The Second Life of Mirielle West

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The Second Life of Mirielle West begins when she is sent to the hospital due to a strange patch of skin on her thumb. It turns out that she most likely has leprosy, and in 1926, all lepers had to move to the only leper colony in America, which was located in Carville, Louisiana. It represents a huge change for Mirielle, who is married to a silent movie star and is used to lavish parties and being surrounded by rich people. She has to change her name to save her family from the shame of having a leper as a wife and mother. Mirielle initially tries to avoid the other colonists, but she soon starts to realize they’re also people with families who they have been ripped away from. Maybe the colony is where she will truly find herself?

This book provides a great picture of what life was like for a leper in 1920s America. The stigma that surrounded the disease was horrible, and it was sad to see people abandoned and shamed for something that wasn’t their fault. I had never heard of the colony, so despite it being a fictional story, it was fun to learn something new. If you enjoy historical fiction, I recommend you add this book to your summer reading list.


Reviewed By:

Author Amanda Skenandore
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 384 pages
Publisher Kensington
Publish Date 2021-Jul-27
ISBN 9781496726513
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue August 2021
Category Historical Fiction
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