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The Vines

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  200 ratings  ·  161 reviews
In the shadows of New York City lies forbidden North Brother Island, where the remains of a shuttered hospital hide the haunting memories of century-old quarantines and human experiments. The ruins conceal the scarred and beautiful Cora, imprisoned by contagions and the doctors who torment her. When Finn, a young urban explorer, arrives on the island and glimpses an enigma ...more
Hardcover, 391 pages
Expected publication: March 23rd 2021 by Freiling Publishing
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  • The Vines by Shelley Nolden
    The Vines

    Release date: Mar 23, 2021
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    In the shadows of New York City lies the a

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    Giveaway dates: Feb 19 - Mar 21, 2021

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    Average rating 3.77  · 
    Rating details
     ·  200 ratings  ·  161 reviews

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    CYIReadBooks (Claire)
    Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: netgalley
    Finn Gettler has a penchant for urban exploration. Drawn by the mystique surrounding North Brother Island, Finn launches his kayak and navigates himself toward the abandoned and forbidden island that is now a heron sanctuary. What Finn discovers on the island is shocking and surreal when he is confronted by a mysterious woman riddled with scars.

    Eager to unravel the mystery behind the island and its enigmatic occupant, Finn returns only to find out that his family’s past possesses some deep and d
    Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    3.5 stars

    Finn, a young urban explorer who comes from a family of doctors, arrives on North Brother Island, which holds remains of a shuttered hospital, once a place of human experiments. There he “glimpses an enigmatic beauty through the foliage.” It leads him to efforts to uncover her past and at the same time his family’s secrets. The way his story progresses, it is challenging to follow at times. In one paragraph he is physically somewhere, in the next paragraph he is somewhere else with his
    Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: net-galley
    Not sure what I expected from this book, it surely wasn't this. Stepping back in time as far back as 1904 you are submersed into a story that a families quest to cure diseases comes at any cost.

    I was bit freaked, intrigued and fascinated through out this entire book. The story was well researched and made you believe the history of it all.

    Thank you NetGalley and the author for a splendid read
    Jennifer Miller
    Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Wow, a timely escape! The Vines seamlessly lifts us from the woes of 2020 and plants us neatly in the early 20th century in a New York City wrestling to control a different set of communicable diseases. The journey through generations of evolving medical ethics is personified in Cora, an intriguingly beautiful, scarred woman Finn discovers in 2007, living on North Brother Island, an otherwise abandoned bit of land a mere kayak-ride away from bustling New York City.

    Nolden masterfully captures th
    Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    The Vines is a story that ties together modern advances in microbiology and vaccination with a historical background.

    It begins with Finn, a descendent of a family of microbiologists in some form. He discovers a scarred woman named Cora and begins to unravel her connection to his family and the small, abandoned New York island she resides on. We find that Cora has been experimented on for decades and hosts multiple epidemic diseases, including typhoid and smallpox. It is up to Finn to discover h
    Linda Zagon
    Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
    A Review of “The Vines” by Shelley Nolden, Freiling Publishing, March 23, 2021 by Linda Zagon
    If you enjoy a terrifying, horrifying psychological thriller, I have a book recommendation for you.! Shelley Nolden, the author of “The Vines” has written a captivating, intriguing, intense and historical thriller. This novel takes place on North Brother Island, close by New York, on an island that has been taken over by vines and plant growth. At one time there was a hospital, used for quarantine for co
    Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    This is why I read!!! I learn something new every time I open a book. As a librarian, I challenge my students to find something you are interested in and go with it, but lately it has been go out of your comfort zone and genre you will be amazed by the new categories of knowledge that are surfacing. Shelley Nolden, thank you for opening my eyes to North Brother Island, NY. How did I not know this existed? I realize the story is based on historical fiction, but this led me down a rabbit hole to r ...more
    Danielle Foster
    Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Wow, this book was very timely in 2020! Lots of relevance in terms of infectious disease. I loved the dichotomy of present day and going back in time. Some pieces felt a bit disjointed to me but I really enjoyed the story overall.
    Jan 28, 2021 rated it did not like it
    Shelves: abandoned
    I cannot proceed with the reading of this book from Net Galley due to awkward phrasing, sentence construction, word choice, strange actions, etc. Concept of book sounded very intriguing but reading it is too much of a struggle.
    Also...the author has a lovely profile of struggle that should have lent to authenticity. Sorry.

