Cathy Douglas's Reviews > Year of Wonders

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
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's review
Jan 17, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-classic-fiction
Read in February, 2009

Brooks gets deep into the point of view of a fictional character in a real setting. While the book was slow-paced, it was also beautiful. I though the contemplative narrative worked very well for the theme of the book. It's a story of emotion and personal growth rather than action.

There really was a plague village in England that shut itself off from the world in 1666, and there really was a servant named Anna Frith. But that's about all anyone knows about this character. Brooks invented a lot to fill out her story, and much of it is unlikely. But it's unlikely in the same way real life is, so I don't begrudge her a few plot twists.

The one thing that bothered me about it was that the "bad" characters -- the wimpy rich people, the violent father -- just didn't ring true. For example, the rich folk don't just ditch the town, they turn out all the servants, refuse to help anyone, and act rude besides. While all the "good" characters have some flaws, the "bad" ones are overdrawn.

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01/17/2009 page 75

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