In fall 1916, Americans debate whether to enter the European war. "Preparedness parades" march and headlines report German spies. But in an isolated community in the Adirondacks, the danger is barely felt. At 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. For all, time stands still. Prisoners of routine and yearning for absent families, the patients, including the newly arrived Leo Marburg, take solace in gossip, rumor, and - sometimes - secret attachments. An enterprising patient initiates a weekly discussion group. When his well-meaning efforts lead instead to a tragic accident and a terrible betrayal, the war comes home, bringing with it a surge of anti-immigrant prejudice and vigilante sentiment. The conjunction of thwarted desires and political tension binds the patients so deeply that, finally, they speak about what's happened in a single voice."The Air We Breathe", though entirely self-contained, extends the web of connected characters begun with Ship Fever.
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"Andrea Barrett is in a class by herself. A near-perfect equipoise between smooth storytelling and the suggestion of larger truths" ( Newsday)
"Few writers have mastered the historical novel as [Barrett] has... Her re-creation of time and place remains glittering" ( The Times)
"This is a meticulously researched novel, and provides an edifying glimpse into an odd, static world during a period when the world outside was anything but static" ( Daily Telegraph)
The exquisite, much-anticipated new novel by the author of Ship Fever, winner of the National Book Award.
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Book Description Hutchinson, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 91921333