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A White Wind Blew

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  760 Ratings  ·  155 Reviews
Dr. Wolfgang Pike would love nothing more than to finish the requiem he’s composing for his late wife, but the ending seems as hopeless as the patients dying a hundred yards away at the Waverly Hills tuberculosis sanatorium. If he can’t ease his own pain with music, Wolfgang tries to ease theirs—the harmonica soothes and the violin relaxes. But his boss thinks music is a w ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Sourcebooks (first published October 18th 2010)
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Genevieve Graham

Beautiful, beautiful book. James Markert masterfully paints a time and a place most people would like to forget and makes it a place where we almost wish we could be. The TB epidemic was a plague, an almost certain death sentence, and yet there were those rare souls who believed it was worth chancing their lives so they could help the victims, possibly even save a few. And within that world, they had their own lives.

Wolfgang Pike is a musician and a doctor. He is also studying to be a pri
Sara Palacios
Apr 29, 2013 Sara Palacios rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of White Wind Blew by James Markert in exchange for an honest review.

The book takes place in the early 1920s in Louisville, at Waverly Hills, a tuberculosis sanatorium. When the disease flares up, the town becomes terrified and shuns the patients and the staff at the clinic. In addition to dealing with who have been cast out of society due to their condition, Louisville is also dealing with typical 1920s elements like racial tension and prohibition. But, these things are the le
Mar 14, 2013 Heidi rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars: A compelling read about life and death in a sanatorium.

For Dr. Wolfgang Pike, it is a steady stream of death and dying as he makes his daily rounds at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. He is one of the resident doctors at the facility, and he spends his days administering to those afflicted by tuberculosis. The disease is taking a heavy toll on the population, and people are getting sick and dying in record numbers. Dr. Pike in an attempt to help ease the suffering takes music
Apr 24, 2013 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, arc-egalley
A widowed doctor -- who is also a seminary student -- explores the use of music as a method of treating TB patients in 1920s Louisville. Also, the Klan is doing their usual thing.

There wasn't anything particularly wrong or "bad" about this book, I just found it rather boring. The plot moved very slowly and I had trouble getting interested in the characters. I didn't find the writing particularly engaging, and there were some passages that read more like a history text than a novel. It's one of t
Feb 12, 2014 Ashley rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2014
A White Wind Blew by James Markert is a story of hope, survival, love and peace set inside of the Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium during the 1920’s. Dr. Wolfgang Pike - a widower, aspiring Priest, doctor, musician – tries to use his music to ease the pain of his patient’s souls while they suffer from the illness and pray for healing. In this novel, the tuberculosis patients aren’t the only ones that need healing as Dr. Pike is still reeling from the devastating loss of his wife and seeks c ...more
Jenn Ravey
Mar 23, 2013 Jenn Ravey rated it really liked it

*This book was sent to me by the publisher, Sourcebooks Landmark, in exchange for an honest review.

In 1920s Louisville, a pall rests over Louisville in the form of Waverly Hills, a tuberculosis sanatorium. Terrified of disease, the town shuns recovered patients as well as those who work at Waverly Hills, knowing survival rates are slim. But disease isn’t the only thing hanging over Louisville – racial tension and Prohibition also hover, and Dr. Wolfgang Pike has seen the be
Cheryl A
Jun 13, 2015 Cheryl A rated it really liked it
Set at Waverly Hills Sanatorium, outside Louisville, Kentucky during the 1920's, this novel tells the story of one man who is trying to find his place in the world. Dr Wolfgang Pike has spent the last few years at Waverly, helping to fight tuberculosis. In a place where people are dying daily, Dr Pike is blending faith, medicine and music together to ease the suffering and give patients hope.

