While I had just quit reading Anthony Bourdain's Medium Raw — because it seemed to go no where except around his addictions, how he was treated by Food Network and his career choices — I was still interested in reading what he had to say about the woman found to carry typhoid even after surviving the illness. And in this, he proved more or less to be a talented and sympathetic writer. Yes, both of them were cooks and for poor, uneducated Mary, who probably never quite understood why her life became the way it did, this book has a gentle understanding quality to it. While we may never know her whole story — this book gives more depth to the woman who represented the turn-of-the-century poor, the immigrant classes, the uneducated who had to struggle daily to make a living. How harsh it must have been for her to be told she could have her freedom if she only disregarded her God-given talent of cooking because she would surely contaminate others. How sad to realize how quickly her life effectively ended.