HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Wickett's Remedy (2005)

by Myla Goldberg

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6173128,225 (3.38)43
Lydia is an Irish American shopgirl with bigger aspirations than your average young woman from South Boston in the early part of the twentieth century. She marries Henry Wickett, a shy medical student and the scion of a Boston Brahmin family. However, soon after their wedding, Henry abruptly quits medical school to create a mail-order patent medicine called Wickett's Remedy, and just as Lydia begins to adjust to her husband's new vocation, the infamous Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918 begins its deadly sweep across the world, irrevocably changing their lives. Meanwhile, a parallel narrative explores the world of QD Soda, the illegitimate offspring of Wickett's Remedy, stolen away by Henry Wickett's one-time business partner Quentin Driscoll, who goes about transforming it into a soft drink empire.… (more)
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 43 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Wickett's Remedy by Myla Goldberg was a book about the 1915-1919 Spanish Flu pandemic. I really wanted to like this book, but in the final analysis, it was fairly bad. This was the story of Lydia, a very young widow (no grieving) who signed up to go to Gallops Island, 6 miles from Boston, to care for soldiers who contracted the flu and/or who had volunteered to "catch" it for medical observation. It is true that Gallops Island was used to house sick sailors/soldiers, but there is no evidence of medical experiments. The story is very simplistic. A group of the dead form the peanut gallery and speak up frequently in the margins of the book. Also, there are diary pages of the owner of QD Soda. I'm not even sure how this related to the story, except that it was the right time period. These things detracted, instead of added to an already weak story. 384 pages ( )
  Tess_W | Mar 21, 2021 |
Judy
  chapterthree | May 28, 2020 |
This novel tells the story of Lydia, who longs to experience more of the world than the Southie neighborhood of Boston. She gets a job in a department store across the river, where she eventually meets and marries Henry Wickett, an odd man who has an idea of how to cure people. And so Wickett's Remedy is born.

[Wickett's Remedy] is a novel about the Spanish influenza epidemic that hit the United States during the First World War, and about a young woman who is determined to do what she can to help care for influenza patients despite her lack of medical training. Lydia is a fantastic character to follow as she works to adapt to whatever circumstances she finds herself in and the story is superbly researched. Goldberg also plays with the format of the novel, adding sidenotes where various characters comment on the events taking place, as well as articles, vignettes and even a secondary storyline taking place at the end of each chapter. Goldberg's writing is very good and the way she plays with structure fits well with the novel as a whole. I look forward to reading more by her. ( )
1 vote RidgewayGirl | Jun 10, 2019 |
I was intrigued by this book with its comments in the margins, and I'd enjoyed the author' first novel. Unlike some of the other LT reviewers, I was not disappointed.

The is the story of Lydia Kilkenny who wants to escape her South Boston neighbourhood. She does this by getting a job across the bridge and by marrying Henry Wickett, who is in medical school. After some time mourning Henry's untimely death, Lydia becomes compelled by helping those who are suffering from the Spanish Influenza and wants to become a nurse. She ends up working as a nurse's aide. The main narrative arc is this story of the devastating impact of the Spanish Influenza.

In a parallel story line, Henry had developed "Wickett's Remedy" -- basically flavoured water; the real cure was in the long, personal letters Henry would write to each customer. As Henry says: "How much illness is caused by loneliness? By lack of sympathy?" Upon Henry's death, his business partner cheats Lydia out of her share of the profits he makes from her flavoured water.

The author shows how perceptions matter, and how imperfect memory is, by having a sort of "Greek chorus" of voices from the dead who were present at key moments in the main narratives.

It's a bit quirky, but it works. I wish the story about the flavoured water was as well developed at that of the Spanish Influenza -- I thought an opportunity to bring them together had been missed. In spite of that, I liked the book and the excellent writing. ( )
  LynnB | Oct 24, 2018 |
Lydia, a young Irish girl living in South Boston right before World War I, is looking for a way out, and seems to find it in marriage to Henry Wickett. Together, they concoct a patent medicine to sell by mail, along with a personal note from Henry. But when Henry dies, a young pharmacist steals the recipe and turns it into a best-selling soft drink.
Meanwhile, Lydia and her family deal with the war and with the flu epidemic of 1918. Feeling at loose ends, she ends up working as a nurse on a island of experiments that are trying to understand the transmission of the flu, using human subjects.
It is a little disjointed, in that each chapter ends with a newspaper article, current information about "QD Soda," and side conversations pertaining to the chapter, and there are notes in the margin of each page that act as a "chorus of the dead." These take some getting used to, but overall, it was a good book and I enjoyed it. ( )
  tloeffler | Jul 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Jason
First words
On D Street there was no need for alarm clocks: the drays, ever punctual, were an army storming the gates of sleep.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Lydia is an Irish American shopgirl with bigger aspirations than your average young woman from South Boston in the early part of the twentieth century. She marries Henry Wickett, a shy medical student and the scion of a Boston Brahmin family. However, soon after their wedding, Henry abruptly quits medical school to create a mail-order patent medicine called Wickett's Remedy, and just as Lydia begins to adjust to her husband's new vocation, the infamous Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918 begins its deadly sweep across the world, irrevocably changing their lives. Meanwhile, a parallel narrative explores the world of QD Soda, the illegitimate offspring of Wickett's Remedy, stolen away by Henry Wickett's one-time business partner Quentin Driscoll, who goes about transforming it into a soft drink empire.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.38)
0.5 1
1 7
1.5
2 10
2.5 4
3 44
3.5 13
4 53
4.5 3
5 10

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 157,910,466 books! | Top bar: Always visible