Roisin's Reviews > Year of Wonders

Year of Wonders by Geraldine  Brooks
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Feb 03, 08

Recommended for: no one
Read in February, 2008

I have to admit that I have never been a huge fan of historical fiction so this is not the kind of book that I would normally read. Having read several positive reviews and been impressed by the author's credentials, however, I started reading with an open mind. The writing style was very welcoming and drew you in from the beginning and I warmed to the strength of Anna, the protagonist. I felt however that the story became so flawed and was so inconsistently paced that by the final page I had lost all respect for the novel as a whole. If you have not read the book [and still intend to do so] please stop reading for I will probably ruin it for you but the amount crammed into the final 20 pages was so utterly ludicrous that the story completely fell down and you felt like you were reading a piece of creative writing written by a GCSE student who is running out of time in an exam. Within these final pages the [previously rather promising] heroine has a highly charged affair with the husband of her dead best friend, discovers he's something of a psychopath, delivers a baby, rescues the baby from being murdered, runs away from the village she has never left in her life [taking the baby with her], is chased by the babies family, boards a ship and [somehow!] ends up part of an esteemed doctors hareem of wives acting as his assistant and bringing up the rescued child and a bastard child of her own fathered by the psychotic clergyman [widower of her best friend]. Phew! All plausibility is completely lost. I normally have some love for novels which are an easy read and have this degree of originality this, however, is utter rubbish.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Mel (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mel Great review Roisin. I was just trying to explain the difference in the last part of the book to a friend. I used words like weird, faster pace, and bad action movie. You hit the nail on the head when you wrote, " the final 20 pages was so utterly ludicrous that the story completely fell down and you felt like you were reading a piece of creative writing written by a GCSE student who is running out of time in an exam." It could have been a great book.


Cissy I just laughed out loud at your great run-on sentence summing up the end. (The ending itself felt like a run-on sentence, didn't it?) You got it exactly right.


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