Audio book Review: The Plague And I by Betty MacDonald

13 January 2017

Audiobook Title: The Plague and I
Author: Betty MacDonald
Narrator: Heather Henderson
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press
Length: 8 hours 48 minutes (unabridged)

"The Plague and I" recounts MacDonald's experiences in a Seattle sanitarium, where the author spent almost a year (1938-39) battling tuberculosis. The White Plague was no laughing matter, but MacDonald nonetheless makes a sprightly tale of her brush with something deadly.
"Anybody Can Do Anything" is a high-spirited, hilarious celebration of how "the warmth and loyalty and laughter of a big family" brightened their weathering of the Great Depression.

In "Onions in the Stew", MacDonald is in unbuttonedly frolicsome form as she describes how, with husband and daughters, she set to work making a life on a rough-and-tumble island in Puget Sound, a ferry ride from Seattle.


A fascinating insight in to life as a patient in a sanitarium in the 1930's and the battle against tuberculosis. The story details the challenges of surviving and the relationships formed during a difficult time, both positive and negative. Written in an upbeat manner on what could have been a very dark topic, MacDonald has told the story in an engaging and engrossing way. The time simply passed me by as I listened to the telling. Well recorded and narrated in a manner that made it easy to listen to, I found myself completely immersed in the story; I was in the sanitarium with MacDonald, living through the highs, and lows, as though I too were suffering through the strife that is tuberculosis.

I was fascinated with the first-hand account of tuberculosis treatment from that period and how different, and similar!, it is to medical treatment in the modern era. Many a time I gasped at the treatment regime and how antiquated it seemed to be compared to modern treatment.

An enthralling book that I thoroughly enjoyed, I can't wait for the next book!

Audio Exerpt


GRAND PRIZE: $100 credit for the Post Hypnotic Press Website The Plague and I Runner Up $60 credit for the Post Hypnotic Press Website The Plague and I 3rd Runner Up

Author Bio

Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, andThe Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year. The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters.
MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island).
Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first official biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.
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Narrator Bio

Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts.  Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire;  and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine.   She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry.  In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Post Hypnotic Press, Inc. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.


  1. The Plague and I sounds like a really good autobiography by an accomplished author and I shall definitely read it.

    1. It's a brilliant book we are addicted to the series!

  2. I think that medicine has improved a great deal in recent years - thank goodness!

  3. What a fabulous giveaway, thanks for the chance!

  4. Thank you so much for this amazing chance, it would be a dream to win :) x

  5. Great books as we have a couple.

  6. Thanks for participating in our audiobook virtual tour and for the great review. Did you also listen to THE EGG AND I as part of our first virtual tour? I was rather overwhelmed through that and may have missed a few posts! :) If you haven't had a chance to listen to it, you should give it a go, too. I'd be happy to offer you a comp in exchange for an honest review on your blog and posted to audible. :)

    1. Hi Carlyn

      We didn't get a chance to listen to The Egg and I as we didn't have a slot available during the tour but if it's anything like this one we'd love to!

      If you drop us a message to we can get a slot in

  7. These sound really interesting

  8. This looks like such an amazing competition. Thanks for the chance x

  9. What a great giveaway, thanks for the chance!


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