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.
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.
...a story of survival and friendship...
...[readers] will sympathize with the book's prickly heroine...
...Brooks has been called the premier writer for the older adolescent. As great a compliment as that is, I think that sells her short.
...a moving portrait of hope.
Much like a play in its discrete, focused scenes, this novel is that rarest of birds, a happily ending, nonsappy young adult romance.
Readers will be held by the story’s heartbreaking truths, right to the end
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
...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.
...an emotionally rich, stirring story about loss, friendship, love and healing.