Louisville had the highest national infection rate of TB during the 1920's and Waverly Hills was a real h
See original review below. Our book club did read this novel: 2 of us thought it was one of the best books we'd read, and 2 of us really enjoyed it! And...Mr. Markert was generous enough to speak with us for 25 minutes during our discussion! That makes it extra special for us! And what a kind and considerate man! He was actually calling from a hotel lobby since his room was not ready for him yet. How nice is that? There are not enough positive adjectives for me to adequately describe this book-- ...more
Denisa Howe
Apr 10, 2013 Denisa Howe rated it it was amazing
A White Wind Blew reminds me of a classic, written exceptionally and leaves a definite impression on the reader. This book brought out the affects of war, racial discrimination, intolerance, isolation, separation, religious hopes and failures and the unknowing along with the deadly outbreak of tuberculosis. In all of this are authentic characters that you laugh and cry with and even bow your head in prayers with. Human compassion lived and acted through music, readings and just simply being ther ...more
Mar 21, 2013 Stacey rated it it was amazing
I thought I might like this book when I picked it up. Then I read it. I really liked it! I was initially intigued by the juxtaposition of music and a tuberculosis sanatorium. I live 2 hours away from Louisville and never knew that this city had the highest tuberculosis infection rate in the country in the 1920's. While I was pleased with Markert's use of historical background in a truly gripping story, what really grabbed me was what he had to say about faith and doubt, love, and finding a way t ...more
Nov 26, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing
Author James Markert, was able to combine a love story,music,medical information and insight concerning patients at Waverly Tuberculosis Sanatorium. He also developed a character who happened
to be a doctor studying for the priesthood. All this occurred during the time of prohibition and
racial unrest. Believe me, it was quite and interesting story.
This is a book about a widowed doctor priest in training musician who's treating patients at Waverly Hills. I feel like all of those things should be said in one quick breath, so sorry about the bad grammar.

It was, overall, a pretty good book. There were some things that I would change but sadly I can't really identify what those are? I don't even really know what to say in this review. I actually thought about stopping to read something else, but I didn't particularly want to stop reading it,
Jennifer Bowers
Nov 01, 2015 Jennifer Bowers rated it really liked it
Did you know there was a huge epidemic in this country between the two world wars? And it wasn't influenza -- it was tuberculosis! This disease wiped out whole families in the days before antibiotics, and most patients were confined to sanatoriums where the treatments were mostly palliative, not curative. They tried some treatments, such as deflating lungs, removing ribs, and exposing them to lots of fresh air, but there was really no cure. Some did recover, but most died.

This book takes place i
Michaella Gibney
Apr 18, 2013 Michaella Gibney rated it it was amazing
I hadn't picked up a book in years but when I got a hold of this one I couldn't put it down! Such tragedy and love. I recently went on a tour of Waverly Hills (inspired after reading the book). Wow, I felt like I could see all the characters there - what it would have been like. The owners are trying to make this site a hotel and if/when this happens they MUST have A White Wind Blew available.
Mar 28, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing

A White Wind Blew by James Markert

A warmest welcome to all of our readers today as we discuss our MomAdvice Book Club pick for the month of March. I am particularly honored to have James Markert sharing his own thoughts on his book with us and I hope you will find his answers as fascinating as I have!

Tuberculosis and how this illness affects its patients, and those that love them, are often the central focus of this book. After I finished reading this and then reading the historical notes about Waverly Place, I immediately went
May 05, 2013 Tima rated it it was ok
Dr. Pike is a widower, a doctor at Waverly Hills, and an aspiring priest. He's also a musician who believes in the power of music to heal the soul. And if the soul is at peace, the body can begin healing as well. So he tries to fulfill every request for music he receives despite the appalling conditions and resistance he receives from his boss. Death, racism, love, and the effects of war are only a few of the touchy subjects contained in this book.

The story flows along, like a slow moving stre
Tabitha Whitson
Jun 30, 2013 Tabitha Whitson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Waverly Hills Sanatorium has always fascinated me, from the time I first saw it on "Ghost Hunters" years ago. Though many know the former TB hospital as one of the most haunted places in America, the building has a history that is second to none. The frontline in the battle against TB in the early 1900's, its doctors fought like generals to heal patients of what was known as the White Death. I can only imagine what it was like back then - James Markert does an excellent job of making the readers ...more
Sep 04, 2015 Angel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a nice book.
That simple.

There's really nothing that I thought was outstanding. There were no major plot twists (most of the twists were easily predicted)There was 'drama' but nothing too out of the ordinary. Characters were well developed and each had their own interesting background. The topic itself was interesting and well researched.

