New Release! Pestilence by Jeani Rector
As a public health worker, I was excited to pick up Pestilence, by Jeani Rector. And I was not disappointed. Whenever I pick up a book in which disease is a big feature in the story, I often get ready to pick it apart if it’s not someone who has a background in infectious disease, because I’m kind of a jerk like that. But there wasn’t much to pick at. Ms. Rector has clearly done a lot of research, not just about the disease and its history, but about the conditions of London and the feudal system. And she does something that few authors do so well as this author does: show how all of the different conditions contributed to the perfect storm. I’m a medical anthropologist. I have little snippets of knowledge about very specific things, but I’ll confess that medieval history, names and dates, are not my forte. I struggled to stay awake in history class as soon as dates and names of people started droning from my teachers’ mouths. But if I had had a book like this when I was in school, I would have remembered every history lesson. Not only does she explain the history of the Black Death, but each of her characters was alive and engaged me in caring about what happened to them, whether that was holding my breath hoping that the heroine survives, or wanting to stab the bad guys and rub fleas all over them. She has created a living history. I would use this book to teach because bringing events to life is the best way to engage people and make them remember.
You can find out more about Pestilence at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You can learn more about Jeani Rector at the Horror Zine, a very cool online horror zine. You can also like her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.