This story is extremely well told. It is sometimes sad and solemn, and yes, I did have to put it down a few times, but overall I really enjoyed this story as much as you can for a story about a plague killing thousands. It's very historically accurate and Laurie Halse Anderson goes out of her way even at the end of the book to bring you more historical facts. As with all the things that I've read from Laurie, she again takes something that no one wants to look at, and causes us to want to pay attention, we want to see it through and find the resolution. Her writing, even when about something awful like rape or death, is so engaging that you can't help but go along and see what happens.Yes, this girl's story is set in 1793, but her story, her bothers, her fight, is just as important to a girl now.
Matilda Cook or Mattie as she is called by her loved ones starts out as the average early teen girl... fighting with mom over chores, not wanting to be inside when everyone else is out, mooning over boys, wanting to hang out with her friend... but then slowly this tide comes, this "pestilence" as it is referred. She has no choice but to become tough, to straighten up, stand taller, and do for herself and those who cannot.
Mattie is a wonderful, young heroine and this is an excellent book for junior high and high school girls who might be thinking they just can't do anything right. I'm a grown up and I still have those days, then you stop and think what these women had to do. Between Mattie and Eliza, so much hurt and pain and fear is accumulated within the pages of Fever, but it is also overcome. Within the darkness there is hope.
I wish we knew more of Mattie and even Nathaniel, I would love to know how their futures as well as Eliza and her family ended up. I would also like to know what Mattie means when she says at the end "We have an understanding about Nell." What understanding? Who? What happens to them all?
Even with the sad, a few type errors, and some plague-centered disgust- I found this story hopeful. It's encouraging and meaningful and I would recommend for anyone to read it. It took me one sitting to plow through it entirely!