Mother Killers.jpg

Mother Killers

Sponsored by Griffin Bookshop

[email protected]

Mother Killers

by John Piper

DR JOHN Piper is a well-known character in the Algarve, as a surgeon and as a longstanding resident. This is his first foray into the world of writing and a book signing session and reading will take place on Wednesday, February 21, from 11.30am to 1pm, at the Hotel Garbe in Armaçao de Pêra, hosted by the Griffin Bookshop.

This powerful novel from John Piper recounts the history of the struggle to control the devastating disease known as ‘childbed fever’ (puerperal fever); the horrific disease that killed thousands of women and their babies across Europe and North America during the 19th century.

Set in Vienna, the book is based on the true story of Ignaz Semmelweis, a young Hungarian obstetrician. Through the eyes of a fictional young woman (Charlotte), who is having her baby in hospital, the reader witnesses the squalor and overcrowding and feels the terror experienced by the mothers and mothers-to-be. Charlotte herself contracts the dreaded disease.

Told with passion and a meticulous eye for historical accuracy, this novel describes the appalling conditions in which doctors and nurses worked in the latter half of the 19th century. It shows how Semmelweis overcame the ignorance and bigotry in the medical professional, at the time, to find the cause of and a cure for, this killer illness.

Fascinating for healthcare professionals, social historians and those interested in women’s issues, this heart rending tale, based on true events, has enormous and broad appeal for all of us, who enjoy a gripping historical novel.

Dr John Piper NB, BS, FRCS, was born in Essex. He read medicine at the University of London, trained in surgery at the Royal Free Hospital and worked as a consultant surgeon in hospitals in England until 1977, when he travelled to work in Iran, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

In 1985, he created the Department of Surgery in the new Manapo Hospital in the black South African homeland of Qwagwa. He has lived and practised in Portugal and the Algarve for nearly 20 years and has become a popular figure among international residents.

Don’t miss the opportunity to pre-book your copy of Mother Killers. Call 289 393 904, email [email protected] or visit by February 12, to reserve your copy available at the special price of 23 euros (normal price 26.50 euros.

Everyone is welcome to attend the book signing and reading event at the Hotel Garbe on February 21, enjoy a pre-lunch glass of wine and hear about John Piper’s inspiration and experience writing this highly readable novel.