A Death Struck Year

Cover Image A Death Struck YearThe Spanish influenza is devastating the East Coast–but Cleo Berry knows it is a world away from the safety of her home in Portland, Oregon. Then the flu moves into the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters are shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode–and into a panic.

Seventeen-year-old Cleo is told to stay put in her quarantined boarding school, but when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she cannot ignore the call for help. In the grueling days that follow her headstrong decision, she risks everything for near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies pile up, Cleo can’t help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?

Riveting and well-researched, A Death-Struck Year is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history, and leaves readers asking: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?

****** Ani’s Review******

A Death Struck Year is set in 1918 and Cleo is a run of the mill boarding school student in the midst of trying to decide what she wants to do with her life when the Spanish Flu arrives in her home town. The school closes, people are sent home and told to stay indoors. When Cleo finds herself home alone and reading about the shortage of help, she volunteers.

Needless to say, this novel was a grim look at how a little spoken of flu epidemic altered the course of many lives. I have said before that I love when a novel teaches me something and this one has a lot to say! Even though it killed over 20,000 Americans in one week it was overshadowed by World War I, maybe due tot he fact that it lasted such a short amount of time? All of the facts in the story check out and even the anecdotes are mentioned as a way of offering perspective of how damaging this flu was. Makiia Lucier’s debut novel, A Death Struck Year, is definitely worth the read. She wrote Cleo’s story thoroughly and well and the tied up the loose ends nicely. I only would have liked a wider point of view, maybe from a pen-pal or other boarding student’s perspective just to flesh it out a bit more. I am hoping Lucier writes another historical novel soon.

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