It may be a cliche – truth is stranger than fiction – but it says it so well. I’ve had author friends tell me they’ve received negative reviews for what the reviewer perceived as too unbelievable – when in fact, those unbelievable tidbits came from real life stories.
Set in the first half of the 1900s, Coulson’s Wife was unable to avoid the Influenza of 1918, especially considering the first part of the book takes place in Philadelphia which was devastated by the lethal influenza. This epidemic is considered the worse in recorded history, claiming more lives than World War I, which was winding down about the same time as the influenza.
One fictional anecdote mentioned in the book actually comes from a true story. It tells of four ladies who get together to play bridge, and they all end up dying by the end of the evening. Supposedly, something like that did happen.
You can read more about the Influenza of 1918 and the real bridge ladies, by clicking here.