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Fever at Dawn Hardcover – April 12, 2016
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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“On the surface Fever at Dawn may seem a harrowing tale of survival and suffering, but in this remarkable book the Holocaust merely provides the backdrop for the most improbable of true-life love stories….There is a timeless quality to Fever at Dawn, a kind of classical romanticism….Gardos’s fascinating novel is sure to become a staple in book clubs.” —The Australian
"Through this charming novel, the remarkable Miklós and Lili are immortalized — their pluck, their determination, their insistence on saying yes to life after so much death."—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Will make you like life more when you’ve finished.” —The Bookseller (UK)
"At once heartrending and lighthearted, this romance covers enormous ground in love and war, joy and tragedy, humor and pathos. Fever at Dawn, with its historical backdrop, will win over many readers.”—Shelf Awareness, starred review
"A riveting and high-spirited journey from the brink of death toward life, a novel that asserts the power of love in a world newly devastated by unspeakable hate. With courage, humor, and unfailing emotional honesty, Peter Gardos illuminates the incredible power of the human will—the drive not just to stay alive, but to fight for a life worth celebrating." —Julie Orringer, author of The Invisible Bridge
"Fever at Dawn belongs to the canon of extraordinary true stories about love and war and the power of letters. Dramatic, compassionate and deeply moving, this unforgettable story reminds us that the Holocaust is not only history it’s a warning."—Jennifer Clement, author of Prayers for the Stolen
“The impossibly moving story of two damaged youths who forge from their amour fou a love that will light the decades ahead. With playfulness and charm, with iron conviction, Fever at Dawn will convince you that it’s possible not only to survive the worst of human hell, but to transcend it.”—Francisco Goldman, author of Say Her Name
“Books don’t make me cry. Fever At Dawn did. Drawing you in with pathos and playful wit, it squeezes the heart with sorrow and leaves it expanded with joy and love.”—Gabor Maté M.D., author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
“A magnificent novel, tonally flawless, its humor defiant in the face of vast tragedy.”—Joan London, author of Gilgamesh and The Good Parents
From the Inside Flap
Love is the best medicine.
July 1945. Miklos, a twenty-five-year-old Hungarian marooned in a Swedish hospital, has just been given a death sentence. His lungs are filled with fluid and in six months he will be gone. But Miklos has never felt more alive, and he certainly didn t endure a concentration camp only to drown from within. And so he wages war on his own fate: he acquires the names of the 117 Hungarian women also recovering in Sweden, and he writes a letter to each of them in his beautiful cursive hand. One of these women, he is sure, will become his wife.
In another part of the country, Lili reads his letter and decides to write back. For the next few months, the two engage in a funny, absurd, hopeful epistolary dance. Eventually, they find a way to meet.
Based on the true story of Peter Gardos s parents, and drawn from their letters, Fever at Dawn is captivating readers around the world a vibrant, ribald, and improbably joyous tale showing the death-defying power of the human will to live and to love."
Top customer reviews
Miklos was one of 224 concentration camp survivors being taken from Lubeck, Germany to Stockholm, Sweden. Most of them were in such poor shape that it was a miracle that they survived. Miklos had tuberculous and although it wasn’t contagious, it was still in a form that would result in his ding. He had been mistaken as a deserter and beaten until all of his teeth were knocked out. They were replaced with metal teeth. Miklos had sent to the Swedish Office for Refugees and asked for a list of names and addresses of 117 young Hungarian women who were in various temporary housed in Sweden. He wrote to all 117 individuals intending to find a wife among the women. The women were all under thirty and were from Debrecen. One of those letters went to Lily Reich who was a patient with a kidney problem. Lily wrote back.
As they write back and forth, Miklos keeps trying to find a way to go and meet her. Since his doctor gave him 6 months to live, he put a priority on seeing her. When he finally made it to her hospital, he couldn’t stay long. However, in those three days, they fell in love.
What happens to them and how, is what makes the book interesting. It is definitely a different type of Holocaust biography.