Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague
In Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks chronicles life in a tiny English village in the year 1666. What makes this "year of wonders" so fascinating is that it was the year in which an outbreak of bubonic plague struck England. Brooks's novel is based on the historical village of Eyam in the Pennine Mountains, whose ...more
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In order to review, I have to break the book up between pages so that you can see where the trainwreck happened for me, and why I'm so PO'ed I could almost cry....
REVIEW FOR PAGES 1-255
Rating: 5 stars (I'd give it 10 stars if Goodreads had that designation, but since 5 stars means it was amazing, then 5 stars it is)
Year of Wonders: Pag ...more
1666 was ...more
None of the last 50pp - new character development COMPLETELY in opposition and nonsensical to anything that went before, new sub-plots suggested and followed - were either necessary or sensible. ALL of it was entirely a contrivan ...more
This touching and sometimes grotesquely explicit novel set in 1666 England is full of heartbreaking stories depicting unbelievable cruelty, superstitions, profiteering from the dead and the...more
I've known the story since I was very small & been to the place
The protagonist is a poor woman
The most heroic character is a liberated woman
The most courageous characters are all women
The author celebrates the lore and spirituality of cunning women
The author celebrates love, loyalty and friendship between women
The author celebrates communalist values and mutual care
The author takes witch-hunting to task as a masculist power-grab
The author takes Puritanism to task
Year of Wonders is a novel inspired by the true story of the little town of Eyam in Derbyshire, known as the Plague Village, during the years 1665 - 1666. Although the cause of how the plague showed up in their village is still unknown, the villagers' decision to quarantine themselves in order to stop the spread of the deadly disease has sealed their place in history.
Geraldine Brooks provides us with a fictional account of what life looked like from within the Plague Villag ...more
Spoilers abound below along with a not insignificant amount of profanity:(view spoiler)[
So, expecting this book to be bleak, I shunted all of the emotions I anticipated feeling into the area of my heart where I keep my New York Mets fandom. You know, these guys:
Sufficed to say their years of incompetence and disappointment have formed a nice level of scar tissue over that part of my metaphorical heart. So whatever ...more
Read and you will learn about their puritan ways and the plague that clai ...more
A realistic, grim account of England’s Great Plague of 1665-1666 as told by Anna, a very young village widow. Brooks’s writing is what makes this bearable and compelling to read.
The Black Death had been around for hundreds of years--during the Roman Empire and the late Middle Ages—but this is about the outbreak in Restoration England. Charles II and the court removed themselves to the countryside, and this village decided to quarantine itself.
The story opens in “Leaf-Fall, 1666”, after the w ...more
While reading I thought of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and of course Camus’ The Plague (and I forgive her much about the ending for the mention of Oran which could NOT have been coincidence).
This is simply, elegantly written and yet the force and brutality of the plot, told in such straightforward prose is also reminiscent of Sinners in the Hands of ...more
Year of Wonders is inspired by a true story of a village called Eyam in England, which experienced an outbreak of the plague in 1666. Our story focuses on Anna, a housemaid for the village priest, and her experiences with loss, family, and commu ...more
To begin, the text style is somewhat repellant as it is bland and one dimensional, lacking depth and energy. Also absent is a strong sense of imagery, with a monotone and drab voice, causing the reader to want to scan the pages (trust me, you won’t m ...more
A solid effort from Geraldine Brooks. Especially impressive is her masterful writing throughout, which is quite beautiful and striking. No question about it, this is a sad book; however, it's not depressing. You feel for the main character's plight, but you have faith in her strength. That is what I think keeps the book from depressing the reader. The story focuses on a small cast of characters that Brooks has fleshed out nicely, and the plot is tight ...more
Historical novels are the perfect niche for Geraldine Brooks. She does ample research, then creates a perfect blend of fact and fiction.
This book is based on a true story about the village of Eyam, Derbyshire, where they really did quarantine themselves during the Black Plague of the 17th century. People long ago didn't understand how disease was transmitted, so they r ...more
It’s a fabulous historical novel. I wish ALL historical novels were like this. Everything is spot on: the attention to detail is perfect, the pacing just right, the writing style readable and intelligent. Best of all is the author’s grasp of ...more
God warns us not to love any earthly thing above Himself, and yet He sets in a mother's heart such a fierce passion for her babes that I do not comprehend how He can test us so.
I did not know what to expect of this title, as some of my GR friends loved it, and others loathed it. I'm sort of in the middle with my 3.5 stars. To be fair I think if I read this at a calmer time in my life, where the reading of it would have been less interrupted I would have enjoyed it more. The writing itself was be ...more
Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, and attended Bethlehem College Ashfield and the University of Sydney. She worked as a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald for three years as a feature writer with a special interest in environmental issu ...more