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Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Year of Wonders (2001)

by Geraldine Brooks

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,217355792 (3.97)616
  1. 200
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (labfs39, wrmjr66, helgagrace)
  2. 50
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    The Black Death: A Personal History by John Hatcher (meggyweg)
  6. 20
    Down the Common: A Year in the Life of a Medieval Woman by Ann Baer (Bookmarque)
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    A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly (jilld17)
  8. 10
    Restoration by Rose Tremain (kiwiflowa)
  9. 10
    The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman (wordcauldron)
  10. 10
    Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Mopsy)
  11. 10
    The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History by John M. Barry (labfs39)
    labfs39: For a non-fiction account of the 1918 pandemic that many thought was the Black Plague come again
  12. 21
    A Parcel of Patterns by Jill Paton Walsh (SylviaC)
    SylviaC: A book for younger readers about the same plague outbreak in the same town. It is interesting to compare the two stories.
  13. 00
    Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan (wordcauldron)
    wordcauldron: A girl who outlives her parents during an influenza outbreak and encounters a deceitful plan by a couple that lost their daughter during the same outbreak.
  14. 00
    The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague by Dorsey Armstrong (wordcauldron)
    wordcauldron: Informative and intriguing university-level lecture about the plague. Sort of a micro history. Good for those who want some non-fiction about this topic!
  15. 00
    A Poultice for a Healer by Caroline Roe (wordcauldron)
  16. 11
    The Crucible by Arthur Miller (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks may be paired with The Crucible by Arthur Miller.
  17. 00
    The Horseman on the Roof by Jean Giono (caittilynn)
    caittilynn: I couldn't find the title listed in English, but the Horseman on the Roof tells the story of a young man traveling through the Provence region of France when there is an epidemic of cholera and he is suddenly forced to deal with death, opportunism and fearful townspeople.… (more)
  18. 00
    Revolutionary by Alex Myers (GreenVelvet)
    GreenVelvet: Detailed, meticulously-researched historical fiction with intelligent female protagonists, exploration of gender roles
  19. 00
    The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (BookshelfMonstrosity)

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» See also 616 mentions

English (352)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (356)
Showing 1-5 of 352 (next | show all)
This was a very well written historical fiction novel. I thought Brooks did an amazing job of describing life for the working classes during the plague. She also did an amazing job of describing the wealthy attitudes toward the plague and how to prevent it. This would have been a five star book for me except for the ending. That did not seem very realistic to me. ( )
  jguidry | Jul 9, 2019 |
I don't expect historical fiction to be entirely without anachronisms. It is inevitable that the work must have a few of these to be relatable to the modern reader. This book, however, just has too many for me to enjoy.

DNF at 12%. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Jul 9, 2019 |
When the plague visits an isolated village in the English countryside, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers endure a self-imposed quarantine to keep the disease from spreading.

This was an interesting story where Anna helps the Rector and his wife take care of people and deal with people’s fears. She encounters superstition, witchcraft, people taking advantage of other people, drunkenness, faith, no faith, and fanatical religion. Anna grows from being a humble servant to being rather bold in her actions and there were several surprises in the end. The ending was a bit questionable but I liked it. ( )
  gaylebutz | Jun 17, 2019 |
The author reads the story and her voice was a little strange but soothing. It's the story of the year in a life of a plague survivor in 17th century England. It's terribly sad, but also has its sweet moments. Anna's story ends fancifully, but she deserved nice things. ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
"If all who have the means run each time this disease appears, then the seeds of the Plague will go with them and be sown far and wide throughout the land until the clean places are infected and the contagion is magnified a thousandfold. If God saw fit to send this scourge, I believe it would be His will that one face it where one was, with courage, and thus contain its evil."
Geraldine Brooks again picks a piece of history to weave together a story that both illuminates the time and speaks volumes about the human condition. I have read several of her novels and have enjoyed them all, perhaps March being my favorite. In this story, Ms. Brooks uses Anna Finch, a maid to the rector of the church, to narrate how the people in a small town in England,(this part true), were convince by their religious leader to quarantine themselves in an effort to not spread the Plague.
Anna lives a simple, noble existence, married to a miner when her life takes a turn. He is killed in a collapse and as a widow, she takes on a lodger. He is a tailor who has traveled greatly and whose garments probably contain the fleas that bring the bubonic plague to the small village. Her story of working for the rector, forming a close friendship with his wife, Elinor, and her transformation over time make for fascinating reading, all wrapped in a tapestry of actual events. I Highly recommend and will continue to make sure I've read of this author's works ( )
  novelcommentary | May 7, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 352 (next | show all)
Discriminating readers who view the term historical novel with disdain will find that this debut by praised journalist Brooks (Foreign Correspondence) is to conventional work in the genre as a diamond is to a rhinestone. With an intensely observant eye, a rigorous regard for period detail, and assured, elegant prose, Brooks re-creates a year in the life of a remote British village decimated by the bubonic plague.
added by lucyknows | editSCIS (pay site)

