Year of Wonders A Novel of the Plague Author:Geraldine Brooks This gripping historical novel is based on the true story of Eyam, the "Plague Village," in the rugged mountain spine of England. In 1666, a tainted bolt of cloth from London carries bubonic infection to this isolated settlement of shepherds and lead miners. A visionary young preacher convinces the villagers to seal themselves off in a deadly qu... more »arantine to prevent the spread of disease. The story is told through the eyes of eighteen-year-old Anna Frith, the vicar's maid, as she confronts the loss of her family, the disintegration of her community, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit love. As the death toll rises and people turn from prayers and herbal cures to sorcery and murderous witch-hunting, Anna emerges as an unlikely and courageous heroine in the village's desperate fight to save itself.
Exploring love and learning, fear and fanaticism, and the struggle of science and religion to interpret the world at the cusp of the modern era, Year of Wonders is at once a story of unconventional love and a richly detailed evocation of a riveting moment in history. Like Arthur Golden's Memories of a Geisha and A. S. Byatt's Posession, Year of Wonders blends learning and romance into an unforgettable read.« less
A riviting and vivid account of a 17th century village that becomes stricken with The Plague. Year of Wonders shows us the very best and the very worst of human nature.
My two complaints about the story was the surprise true character/personality of the Rector at the end of the novel. I didn't buy it and didn't much like it. I also didn't much care for the epilogue. It didn't seem to fit the rest of the book in my opinion. I felt like I was reading an epilogue to some other book not the one I was just nearly finishing.
Other than those two pieces of criticism I did enjoy reading this although not meant for the faint hearted. Many passages were very hard to get through emotionally.
L. G. (L) reviewed Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague on
Helpful Score: 4
Wow - what an amazing story! Thanks to whomever it was that suggested this book. I thought Ms. Brooks captured Anna's voice quite well and really brought her to life. I loved the use of arcane words and actually had to look some of them up! There were so many things happening and the character development was awesome. Be forewared, though, that this is not a book for the faint of heart - it deals with horrible deaths, witch hunts, rampages and murder.
This is definitely an author (and book) I will read again, and I'm keeping this one on my "Keeper" shelf.
My only criticism is that I thought there was sopme gratuitous sex and sexual discussion which detracted from the story. I'm not sure why authors insist on adding sex - it does nothing for me, personally, but maybe others get into that sort of thing. I just sort of find it annoying. :)
I would love to see this book made into a film. I imagined Anna Paquin as Anna, Gwenth Paltrow as Elinor and yummy Keanu Reeves as Michael Mompellion.
In closing, all I can say is thank God for antibiotics!
I enjoyed the book, though it is not for the weak stomached or heavy hearted. The novel illustrates the will of the human spirit and the want of life when there is nothing else to want. The story truly brings you back the 17th century in diction but still remains a simple and light read.
While not my usual genre of book I read for a book club and actually enjoyed. ( I had expected to be bored going into it.) Really shows the strength of the human spirit and the wonder at what humans will do when faced with trials. The book has vivid, easily pictured charcacters all self quarantined in a small village to try and keep the plague from spreading. Told from the view point of one strong young woman who helps nurse the ill, bury the dead, counsel the hurting all while struggling with her own losses and loves.
I love Geraldine Brooks' writing! I had previously read "People of the Book" and found it to be a very rich, haunting story. That was the case with this book as well. The story is so engrossing, you simply don't want to put it down. I highly recommend it!