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

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
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Aug 22, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: book-club, historical-fiction
Read in January, 2003 , read count: 2

First reading was in late 2001. I did enjoy the book but felt there were at least a couple of anachronisms. It made me think of several other books I'd read which is something I enjoy- love it when a book conjures up connections. The first part of the book was a bit slow but it pepped up in the final chapters. I found the epilogue to be a very interesting and unexpected twist although many have said they disliked that part.

Second reading was for f2f discussion in Jan 2003. For a re-read it held my interest from start to finish. The oddly tacked on ending did not seem as abrupt this time as I saw where it was foreshadowed earlier in the book. Discussion was fun- we combined this book with A Parcel of Patterns by Jill Paton-Walsh, a young adult novel that also deals with the plague in the village of Eyam. I served "plague cookies" - peanut butter cookies shaped like rats with sliced almond ears, licorice whip tails, cinnamon dot red eyes and 'fleas' made out of chocolate sprinkles.

I did wonder if Brooks had read the earlier Walsh title ('83) and been influenced by it or if they just used the same source material as parts of the two books were remarkably similar. Concensus in the group was that while the Brooks version was written in a more complicated and "artistic" style, the YA novel was the better written and more believable story.
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