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Fever at Dawn
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February 2016: World War II > Fever at Dawn

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message 1: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen | 1545 comments 3.5 stars
I received an advanced copy of Fever at Dawn by Peter Gardos as part of my Indiespensables subscription (highly recommended subscription service).

I was really excited to read this book and I had been hearing a lot of buzz in the literary community about the novel. The book is based on the true life story of the author's parents. When Gardos' father died, his mother gave him a stack of old letters. The package contained all the correspondence between Gardos' parents, Holocaust survivors who met and fell in love by mail while each were being treated at different hospitals. Gardos used their love story as the inspiration for this novel.

Gardos' father (and Miklos the protagonist) was given a diagnosis of incurable TB while in a hospital in Sweden and told he had only 6 months left to live. Determined not to give up on life after surviving the camps, he sets out to meet a woman by writing 117 letters to other Hungarian women recovering in other hospitals across Sweden. Through his correspondence he meets one woman his is convinced will become his wife. The novel then follows the course of the developing relationship and the fate of it's main characters.

I found the novel interesting and I loved the concept. The author intersperses excerpts of the the letters throughout the book. I think the story was fascinating but at times I felt like it lacked a little something. I would have liked more of the letters and a little more of the backstory of what the characters had been through (or how that characters had been emotionally impacted by the prior events) prior to meeting.

It was an interesting strategy for the author to focus only on their relationship with little very little about the war (of course they were both in the hospital recovering after having been in camps so it was underlying everything). The book blurb on the back says it is "an improbably joyous tale showing the death-defying power of the human will to love and to love." I agree that it was a joyous and uplifting tale but I think it would have been mode powerful if the author had given us a glimpse of what the characters had gone through prior to meeting each other. On the other hand, it was definitely an uplifting and sweet story.


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6276 comments Ok, I lost focus reading your review when I hit the words "Indispensable subscription". Sigh. I'm actually afraid to look to see what that actually is.

On a more serious note, sounds like a pretty cool idea for a book, but that it didn't quite live up to the promise. Hmmm. I'll see what the hype looks like before adding it to my TBR.


message 3: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen | 1545 comments That's the Powell's subscription I've written about on the blog. It is wonderful. I think you would like it. Last three books have been billy clegg's did you ever have a family, Samantha Hunt's Mr Splitfoot, and City on Fire.

Oh and about this book. I liked it but didn't love it. Given the story line I kind of expected more of an emotional connection but that's where it fell a Lille flat for me.


message 4: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen | 1545 comments "Little" not lille


message 5: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6276 comments I must be dense but when I google the subscription, I see it referenced on Powell's but see no way to actually sign up for it.


message 6: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen | 1545 comments Anita wrote: "I must be dense but when I google the subscription, I see it referenced on Powell's but see no way to actually sign up for it."

their website is the worst. I had to email them to ask for help because it is not user friendly. The subscription service is currently sold out. you can request to get put on the waitlist then they send you an email when spots open. You would really like it (I think). I put the link to the waitlist in my first post about the service. Let me go look for it and I'll be right back with the link


message 7: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen | 1545 comments Anita wrote: "I must be dense but when I google the subscription, I see it referenced on Powell's but see no way to actually sign up for it."

Okay, finding out how to do this is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Not sure why they make it so difficult but perhaps they don't want to get flooded with requests. Here's the link I used:

http://mysubscriptionaddiction.us5.li...

I entered my information then when spots became available, I got an email. As soon as you get an email, you need to head back over to powell's site and then you should see "buy" or "subscribe" next to the service. They open it up then it sells out very quickly so you have to move quickly. I was on the waitlist for about 2 months before I got in.


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