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A White Wind Blew

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,004 ratings  ·  179 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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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,004 ratings  ·  179 reviews

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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 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 12, 2013 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
Mar 19, 2013 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
Jessica Jeffers
Jan 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss, fiction
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 07, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Jan 24, 2013 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
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
Feb 22, 2013 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
Cheryl A
Oct 21, 2013 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
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,
Michaella Gibney
Apr 18, 2013 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.
Nov 03, 2015 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.
Moana Carter
Mar 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Even though this book is historical fiction, it is not hard to imagine the story actually happening. It is set in the city where I currently live and the author name drops a lot of sites that one should visit if ever in town. The story neatly ties local history to national history by touching on Prohibition, Al Capone and race relations.
Mar 05, 2014 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
Tabitha Whitson
Jun 07, 2013 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
May 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-fiction
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
Jennifer Bowers
Nov 01, 2015 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
Robin O'Brien
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book tremendously. I have lived in Louisville, KY for 11 years now. I knew of Waverly Hills as a former sanatarium for TB patients during the epidemic in the early 1900's. I also have known it as a haunted tour destination for those who like this type of thing during the Holloween season.
This book showed me the real life terror of this disease here in Louisville and why Waverly Hills exsisted along with a separate hospital on the same grounds that served the black race. I apprec
Aug 16, 2013 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 01, 2013 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
Aug 28, 2015 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.
Heather Fineisen
Setting this one aside after 30%. Just didn't click for me.
Katrinadohn Dohn
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
A deeply moving, powerful book that will stay with me for a long, long time
Marti M
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017

This story is set in the 1920s at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium during the height of the tuberculosis epidemic. It follows the fictional wannabe priest/doctor Wolfgang Pike as he deals with patients and overcoming the death of his wife

The premise of this sounds so fascinating. If I'm being honest, all I really knew about Waverly Hills was what I saw on Ghost Adventures when they stayed the night there to look for ghosts. And that's all I really wanted to know, tbh.

One of the more fascinating
In the early 1900’s there was an epidemic of tuberculosis in Louisville, Kentucky which prompted the building of a massive gothic style hospital sitting on a high hill so the patients could benefit from the clean breezes. Today, Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium is known as one of the most haunted places in America, and this is where our story takes place.

The main character, Wolfgang Pike wears many hats. He is a doctor at Waverly, a former seminary student who fills the role of a Priest at
Angelica Fotos
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A White Wind Blew , by James Markert, tells the story of Dr. Wolfgang Pike's trials of dealing with faith, love, and inner turmoil as he treats tuberculosis patients in the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky, in the 1920's. Many themes are intricately woven into the plot of this book--racism, war, the power of music therapy-- as Markert develops the characters of the doctors, a nurse, and the patients at Waverly Hills. As a resident of Louisville, and a lover of classical music, I ...more
Chris Witt
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Decent enough story although I sometimes felt as though the author couldn't decide what his book was going to be about. Suddenly it would spend 3 pages trying to be about race, then it would spend 20 being about music, then 5 about tuberculosis, then 10 about marriage. It was just a little schizophrenic for my taste, but still had some good characters and was an interesting story that didn't beat you over the head with references from Wikipedia research blatantly dropped into the story like othe ...more
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting to read about the true history of a local landmark. It's a fictionalized story, but based on the history of Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium. The story is good, though a little schmaltzy in placed. I would have edited out some of the longer and more overwrought scenes and wouldn't have tried to include so many pieces of local folklore (like Capone at the Seelbach), but overall it was an interesting story that brought to life many Louisville landmarks.
Popsugar #20 - having lived in Louisville for the past 13 years, all I knew about Waverly Hill was that it was haunted and you could go on paranormal tours. No thank you. This book was the book of the month for a book club and I’m so glad I read it. It was fun to read a book set in Louisville but more importantly to be reminded Waverly Hill is more than just ghosts. It’s a history of those who came before, who suffered, who loved and who lived.
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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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