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Isolated on an island where two rivers meet, the Lazaretto quarantine hospital is the first stop for immigrants who wish to begin new lives in Philadelphia. The Lazaretto's black live-in staff forge a strong social community, and when one of them receives permission to get married on the island the mood is one of celebration, particularly since the white staff - save the opium-addicted doctor - are given leave for the weekend. On the eve of the ceremony, a gunshot rings out across the river. A white man has fired at a boat carrying the couple's friends and family to the island, and the captain is injured. His life lies in the hands of Sylvia, the Lazaretto's head nurse, who is shocked to realize she knows the patient.
Intertwined with the drama unfolding at the Lazaretto are the fates of orphan brothers. When one brother commits a crime to protect the other, he imperils both of their lives - and the consequences ultimately deliver both of them to the Lazaretto.
In this masterful work of historical fiction, Diane McKinney-Whetstone seamlessly transports us to Philadelphia in the aftermath of the Civil War and Lincoln's assassination, beautifully evoking powerful stories of love, friendship, and humanity amid the vibrant black community that flourished amid the troubled times.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Msmat on 05-05-16
Interesting characters; Interesting plot
What did you love best about Lazaretto?
I feel like I got in-depth knowledge about the characters of the story. I could picture them in my head because they were written so descriptively.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Meda was my favorite character. Even thought she'd been through some heavy things, it did not diminish her heart. I also really liked Buddy.
What does Adenrele Ojo bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I appreciated the way that Ms. Ojo would change the intonation of her voice for different characters.
If you could take any character from Lazaretto out to dinner, who would it be and why?
I would take Nevada because she seems like she was the super fun person. If she couldn't make it, I would take Buddy with me!
Any additional comments?
This book was very good and I would recommend it to others.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful