Wickett's Remedy

Goldberg follows up her debut, Bee Season, with this historical novel juxtaposing the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918 against the rise and fall of a fictional soda-maker. While Southie shopgirl Lydia Wickett volunteers to assist with flu transmission experiments on human subjects, a shady business partner turns her husband's recipe for a cure-all syrup into a popular soft drink. Goldberg's likable characters form a vivid portrait of the Boston of 1918, but the soda subplot quickly goes flat.