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A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

This book grabbed my from the first page and has not yet let me go, long after the last. I blame Cleo. Her voice was so real and so very likable. The first few chapters have a lovely, light humor as they introduce Cleo and her family, her life before the Spanish influenza hits Portland. This contrast, from their happiness to the horrors of the pandemic, give the story that much more impact.

The writing was perfect; the story builds up, reaching its peak at just the right moment, then quiets for a beautiful ending. The descriptions of the disease are powerful, but without so much detail as to disturb those with tender stomachs. The focus is more on the people, their thoughts and emotions, than it is on a graphic portrayal of the Spanish influenza. I had tears in my eyes more than once.

Cleo's character arc was simply lovely to watch; from a teenager looking for her place in the world to a woman of quiet strength. The secondary characters were all well done as well, each with their own stories. My favorites were probably Hannah and Edmund, with Kate, Jack, and Lucy close behind.

Looking at A Death-Struck Year from a historical fiction standpoint, I learned some things I didn't know before, which is always a plus, and it interested me enough in the subject that I will go looking for more information, which is even better.

I loved this book, even more than I thought I would, and I can foresee recommending it to a great many people in the future.

I received a copy of this book through RockStar Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.



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