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Sunday, July 22, 2018

A Daring Venture

A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden is a historical novel about a biochemist who finds herself embroiled in a landmark discovery at the turn of the century.

Doctor Rosalind Werner is part of a crusade against water-borne diseases in early 1900s New York. She helps discover groundbreaking technology to change the way water is delivered to households, if she can get people to believe in her work. Many people mistakenly believe that they will be poisoned by the chlorine that will actually prevent disease.

Newly appointed Commissioner of Water for NY Nicholas Drake is skeptical of Rosalind’s ideas and they have a court case confrontation. But, the attraction between them is evident. As their relationship develops, they are still on opposing sides of the water issue.

The history behind this book is so interesting! — The real life Dr. John Leal and Mr. George Fuller developed a way to feed chlorine into the water system and were sued by the city. After  more than 2 years passed, they were eventually were able to implement the system. Deaths from cholera, typhoid, and other waterborne diseases plummeted wherever it was implemented. And, by 1914, more than half of the US was receiving chlorinated water. The Clean Water Act had more of an impact on disease prevention than many people know. Dr. Leal is credited with saving millions of lives around the world. Though I did not know this information beforehand, it made the novel that much more intriguing. 

The publisher provided a review copy of A Daring Venture.