    ARC Net Galley
    Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    The Vines

    The Vines takes you from the present day to as back as 1904. This is a story about finding vaccines for highly contagious diseases. The Vines, which is set at North Brother Island in New York, goes back and forth between present day and historical time periods. The reader really gets an eerie feeling from the abandoned hospital on the island.

    Cora is a host to two viruses, small pox and typhoid, without showing symptoms. Finn, whose family conducted most of the research, must figure out
    Elizabeth Maurer
    Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    If you’re looking for a compelling combination of multigenerational family conflict, factual historical context, microbial mischief and maliciousness (especially relevant in today’s world), sprinkled liberally with mystery and suspense, then this is the read for you. As a native of the east coast, I especially related to the eerie setting of abandoned North Brother Island, and the inclusion of factual disease outbreaks. Explanations of pathogen mechanisms are accurate while still being “reader-f ...more
    Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I was drawn to this book due to its timely subject matter, historical notes, and scientific angle. This story did not disappoint in that regard. It was mysterious, unfolding like an onion with each chapter. I enjoyed the plot and the pacing was good overall. The subject matter kept me intrigued and turning the pages. The ending was perfect, and kind of what I expected. The writing was good, and the style flowed well. The only real drawback was the dialogue. It felt stiff and unnatural in some in ...more
    Date reviewed/posted: November 21, 2020

    When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is once again closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today.

    I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and
    Kimberly Ouwerkerk
    Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Finn’s family is looking for a cure while Cora is waiting on the island for the right virologists to figure out how to turn her blood into a miracle that can end a pandemic. Many interactions follow, leading to what can only be seen as a very haunted past for all those involved.

    The Vines is both a work of historical fiction and a contemporary story discussing the value and rights of a single human being. Is one life – one person’s happiness – worth the deaths of many? Would you sacrifice yourse
    Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Forbidden Island, shuttered hospital, Secrets. These are enough for me to pick up a book and when I got the ecopy of #Thevines by @shelley_nolden I was super excited to read it and trust me it was a great read!

    The Vines is Shelley's debut novel and will hit the stores by March 2021.

    ▪︎It is set in early 20th century, New York City wrestling to control a different set of communicable diseases. A Shuttered hospital hide the haunting memories of century-old quarantines and human experiments. It star
    Dec 25, 2020 added it
    This was a fascinating read. Being a New York City girl, I was surprised to read about North Brother Island. Great multi generational story, Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book
    Lisa Konet
    This book was more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be and it was actually quite captivating and enchanting throughout. It has medical science concentrating on microbiology and epidemiology, historical fiction (not involving WW II, for once), and there is plenty of suspense from cover to cover! The past treachery and lies in this book... OH MY GOODNESS! OMG! For that reason, I was able to read this in two days!

    Finn comes from a long line of family members that are microbiologists who wor
    I received this from

    "On North Brother Island are the ruins of a hospital which hides the scarred and beautiful Cora, imprisoned by contagions and the doctors who torment her."

    Good story. The strength and impossibility of who and what Cora is completely controls this story. I look forward to the next in series.

    Melissa Sinicki
    Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Thank you to NetGalley, Freiling Publishing and the author, Shelley Nolden for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.  What a unique and creative book.  The author wove together elements of a medical thriller with historical fiction and a little dash of science fiction to create a rich and interesting story that is shockingly relevant to today’s current events.  Finn the youngest member of the Gettler family, and the only family member for generations who i ...more
    Karla Jay
    Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
    Thank you, NetGalley, Freiling Publishing, and the author for a chance to read the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
    Owing to its timely subject matter on viruses, a link to Nazi Germany and mysterious island that I never knew existed, I was intrigued. The Vines switches from the present day back 1904, when the experiments began. I struggled at first to get into the story but by a third of the way I was hooked.
    I also didn't know I was reading the first book in a series. There remain
    Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I don't frequently read fiction with fantasy elements to it, but I found this to be a gripping read. The premises of contagious diseases and quarantining are so timely & heavy, yet I found this to still be an escapist read. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy reads like "The Museum of Extraordinary Things" by Alice Hoffman.

