Author: Julie Chibbaro
Release Date: February 2011
Published By: Atheneum
Goodreads Rating: 3.60 stars
Review: Prudence isn't like the other girls at Miss Browning's School for Girls; she's fascinated with science and the human body. With a stroke of luck, she gets a job assisting in working on an endemic of typhoid fever. Everything is tracked back to Mary Mallon, a cook, but she's never been sick a day in her life. Is the accusation against her an act of discrimination, or an exciting new scientific discovery? In a time when science is for men, Prudence is determined to prove that she can help solve the greatest medical mystery of the twentieth century.
DEADLY brings to life a female protagonist whose strength isn't even slightly diminished by the imprisoning era she lives in. Prudence's drive and fire is undiluted even in the face of overwhelming sexism facing any girl who wished to become a scientist or doctor. At every turn, her poignant struggles are exacerbated by the next obstacle thrown in front of her, but she forges on with admirable determination that bleeds straight through the pages.
Just as Prudence was a revolutionary character for her time, this novel brings a slew of new ideas to the table. I have never before encountered a book dealing with the story of Typhoid Mary at this particular angle, focusing not only on the mystery elements but on issues often left unexplored. Because the doctors were incapable of treating her, Mary was forced to live in quarantine to the end of her days, unable to live out her life normally. This new look at a story often told in history classes was refreshing and stands out against the rest of its genre.
Even those who don't typically enjoy reading historical fiction may find themselves enamored with this exciting new release. With a remarkably strong protagonist anyone will root for and a fresh new angle on Typhoid Mary, DEADLY is not a novel that can be easily forgotten.