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Queen of Hearts by Martha Brooks

Queen of Hearts

by Martha Brooks

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13011139,756 (3.59)12
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    Breathing Room by Marsha Hayles (meggyweg)
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    The Plague and I by Betty MacDonald (Lcanon)
    Lcanon: A memoir of life in a t.b. sanitarium -- only told with humor.

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I learned a great deal about how TB was treated back in the 1940s. I felt that this author developed her characters well, but she ended the book very abruptly. She needed to either increase the pace or lengthen the novel to make the story satisfactory. ( )
  EmilyRokicki | Feb 26, 2016 |
Imagine, as a teenager, being confined to a sanatorium, or any confinement for that matter. Marie-Claire, a willful Canadian teenager stricken with tuberculosis, must confront her own mortality as she struggles to maintain her strength - both physical and emotional - inside the confines of her ward. She attempts a friendship with a frail girl, Signy, who despite her wealth is desperately lonely and in need of a friend. And she catches the attention of another patient, Jack, and wonders if it could be love. ( )
  Mad.River.Librarian | Apr 23, 2014 |
Great historical fiction/coming of age entry by Martha Brooks. Marie-Claire and her younger brother contract tuberculosis during World War II in Manitoba, Canada. Sent to a sanitarium to heal, they are separated from their family and even each other. In those days, antibiotics had not been discovered which could cure TB, so treatments like sleeping outdoors in the bitter cold and collapsing a lung to rest it were common. Marie-Claire is sick, angry with her father for his emotional distance, and determined not to become friends with long time patient Signy, her roommate. This story is about her journey to health, to friendship, and to first love, all in a hospital bed or not far from it.

Marie-Claire’s emotions ring true. She is dealing with very challenging circumstances we readers feel all of her sadness, despair, excitement and hope. This book provides a window into what TB sufferers faced, and a greater understanding of the disease itself – that it is not as quickly contagious as one might think, and that healing from it is not always a fixed and clear path. Sadly, TB is on the rise again as drug resistant strains take hold, which the author explains in her Author’s Note at the beginning of the book. She provides detail about her sources in the Acknowledgements, noting that she lived near one herself as a child. ( )
  mikitchenlady | Aug 10, 2012 |
A very sweet book about a period of history that is all but forgotten - when tuberculosis almost always meant a lingering death. Interestingly, while this coming-of-age narrative brings in the expected elements of young love, it also places an emphasis on friendship over the impermanent thrill of romance - something not often seen in YA literature, and especially not in books directed at girls. While many references might be lost on non-Canadians and people who don't live in the American communities near the Northern border, it is still a good read for teen girls, and an excellent book for the summer. ( )
  themythicalcodfish | Jun 24, 2012 |
Marie-Claire is the oldest of her siblings. And the strongest. And the most independent. (And one may also argue the most stubborn.) She is used to having her freedom and being in control. But after taking these things for granted for 15 years, they are abruptly torn from her--along with her parents and siblings--when she is diagnosed with tuberculosis. Set against the backdrop of the Canadian plains in 1942, most of the action in this book takes place in the sanatorium near Marie-Claire’s hometown, where TB patients come to either get healthy or die. In a time when TB was often a death sentence and a war was waging across the ocean, we follow Marie-Claire as she struggles to regain her health, save her family, forge friendships, and fall in love. This book is achingly lovely in its simplicity and truly unique in its subject matter. It’s a quick read that will stay with you long after the final page is turned.

  katie.funk | Dec 4, 2011 |
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Queen of Hearts will ensure her continued prominence in Canadian literary circles and in the hearts of young and older readers looking for fine writing.
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"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the truth of imagination." — John Keats
For my
Imaginative editors
Melanie Kroupa and Shelley Tanaka
In friendship, kinship
And sisterhood
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On a cold evening in late spring, with the rain coming down hard around him, there's Oncle Gérard standing outside our farmhouse just like he's never been away.
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Shortly after her first kiss but before her sixteenth birthday in December, 1941, Marie Claire and her younger brother and sister are sent to a tuberculosis sanatorium near their Manitoba farm.

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