    This jumps back and forth starting in the early 1900s and between 2007/8.

    The chronologically earliest part tells about a young woman named Cora who was sent to North Br
    Samantha Perkins
    Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Need a good historical fiction/mystery book? If so, then this one should be on your to-be-read list!
    Cora is sent to North Brother Island after she and her sister fall ill. The first Dr. Gettler learns interesting information about Cora while she is staying at North Brother Island. This sparks years of research that affects Cora. The Dr. Gettlers that follow are groomed for the continuance of researching Cora and the island.

    I loved this book! The long-standing family dynamics, the survival stor
    Shelley Thompson
    Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: reviewed
    The Vines is a fictional history with mystical notes that will leave the reader wanting more. Coraline McSorley and her sister Maeve are sent to Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island with measles in 1901. Maeve doesn’t survive but Coraline does and is forced to undergo quarantine and testing by Dr. Otto Gettler. Over the years, Cora is subjected to torture and misery by Gettler offspring all in the name of research.
    Along with Cora’s complicated relationship with the Gettler family, the isl
    Laura Peterson
    Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Faeeja Humaira Meem
    Thank you, NetGalley, Freiling Publishing, and the author for a chance to read the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
    Owing to its timely subject matter, historical notes, and scientific insight, I was drawn to this novel. I'm not sure what I expected from it, but I was pleasantly freaked out, intrigued, and fascinated throughout the entire book. The Vines is a story that takes you from the present day to as back as 1904 and ties together modern advances in microbiology and vaccination
    Erin (beetleandbooks)
    I enjoyed this book and it is currently very fitting to today’s situation! The story speaks about coronavirus SAR and a variety of viruses, starting from 1901. A woman, named Cora is used as a ‘lab rat’ for different trials to find vaccines and cure the illnesses, throughout the book, it goes from past to present day to tell the story of Cora. It is scientific and really interesting. In 2008, which is the present day, we meet Finn, an explorer who finds himself on the island, where the adventure ...more
    Jennifer Nissen
    Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    How can a book cover science, a little fantasy, a little horror, some thriller, and some history? The Vines by Shelley Nolden does it! She makes the reader really wrestle with moral questions. Do the ends justify the means? What are we as humans called to sacrifice for others? What do we owe anyone? Nolden doesn’t answer those questions though—that’s on the reader. The Vines is a complex narrative that covers the history of a real place—North Brother Island and the way we treat diseases and thos ...more
    Leslie M.
    The plot sounded interesting and different from my typical reads, so I was looking forward to reading it. However, it didn't meet my expectations.

    Prior to this book, I'd never heard of the abandoned islands in New York that once housed people of quarantinable illnesses. It ends with an unexpected cliffhanger. Sadly, if there's a follow-up book, I doubt I'll read it. There was just too much jumping around, which was confusing. It just didn't hold my attention.

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentar
    Rob Rutlen
    Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I couldn’t put this book down! The story weaves suspense, science, and mystery into an authentic setting that begged me to to keep turning pages. This is definitely a book I’d recommend to anyone that likes a to engulf herself in a story that is so close to plausible that it could leave one wondering whether the events actually happened. The ending was satisfying, and it left me wanting to learn more about this mysterious island and all who once lived there.
    Allyn Nichols
    Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
    A stunning piece of work. Regardless of the 2020 nCov-19 epidemic this work of fiction really hits home. Spanning over 100 years of family and the search for a panacea. Brutal in its telling, heartbreaking in its loss of lives and of love, you'll find yourself burning through the pages at a rate of knots. ...more
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    Born and raised in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, Shelley Nolden headed east after matriculating from the University of Minnesota. After living in New York City for five years while working in finance, she and her husband decided they weren’t meant for city life and moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey.

    In 2011, Shelley was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. The first sign of her disease was l

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