It's 1849 and Lucas Whitaker is an orphan. His whole family has died of consumption as have many, many people in his community. He becomes apprenticed to the apothecary, Dr. Uriah M. Beecher. Everyone is desperate to stop the spread of this disease but they don't really know what the cure is. There is one remedy that can be tried....but it is a truly macabre practice involving the heart of a corpse. This is an interesting approach to historical fiction and may please a young reader who otherwise would resist the genre.