Finalist for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and the IODE Violet Downey Book Award, and an American Library Association Notable Children's Book and a Kirkus Reviews Best Book
It's 1941, and Canada is two years into World War II. Meanwhile, in rural Manitoba, fifteen-year-old Marie-Claire Cote begins a war of her own as she and her brother and sister, all stricken with tuberculosis, are taken by their anguished parents to "chase the cure" at nearby Pembina Hills Sanatorium.
While her roommate retains a dogged cheerfulness that is both heroic and irritating, Marie-Claire resists with all of her prideful strength while she fights her own illness and tries to seek privacy where there is none. Her father, overwhelmed by fear and guilt, never visits. And her young brother, Luc, who is losing his battle with TB in another wing of the infirmary, sends notes to her penned for him by his nineteen-year-old roommate, Jack Hawkings.
This is a story about surviving loss, and finding friendship, and love, in surprising places.
Martha Brooks is an award-winning novelist, playwright and jazz singer whose books have been published in Spain, Italy, Japan, Denmark, England, Germany and Australia, as well as in Canada and the United States. She is a three-time winner of the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year, as well as the Ruth Schwartz Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Governor General’s Award, and the Vicky Metcalf Award for her body of work. She lives in Winnipeg.
...an emotionally rich, stirring story about loss, friendship, love and healing.
Brooks is rather a 'queen of hearts' herself when it comes to the depiction of a girl's adolescent intelligence, annoyance and desire, and here she works her magic once again.
...[readers] will sympathize with the book's prickly heroine...
Much like a play in its discrete, focused scenes, this novel is that rarest of birds, a happily ending, nonsappy young adult romance.
...a moving portrait of hope.
...a story of survival and friendship...
Brooks masterfully re-creates a TB sanatorium through the protagonist’s experience and believable characters. A well-drawn, innocent, yet compelling work of historical fiction
...Brooks has been called the premier writer for the older adolescent. As great a compliment as that is, I think that sells her short.
Readers will be held by the story’s heartbreaking truths, right to the end
...a careful, graceful novel, robust with sorrow and triumph in equal measure. It will leave the reader with both a chill down the spine and a lump in the throat.