Audiobook Review & Giveaway: The Plague and I by Betty MacDonald



Author: Betty MacDonald

Narrator: Heather Henderson

Length: 8 hours 48 minutes

Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press⎮2016

Genre: Humor, Memoir





“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.





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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.




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 chose to listen to this audiobook after receiving a free copy from Audiobookworm Promotions. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Plague and I is about the 8 months that Betty MacDonald spend in a sanatorium with tuberculosis. She is such a gifted storyteller that even this was a delightful read. 


I enjoyed Betty MacDonald’s description of the other patients and the nurses. She was not only observant but straightforward about what she experienced, as well as her feelings about the patients, nurses, and herself. There were times she got so depressed being alone and away from her family. Other times,  she was able to delight in the little things such as being able to read for 15 minutes a day. I can’t imagine having to lie in bed all day long with absolutely nothing to do. No reading, writing, or even talking.

The narrator, Heather Henderson, has a pleasant voice and I enjoyed listening to her. She did a great job of using different voices for different characters. She also narrated The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald so it was nice to associate her voice with Betty’s stories.

I definitely recommend The Plague and I if you enjoy a good story and I am looking forward to listening to Anybody Can Do Anything by Betty MacDonald in the near future.




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




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