The Year of Wonders - A Book Review | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Year of Wonders - A Book Review

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, Published by Harper Collins, Paperback, ISBN: 9781841154589, Aust RRP: $24.99

I've only read one other Geraldine Brooks novel and that was People of the Book. I def enjoyed this one more. Basically because this one is pure historical, where as People of the Book is a mix of historical and contemporary and I didn't enjoy the contemporary parts as much as the historical fiction.

What B.o.B says -
When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated mountain village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the plague year, 1666, as her fellow villagers make an extraordinary choice: convinced by a visionary young minister, they elect to quarantine themselves within the villiage boundaries to arrest the spread of the disease. But as death reaches into every household, faith frays. When the villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must confront the deaths of family members, the disintergration of her community, and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive, a year of plague becomes instead an annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders".
This is a very well thought-out story. Brooks was inspired by the true story of the villagers of Eyam, Derbyshire. Whilst Brooks was visiting the English countryside she came across the town of Eyam and was intrigued by a finger post that pointed the way to the PLAGUE VILLAGE. She researched the town and their decision to quarantine themselves, and developed the idea for this novel.

The story flows well, there aren't any real slow parts, I found myself devouring this book to discover the fate of Anna and the village. Anna is a great character and you really feel like your undertaking this journey with her. You feel her pain at the loss of family members and lovers, her confusion about faith in God, and her realisation of inner strength. The historical elements are very interesting and Brooks has obviously spent a long time researching the period to really bring it alive in your mind.

If you enjoyed the historical aspects of People of the Book, or any other type of historical fiction then I think you'll enjoy this.

Thumbs Up.

2 comments:

  1. sounds great. I enjoyed both March and People of the Book. I've picked this one up a few times but never stopped to read it.

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  2. I live in Derbyshire, so "year of wonders" is kind of required reading ... decent book, very sad. Since reading it a couple of years back I have intended to go up to Eyam for a visit, but haven't managed it yet. I really should.

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