"An evocative panorama of America...on the cusp of enormous change" (Newsday) by the National Book Award-winning author of Ship Fever.In the fall of 1916, America prepares for war―but in the community of Tamarack Lake, the focus is on the sick. Wealthy tubercular patients live in private cure cottages; charity patients, mainly immigrants, fill the large public sanatorium. Prisoners of routine, they take solace in gossip, rumor, and―sometimes―secret attachments. But when the well-meaning efforts of one enterprising patient lead to a tragic accident and a terrible betrayal, the war comes home, bringing with it a surge of anti-immigrant prejudice and vigilante sentiment. Reading group guide included.
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In the autumn of 1916, Americans are debating whether to enter the first world war. There are 'preparedness parades', and headlines report German spies. But in an isolated community in the Adirondacks in upstate New York, the danger is barely felt. At Tamarack Lake the focus is on the sick. Wealthy tubercular patients live in private cure cottages; charity patients, many of them recent immigrants from Europe, fill the sanatorium.
Her, in the crisp air, time stands still. Prisoners of routine and yearning for absent families, the inmates, including the newly arrived Leo Marburg, take solace in gossip, rumour and secret attachments.
An enterprising patient initiates a weekly discussion group. When his well-meaning efforts lead instead to tragedy and betrayal, the war comes home, bringing with it a surge of anti-immigrant prejudice and vigilante sentiment. Andrea Barrett pits power and privilege against unrest and thwarted desire, in a spellbinding tale of individual lives in a nation on the verge of extraordinary change
Praise for The Air We Breathe: "Andrea Barrett is in a class by herself. A near-perfect equipoise between smooth storytelling and the suggestion of larger truths" NewsdayFrom the Back Cover:
Praise for Ship Fever:
'Elegant and exhilarating, subtle and haunting. Barrett has an alchemists's talent for transforming scientific fact into lively fiction' Sunday Times
'An exceptionally stylish book, stylish in the true sense' Penelope Fitzgerald
'Wise, beautifully written and full of historical insights' Marie Claire
'Barrett's mingling of the real with the fictitious is persuasive, and her unique world view is delivered in prose that is spare, precise and evocative' Independent on Sunday
'Stands out for its sheer intelligence, its painstaking attempt to discern and describe the world's configuration. The overall effect is quietly dazzling' New York Times
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Book Description Thorndike Press, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1410403653