COURAGE BETWEEN LOVE AND DEATH
BY JOSEPH PILLITTERI
Publication Date: March 29, 2018
eBook & Paperback; 302 Pages
Elspeth has recently landed a nursing position at the 1901 Pan American Exposition Hospital in Buffalo, New York. This is a big boon for her, but things are not going as expected. She has to navigate mischievous patients, egotistical doctors, rival nurses and prejudices. For an Irish girl with a temper, this is no easy feat. Now President McKinley is coming to visit the Expo and everyone is in an uproar. On the home front, her life is no less hectic as she struggles to put food on the table and look out for her younger siblings.
When the unthinkable happens, it is a turning point, not only for the medical industry and our country’s security, but also for Elspeth personally. With her career and reputation on the line, will she have the courage to overcome the challenges she faces to clear her name and continue to be there for the ones she loves?
Buy the Book:
AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND
Praise for Courage Between Love and Death
“…Pilliterri deftly weaves together the state of medicine, the social class spectrum and a light love story…the chaos of the surgery on the President and the anxious days till his death provide palpable tension…” —Dr. Jean Richardson, Associate Professor, Emeritus, SUNY Buffalo State College
“…Joseph Pillitteri’s writing is flawless and delightful. The tension builds up very fast and doesn’t slow down until the satisfying conclusion. Courage Between Love and Death is focused, deft, and balanced, and the reader will follow the protagonist through her emotional and psychological turmoil until the very last page. A gripping story with great historical references, it’s an edge of the seat read. Courage Between Love and Death by Joseph Pillitteri is a historical novel that is well-researched and written to great satisfaction.” —Christian Sia, Readers’ Favorite
“Courage Between Love and Death is a well-researched and masterfully crafted historical novel with strong characters and a mesmerizing plot. Apart from developing a very strong conflict, Joseph Pillitteri does a brilliant job in weaving powerful dialogues and intrigue into the story. The reader is transported into an atmospheric world with medical personnel, strong personalities, and a historic event that will remain engraved in the minds of many. There is so much to enjoy in this novel — the drama, the emotional and psychological intensity of the story, the excellent prose and the compelling characters. I was sucked into the narrative from the very first page.” —Romuald Dzemo, Readers’ Favorite
About the Author
While working at Roswell Park Memorial Hospital in Buffalo, NY, Joseph Pillitteri became intrigued by the role Dr. Park played in the surgery of President McKinley at the 1901 Pan American Exposition. It was a pleasure to shape facts and fiction together to tell the story.
Previous works by Pillitteri include When the Giraffe Runs Down (Dial Press), Two Hours on Sunday (Dial Press), The Abortion (Penguin Books), and Life Pulse (Penguin Books).
Elspeth Shaughnesshey is the daughter of Irish Immigrants living in Buffalo, NY. In 1901, The Pan American Exposition sets up in Buffalo. Having completed her nursing training, El is fortunate to snag a job at the Exhibition Hospital. However, the exposition hospital is temporary and the Shaughnesshey family is continuing to grow. With her father's death, the bar that the Shaughnesshey family runs is failing. El knows she needs to bring money into the family, she strives for a permanent nursing position at Buffalo General, but also has her eyes on a wealthy Exposition doctor, Dr. Kingdom in hopes of securing funds for her family. While working to get Dr. Kingdom's attention, a new doctor, Dr. Gunner joins the hospital and throws El's emotions askew. Not to mention, President McKinley is visiting the Expo and an anarchist is following closely behind. When the anarchist takes a shot at McKinley, El is thrown into the team of doctors that does their best to deal with the assassination attempt.
This is an in-depth and interesting view of the assassination of President McKinley. I was very interested in this story because I enjoy reading about local history. I grew up not to far from Buffalo, NY and knew about the fate of President McKinley, but not much else. I loved that the story was told from El's point of view, a nurse that was told to stay in the background and not talk, but usually did anything but. Through El's position as a nurse and her family's placement, El was able to have views of both the assassin, the President and the doctors who attempted to save his life. El gave insight into the medical practices of the day and the disparaging viewpoints at the time. It was fascinating to find out about the sanitation practices for medicine, that the X-Ray that had just been developed was not used to find the bullet in President McKinley's abdomen, that an obstetrician was the operating surgeon as well as how McKinley lived his last days. The historical facts of McKinley's assassination attempt, operation and death were expertly woven into an exciting fictional story. The development of El's character also let me see how an Irish family living in Buffalo was treated at the time. El's development throughout the story and courage to find love where she wasn't looking was a sweet interlude in an otherwise tragic tale.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.