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Affection There is No ...
Ian Townsend
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Affection There is No Cure

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  33 reviews
January 1900, and Australia′s tropical north just got a little hotter.

An outbreak of plague is suspected, and the Queensland Government sends Dr Alfred Jefferis Turner - small, refined and immaculately dressed - to assess the situation. Turner, armed with a microscope, a butterfly net and his lovelorn yet devout colleague,

Dr Linford Row, is met with incredulity, not least
Paperback, 0 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Harper Perenial (first published 2005)
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A rather underappreciated novel, first published in 2005, of an outbreak of the bubonic plague that hit Australia just before the turn of the century in 1900. The novel focuses on the far north town of Townsville and fictionalises and fleshes out some real life characters of the time.
Some of the story seemed a little stilted but that may have been my lack of concentration while I was reading some early chapter.
There's some extremely interesting parallels with today and dealing with politicians
Oct 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hot-2-plot-books
3 1/2 stars. Loved this being set in North Queensland and knowing the setting, imagining it in 1900. And getting to learn some history of the area that I had never heard of before. The writing is high quality, with subtle sarcasm woven throughout. The author has done a great job of using language appropriate to the period. It made for great discussion at our book club!
Feb 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great book. I was fairly new to Townsville when I first read this - it really helped me feel a connection with the history - or at least a small part of the history of this great place.
Dillwynia Peter
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful read about the Bubonic Plague outbreak set in Townsville in the late 1890s. I was aware of the Plague outbreak in Sydney in the Rocks area - notorious for its poor hygiene - but not that in other parts of Australia.

The style is easy & enjoyable read and I quickly flew through it. It was one of those lovely "lounging on the couch" reads. The science is well researched and even the entomology is well done (I am a harsh critic on natural history themes).

My only concern is - woul
Chris Walker
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike a lot of historical fiction (Geraldine Brooks' titles come to mind) this book feels authentic. The characters talk, think and act in a way which feels appropriate to the times. Too often other books I've read set in other eras will include some modern way of speaking, thinking or acting which ruins the plot for me. This book seems well researched and is an interesting story about the outbreak of plague at the turn of last century in north Queensland and how public health authorities repre ...more
Peter Macinnis
I started to read this thinking it was a fiction based on a reality: the way that steam transport spread plague around the Pacific Rim at the very end of the 19th century and into the 20th century.

It was only when I got to the end that I realised that these were real people, albeit fictionalised. Dawson, the somewhat thuggish politician was in fact the leader of the world's first Labor or Labour government, and was later a Queensland senator and minister for defence in the first federal labor go
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-ebooks
I was alerted to this book by Book Bliss and thoroughly enjoyed it. While I was vaguely aware that the plague had come to Queensland I was unaware of the details or the impact. With family history interests in Townsville where much of the book's story takes place, I found the descriptions quite fascinating and has given me food for thought re more research opportunities. Magnetic Island also features and is somewhere I holidayed regularly as a child.

Reading the "what happened to them" epilogue,
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have had this book sitting on my bookshelf for some years and have only just got around to reading it. I wish I had read it a lot earlier.
Based on historical fact, affection is the story of the plague outbreak in Townsville in 1900 and the setting up of a plague hospital at Pallaranda. The characters were the main people involved in the outbreak and the story has been teased out from reports, letters and sermons. Having lived in Townsville for four years, it was interesting to compare the filt
Mish Middelmann
Fascinating peep into the early colonial era in Townsville in nothern Queensland, Australia - amped up by the arrival of the bubonic plague in 1900.

This is a historical novel - these events really happened and these people really existed - and Townsend brings them to life in a sensitive and dramatic way.

