Lazaretto: a novel

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This stunning new novel from Diane McKinney-Whetstone, nationally bestselling author of Tumbling, begins in the chaotic backstreets of post-Civil War Philadelphia as a young black woman gives birth to a child fathered by her wealthy white employer.

In a city riven by racial tension, the father's transgression is unforgivable. He has already arranged to take the baby, so it falls to Sylvia, the midwife's teenage apprentice, to tell Meda that her child is dead--a lie that will define the course of both women's lives. A devastated Meda dedicates herself to working in an orphanage and becomes a surrogate mother to two white boys; while Sylvia, fueled by her guilt, throws herself into her nursing studies and finds a post at the Lazaretto, the country's first quarantine hospital, situated near the Delaware River, just south of Philadelphia.

The Lazaretto is a crucible of life and death; sick passengers and corpses are quarantined here, but this is also the place where immigrants take their first steps toward the American dream. The live-in staff are mostly black Philadelphians, and when two of them arrange to marry, the city's black community prepares for a party on its grounds. But the celebration is plunged into chaos when gunshots ring out across the river.

As Sylvia races to save the victim, the fates of Meda's beloved orphans also converge on the Lazaretto. Long ago, one "brother" committed an unthinkable act to protect the other, sparking a chain of events that now puts the Lazaretto on lockdown. Here conflicts escalate, lies collapse, and secrets begin to surface; like dead men rising, past sins cannot be contained.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID ac078b4e-7f9b-f901-125d-9cfa29135508
Grouping Title lazaretto
Grouping Author mckinney whetstone diane
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2020-01-28 22:44:45PM
Last Indexed 2020-01-29 00:14:19AM

Solr Details

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auth_author2 Ojo, Adenrele,
author McKinney-Whetstone, Diane,
author2-role Ojo, Adenrele,narrator.
author_display McKinney-Whetstone, Diane
available_at_catalog Bordeaux
Hermitage Kids
Madison Kids
Main Kids
Main Library
collection_catalog Audiobook
detailed_location_catalog Bordeaux - Adult Audiobook
Hermitage - Adult Fiction
Madison - Adult Fiction
Main Library - Adult Fiction
display_description Diane McKinney-Whetstone's nationally bestselling novel, Tumbling, immersed us into Philadelphia's black community during the Civil Rights era, and she returns to the city in this new historical novel about a cast of nineteenth-century characters whose colorful lives intersect at the legendary Lazaretto--America's first quarantine hospital. 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.
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publishDate 2016
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ils:CARL0000482776 Book Books First edition. English Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016] 338 pages : illustration ; 24 cm.
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subject_facet African Americans -- Social life and customs -- 19th century -- Fiction
Historical fiction, American
Quarantine -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Fiction
title_display Lazaretto : a novel
title_full Lazaretto : a novel / Diane McKinney-Whetstone
Lazaretto A Novel
Lazaretto [sound recording] : a novel / Diane McKinney-Whetstone
title_short Lazaretto :
title_sub a novel
topic_facet African American Fiction
African Americans
Historical Fiction
Historical fiction, American
Social life and customs