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brooks, Geraldineprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Diano, FrancescaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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O let it be enough what thou hast done,
When spotted deaths ran arm'd through every street,
With poison'd darts, which not the good could shun,
The speedy could outfly, or valiant meet.

The living few, and frequent funerals then,
Proclaim'd thy wrath on this forsaken place:
And now those few who are return'd agen
Thy searching judgments to their dwellings trace.

- From Annus Mirabilis, The Year of Wonders, 1666, by John Dryden
For Tony
Without you, I never would
have gone there.
First words
I used to love this season.
Good yield does not come without suffering, it does not come without struggle, and toil, and yes, loss.
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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated mountain village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer.

Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the plague year, 1666, as her fellow villagers make an extraordinary choice. Convinced by a visionary young minister, they elect to quarantine themselves within the village boundaries to arrest the spread of the disease.

But as death reaches into every housebold, faith frays. When villagers turn from prayers and herbal cures to sorcery and murderous witch-hunting, Anna must confront the deaths of family, the disintegration of her community, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit love. As she struggles to survive, a year of plague becomes, instead, annus mirablilis, a "year of wonders."

Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged mountain spine of England, Year of Wonders is a richly detailed evocation of a singular moment in history. Written with stunning emotional intelligence and hailed as an "astonishing re-creation of how it felt to be a victim and survivor of the year of wonders and horrors," the novel examines the collision of faith, science, and superstition at the cusp of the modern era. Exploring love and learning, loss and renewal, Year of Wonders succeeds as a spellbinding work of historical fiction and an unforgettable read.

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142001430, Paperback)

Geraldine Brooks's Year of Wonders describes the 17th-century plague that is carried from London to a small Derbyshire village by an itinerant tailor. As villagers begin, one by one, to die, the rest face a choice: do they flee their village in hope of outrunning the plague or do they stay? The lord of the manor and his family pack up and leave. The rector, Michael Mompellion, argues forcefully that the villagers should stay put, isolate themselves from neighboring towns and villages, and prevent the contagion from spreading. His oratory wins the day and the village turns in on itself. Cocooned from the outside world and ravaged by the disease, its inhabitants struggle to retain their humanity in the face of the disaster. The narrator, the young widow Anna Frith, is one of the few who succeeds. With Mompellion and his wife, Elinor, she tends to the dying and battles to prevent her fellow villagers from descending into drink, violence, and superstition. All is complicated by the intense, inexpressible feelings she develops for both the rector and his wife. Year of Wonders sometimes seems anachronistic as historical fiction; Anna and Mompellion occasionally appear to be modern sensibilities unaccountably transferred to 17th-century Derbyshire. However, there is no mistaking the power of Brooks's imagination or the skill with which she constructs her story of ordinary people struggling to cope with extraordinary circumstances. --Nick Rennison, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:22 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

This gripping historical novel is based on the true story of Eyam, the "Plague Village," in the rugged mountain spine of England. In 1666, a tainted bolt of cloth from London carries bubonic infection to this isolated settlement of shepherds and lead miners. A visionary young preacher convinces the villagers to seal themselves off in a deadly quarantine to prevent the spread of disease. The story is told through the eyes of eighteen-year-old Anna Frith, the vicar's maid, as she confronts the loss of her family, the disintegration of her community, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit love. As the death toll rises and people turn from prayers and herbal cures to sorcery and murderous witch-hunting, Anna emerges as an unlikely and courageous heroine in the village's desperate fight to save itself.… (more)

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