He shows how relationships and politics govern what is possible even when there is a clear and obvious public interest in a particular course of action, in this case to protect all the people f
Nick Duretta
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those novels I went into idea what it was about, never read the author before. I was impressed not only with the depth and emotional tug of the story (doctors dealing with bubonic plague in 1900 Australia) but how good people fought the very men who were intent on keeping them and their families healthy and alive. That this was more or less a true story, fictionalized a bit, gave it even added weight, as did the undeniable parallels with the Ebola virus in today's head ...more
Kerri Player
Once the pace picked up it was smoother reading.
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Affection: (archaic) the action or process of affecting or being affected.’

For many of us, the bubonic plague was something that happened in the distant past, but it still occurs. It is caused by a bacillus Yersinia pestis, carried by infected fleas or animals such as rodents. These days, because we know how it is transmitted and have access to effective antibiotic treatment, bubonic plague is not as deadly as it once was. But effective management and treatment is essential, and much easier now
Karen Corkery
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thought “Affection” was an amazing story, and I never knew there had been cases of the Plague, in early Brisbane’s history.
Very well written and worth reading.
Tim Richards
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting historical novel

I liked the tension that dealing with the plague produced in Townsville, and the fact it was based on true events.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
An interesting read.I felt it got bogged in detail in some areas,otherwise I enjoyed reading about Townsville.
Apr 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carole888 by: An
I could not put this book down! It is a blend of fact and fiction, set in Australia during the 1901 when Townsville was struck by Plague. It is a fascinating read. I found myself searching for more information on the main characters ... Will recommend this to those who like fiction woven around history.
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction the way I like it: the rosy film of nostalgia has been removed, and we see the dirt and the clutter and the muck. I thought at times Dr Row's characterisation was a sometimes unconvincing. The author seems to break in with little droll moments, which are jarring from a man who is supposed to be disconnected with grief. ...more
3.5 stars Dr.Row, a public health physician in Northern Australia in 1900,is deeply in mourning for his young daughter when the plague comes to Townsville. I found this to be an engagingly readable exploration of how a community's ability to respond to crisis is impacted by individual filters such as grief, ambition, expense, fear and faith. ...more
Interesting fictionalised account of the plague outbreak in Townsville, Queensland in 1900. While it took me a little while to get into the story, by about half-way through I was hooked! Would recommend for lovers of fictionalised history, and especially Australian history.
Terese Stockdale
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story line and I loved how it was set in Townsville. Would make a great movie. Interesting history involved with the plot motivating me to want to know more about Townsville' s history vand the plague which is not a diease seen here in the first world anymore. ...more
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was an interesting story but I wonder if it would have been less interesting if I wasn't a Townsville resident. Some threads seemed to be left unresolved but as the characters are real people that is to be expected ...more
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I probably would not have picked up this book to read if it weren't set in my home town. Interesting, but I also felt it had a dream like quality and I felt a bit detached rather than involved in the story. Loved the imagery, dark humour and characterisation of every player, from major to minor. ...more
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a story about plague in northern Queensland, Australia, in 1900. Despite its topic, I find it such a sweet read and a page-turner. Loved reading about vulnerability and affection, as it's rightly titled. ...more
Read this for book club and didn't get to finish it, but really enjoyed the half that I read. ...more
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This grew on me more and more as I read it. It's style is quiet and understated, but the characters are deftly sketched and linger in the memory. ...more
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great historical fiction. Found it hard to put the book down.
Cathie Page
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book, particularly if you know Townsville.
Colette Godfrey
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on the true story of a plague outbreak in Townsville in 1900. Very interesting and would make a great miniseries.
Debra Schoenberger
Very good book - quirky characters and a healthy dose of dry humour
J Wilson
Interesting story based on a true event; the plague in Australia in 1900 and the doctors trying to stop the spread while fighting with politicians and citizens in denial.
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Ian Townsend is a journalist and radio documentary maker who worked for many years with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio national network. He has won numerous awards for journalism, including four national Eureka Prizes for science and medical journalism and an Australian Human Rights Award. His first novel, Affection, based on the 1900 outbreak of plague in Townsville, was shortlis ...more

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