In Quarantine, John Smolens, a Boston College graduate, writes about a Massachusetts town grappling with an outbreak of a fatal disease. Though it sounds like current events, Smolens’ novel is set in 1796 and the deadly viral disease is yellow fever. In Quarantine, a ship arrives in Newburyport harbor with a crew infected with yellow fever. Quickly, the virus circulates throughout the town, killing many residents and testing the reserve of those left behind. Dr. Giles Wiggins, a war veteran, tries to save lives while the town’s future is threatened by obsession, greed, and fear. Out of print for several years, Quarantine was re-issued by Michigan State University Press in late 2019. Smolens’ next book, Day of Days, about a 1927 act of domestic terrorism that left 38 children dead, will be published this fall. Smolens was interviewed about Quarantine for a piece in the Lansing City Pulse.
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