Beautiful, beautiful book. James Markert masterfully painted a time and a place that most people would like to forget and made it a place we almost wished we could be. The TB epidemic was a plague, an almost certain death sentence, and yet there were those rare souls who believed it was worth chancing their lives so they could help the victims, possibly even save a few. And within that world, they had their own lives.
Wolfgang Pike is a musician and a doctor. He is also studying to be a priest. But above all he is a man. Emotions squeeze in when he should be thinking science, and bravery often takes the rightful place of caution. He believes in what is now called Music Therapy in a time when it was considered nothing more than folklore … and yet the quick rate of death around the sanitorium takes a little breather when he brings patients together to share music.
There are a few stories in this world where you really can say you laughed and you cried. This was one of those gems. Mr Markert's storytelling is wonderful, taking us from person to person, place to place, touching on such time relevant things as bootlegging, the KKK and extreme prejudice, jazz, the fallout of WW1 in the hearts and bodies of men … and leaves us with the timeless poignancy of love.
I am now going in search of his earlier books and can't wait to dig in.
I write because
There is nothing
quite so bittersweet
as reading the final line
of your favourite books.
What comes next?
Where can you turn to find another favourite author?
I hope I can send you a few leads from here. I'm not reviewing books, only recommending those I've loved in the past.