Chances are it won't set your world on fire and make your head spin, but it's enjoyable anyway.
Nov 30, 2014 Mary rated it liked it
Dr. Wolfgang Pike, a widower, a musician and an aspiring priest, practices at the best and largest TB sanitarium in the country in the 1920s when fresh air, removing ribs and deflating lungs were the best treatments for the White Death. A central conflict in the novel is between Wolfgang's love interests and his vocation for the priesthood. Wolfgang is much beloved as a religious as well as a doctor to the patients. He introduces music as a therapy. Both Prohibition and the Klan Play a role in t ...more
Sep 05, 2013 Valerie rated it it was amazing

This book stirred a lot of emotions in me, which is important in something I read, to be moved.
I got lost in the early 1900's with the folk that were brought together by a terrible sickness.
A sickness that didn't care the color of ones skin or where you came from.
Out of this unlikely bunch that were brought together friendships developed that lasted a lifetime, however how long or short that was.
In a time before antibiotics and a cure there was hope through the magical healing of music and frien
Elise Alexander
Mar 29, 2016 Elise Alexander rated it it was ok
Shelves: nook-book
I selected this book to fill out the Reading Bingo Blank "Book from the bottom of your to-read pile".
There were interesting things about the book, but it was rather a mish-mash of ideas. It was set in a 1920's Tuberculosis sanatorium in Kentucky (now considered one of the most haunted buildings in america according to some) at the height of the TB outbreak.
Patients were sent here to isolate them from the general population, to reduce transmission, and in pre-antibiotic times the doctors had very
Katrinadohn Dohn
Jan 02, 2016 Katrinadohn Dohn rated it really liked it
A deeply moving, powerful book that will stay with me for a long, long time
Abby Johnson
This is written by a local author and it was really interesting to read about the local places he references in this book. I didn't really care about the religious aspects of the story - it felt like one layer too many - but the characters were interesting. I think this is going to be a fun one to discuss because there was a lot going on here (and there are about a million discussion questions included in the back of the book). I think this book will have special interest to those who are famili ...more
Vicki Moreno
Jul 17, 2014 Vicki Moreno rated it liked it
This book tells the story of a a doctor who is working to treat tuberculosis patients in a facility where all who are ill with tuberculosis are sent to be separated from society, treated, and in many cases, left to die. One of the doctors is a widower and former seminary student. He is faced with the decision of when to leave the facility and re-enter the seminary, when he falls in love and marries again. Music is a huge part of the story, as his father was an aspiring musician, and music is pla ...more
Cathy Sprankle
It's January of 1929 at Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium, and Wolfgang Pike is stuck. He can't finish the requiem Mass he is writing for his late wife Rose, three years dead. He can't open himself up to the possibility that he might marry again, even though he loves the nurse he works with and suspects she might love him. He can't decide whether to stay at the sanatorium working as a doctor or resume the path to the priesthood he strayed from years ago to marry Rose. All he can do is try to ...more
Heather Fineisen
Setting this one aside after 30%. Just didn't click for me.
Jeannette Poulson
Mar 19, 2016 Jeannette Poulson rated it really liked it
This was an engaging story of the patients that called Waverly home. Not only was this a poignant look at a disease, in which there was no cure, that ravaged the young and old alike; There were also multi layered stories about the different array of patients who would come to know this place as their only home, and regardless of how receptive they would be to the crude treatments, and forced interaction of others; One thing stands out as a beacon of light, to lift the spirits of the oppressed, a ...more
Oct 03, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, library
"A man should, every day at least, hear a little music ... in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

A sad novel, but one that holds out hope. In 1920s Louisville it tells of a tuberculosis sanitarium, Waverly Hills, and the stories of its patients and staff. Widower Dr. Wolfgang Pike, also studying for the priesthood and acting as unofficial chaplain, plays music for the patients to ease their sou
Jul 05, 2014 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An inspiring story of what happens when a community forms in the worst of times and worst of places. The sanatorium at Waverly Hills has a family unit all its own which the reader comes into during Winter 1929, a community that is a microcosm of the community that exists below the hill in Louisville, Kentucky. The "white wind" constantly blows down one hill into town, threatening to bring the TB epidemic with it. The conflict between those "on the hill" and those below it often comes up in the n ...more
Apr 18, 2013 Bonnie rated it really liked it
A White Wind Blew is James Markert's first novel. James is from Louisville, Kentucky and has a history degree from University of Louisville which is obvious in this tale of Waverly Hills, a tuberculosis sanatorium in Jefferson County, Kentucky. The main character is Wolfgang Pike, a theological student from Saint Meinrad Abbey. He fell in love with a girl named Rose who developed TB. Wolf, a doctor, followed to take care of her. When she died, he stayed. Wolf's true love is music learned from hi ...more
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James Markert is a novelist, screenwriter, producer, and USPTA tennis pro from Louisville, Kentucky, where he lives with his wife and two children. He has a history degree from the University of Louisville. He won an IPPY Award for The Requiem Rose, which later became A White Wind Blew. He is the writer and co-producer of the new feature film and tennis comedy, 2nd Serve, starring Josh Hopkins fro ...more
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