What I’m Reading: The Second Life of Mirielle West

I picked up another book.  I wasn’t super selective.  I wanted something quick and I hoped this one would be gook.

The book is The Second Life of Mirielle West by Amanda Skenandore.

The book immediately caught my attention from the very beginning.  I’ve never read anything about leprosy or the leper colony.  I love learning about new to me historical things so I was happy to keep reading.

I ended up very much appreciating this book.  I think it was well written and would make a great book for a book club.  There are many aspects of what happened in the book that could prompt some great discussions.  It is a story of growth and change.  It’s really hard to say more without ruining the story.  Let’s just say, it’s the best book I’ve read in the last 6 months or so.

Here is what Amazon had to say:
Based on the true story of America’s only leper colony, The Second Life of Mirielle West brings vividly to life the Louisiana institution known as Carville, where thousands of people were stripped of their civil rights, branded as lepers, and forcibly quarantined throughout the entire 20th century.
For Mirielle West, a 1920’s socialite married to a silent film star, the isolation and powerlessness of the Louisiana Leper Home is an unimaginable fall from her intoxicatingly chic life of bootlegged champagne and the star-studded parties of Hollywood’s Golden Age. When a doctor notices a pale patch of skin on her hand, she’s immediately branded a leper and carted hundreds of miles from home to Carville, taking a new name to spare her family and famous husband the shame that accompanies the disease.
At first she hopes her exile will be brief, but those sent to Carville are more prisoners than patients and their disease has no cure. Instead she must find community and purpose within its walls, struggling to redefine her self-worth while fighting an unchosen fate.”

Amazon readers gave the book 4.5 stars.  I am going to give it 4.8 stars.  For me, that’s a lot.  I told you I’ve been on a slump of just reading books that aren’t the best.  This one broke my record and I’m so happy.

You can find the book HERE is you are interested.  At the time I wrote this review, this book was available via Kindle for free.  Follow the link to learn more.

5 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Second Life of Mirielle West”

  1. The United States had another leper colony on the island of Molokai in Hawaii. Hawaii became a US territory in 1900 and the leper colony was in existence at that time.

  2. Thanks Jo, I added that title to my list. I’m listening to the audible version of Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset for the 2nd time. It is mid evil historical fiction set in Norway – my heritage. I love this trilogy and Undset received a Nobel Prize for this. Love historical stories!

  3. Debbie Grbavac

    An older excellent book about the colony in Hawaii is called “Molokai”. I read it years ago with my book group. I had no idea this also existed in the US.

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