The Plague and I

The Plague and I

Large Print - 2000
Average Rating:
3
1
1
 …
Rate this:
Tuberculosis. A terrifying word, as terrifying then as cancer is now. It meant entering a sanatorium for treatment, leaving her family, her children. And what if she did not recover? Hardly the basis for comedy, one would suppose. And one would be wrong. Betty MacDonald always had the ability to face up to adversity -- and heaven knows she had enough in her life! -- so after the initial shock had passed, she proceeded to laugh at her illness, the other patients, the nurses, the doctors, and -- chiefly -- herself. Humor was her greatest medicine, right up to the day she left the sanatorium, cured. Of course she had her bad moments when despair and tragedy underlying what she saw and heard refused to be pushed into the background, but she had the grit and wit to rise above it. The result is a lively, cheerful and most funny book. In fact, it's a tonic.
Publisher: Thorndike, Me. : G.K. Hall, 2000
ISBN: 9780783891064
0783891067
Characteristics: 317 p. (large print) ; 24 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

d
dmilesat
Jan 26, 2017

"The Plague and I" gives a good picture not just of TB treatment at Firland Sanatorium (called "The Pines" in the book) but a clear-eyed look at a small part of Pacific Northwest society in the 1930s. Some surprises there. A different picture of a Northwest institution from that in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," but, like that later book, showing the funny side.

j
JanPruatt
Jul 31, 2016

If you like this book you may like The Egg and I also by Betty MacDonald.

h
howiecat
Oct 22, 2015

A great memoir of Betty MacDonald spending a year of her life in Firland Sanitorium for TB. Firland is in Shoreline, Wa. Amusing, heart wrenching, but a real look at how people were treated for TB in 1930:s. Luckily she survived with the help of her loving Bard family. Betty was living in a house one mile from the University District when this occurred.

Age

Add Age Suitability

j
JanPruatt
Jul 31, 2016

JanPruatt thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Summary

Add a Summary

j
JanPruatt
Jul 31, 2016

The Pines where Betty MacDonald spent her nine months recuperating from tuberculosis (TB) is actually Firland, a sanatorium located in Seattle, Washington. Betty wrote about how she learned that she had TB – then just as much the terrifying killer that cancer can be now – and that she must enter a sanatorium for treatment. It meant such an upheaval in her life that she could not help but be dismayed. What would become of her two daughters while she was recovering?
Such a story is hardly the basis for comedy, yet in this case with Betty MacDonald at the helm we find that after the initial shock had passed, her natural buoyancy reasserted itself and from the day she entered the hospital until the day she left, she proceeded to laugh at her illness, the other patients, the nurses, the doctors and – mostly – at herself.
She, of course, had her bad moments when the despair and tragedy underlying what she saw and heard refused to be pushed astern, but she gritted her teeth and rode the waves with cheer and her funny bone intact.
Since this book is set near where I grew up and I’d always wanted to read more of MacDonald’s stories this fit the bill.

If you decide to read this book and like it you may be interested in another memoir by her, The Egg and I. Enjoy!

Quotes

Add a Quote

j
JanPruatt
Jul 31, 2016

I like my chosen companions to be distinguishable from the undulating masses and I don't care how.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at WCLS

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top