Katy's Reviews > Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague

Year of Wonders by Geraldine  Brooks
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Mar 28, 08

Read in March, 2008

I have to say that I liked this book. But, I was greatly disappointed in it. I came to the book knowing of the sacrifice of that village and knowing, too, that when people sacrifice in such a way they are abundantly blessed by God. Unfortunately, the latter was completely missing in this book. It is easy to be an onlooker to suffering and assume that you’ve seen the injustice and the loss and the pain and that there is nothing else to see. This is not only completely at odds with everything I believe to be true but also at odds with people I know who have suffered and the tales they tell of the comfort they have received. In the not too far distant history of my own people there is a sad tale of suffering and deaths of the daily “will this never end?” type. However, unlike the survivors of Eyam, we have their own words of the experience and as one survivor said, “The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay.” Surely there were miracles in that village as they sacrificed for the good of their people. Surely God walked with them. Surely there were wonders. Unfortunately there was nothing of this in the book. We are left only with what the author assumes would be left after such a year – a rector who no longer believes and a village that doesn’t either. You can write a lot of things from our atheistic, modern standpoint, but in the matter of a village who sacrificed for their fellow man in the name of a God in whom they all believed, you can not write and get it right. You can not write of such things and leave God out. It leaves out half of the story and the most important half at that. My guess is that those villagers were never the same, but not in the hopeless way the author assumes. My guess is that for those villagers, they never had to look to the skies and wonder anymore if God was there and if He were listening, because my guess is that for them, all doubt had been swept away. They now knew He was there because He had walked with them in their year of wonders. That was the story I wanted to hear.
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Bobbi Bravo! Great point. Great review. Not so great book after all.

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