and turns it and its inhabitants inside out. Yellow Fever is an ugly, frightening disease and the fear it breeds is almost as toxic as the fever itself. Mathilda has to grow up quickly when her own circle is affected and she has to fend for herself in a dying city.
This was a fast and interesting read. It's like a horror movie really, so disgusting and distressing but even more frightening than a horror movie because this was reality for so many. In an age when medicine hadn't scratched the surface of this disease, rumor and misinformation made it impossible to know what to do with sick loved ones. Mathilda has heart, her story is definitely a very-quick coming of age when suddenly overnight all the rules have changed. It wasn't life changing or amazing but a good place to start middle-grade kids with historical fiction. Very accessible and plainly written.