In each story the merging of the pursuit of knowledge and the practical struggle of life creates a beautiful tapestry of these fictional worlds, each grounded in a historical reality. Barrett introduces the science to a lay audience with such care and discipline that when I finished reading the stories, I felt that I had learned a great deal about botany, genetics, taxonomy, biology, biochemistry, and the nature of epidemics. But I also felt that I had been brought directly into the lives of those involved in these discoveries; their success was my success not just emotionally: my understanding of the world has, in major ways, been shaped by their work, and I am grateful to recognize this. A recommended read for those who enjoy this wonderful union between science and literary fiction.
Barrett, Andrea. Ship Fever. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1996.