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Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Year of Wonders (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Geraldine Brooks

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,222282652 (3.97)535
Title:Year of Wonders
Authors:Geraldine Brooks
Info:Harpercollins Pb (2002), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Kindle, DCPL
Tags:2012, Fiction, 1600s, England, Plague, Quarantine

Work details

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (2001)

  1. 190
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (labfs39, wrmjr66, helgagrace)
  2. 50
    The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen (derelicious)
  3. 40
    Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross (meggyweg)
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    World Without End by Ken Follett (GCPLreader)
  5. 30
    The Black Death: A Personal History by John Hatcher (meggyweg)
  6. 20
    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.
  7. 20
    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.
  8. 20
    Down the Common: A Year in the Life of a Medieval Woman by Ann Baer (Bookmarque)
  9. 31
    A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly (jilld17)
  10. 10
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  11. 10
    Restoration by Rose Tremain (kiwiflowa)
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    The Great Mortality by John Kelly (bluepolicebox)
  13. 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
  14. 00
    The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  15. 00
    Revolutionary by Alex Myers (GreenVelvet)
    GreenVelvet: Detailed, meticulously-researched historical fiction with intelligent female protagonists, exploration of gender roles
  16. 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)

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» See also 535 mentions

English (281)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  German (1)  All languages (284)
Showing 1-5 of 281 (next | show all)
I loved this story and its main character. She was portrayed as such a smart, aware, courageous person who seemed as real as if I already knew her. The circumstances around the village were also brought to very real life and death. My only issue is with the ending. I thought the story took a very odd twist and it seemed completely unnecessary. However, that of course is up to the author and on the whole I loved her book.
  rosiezbanks | Nov 14, 2015 |
This gets one star because of the ending. I actually loved this book until the last 30 pages. A gut-wrenching story of life with the plague, it seems that the author didn't know how to end it, or was coerced into an ending. Smart read turned Harlequin romance in an abrupt about face. ( )
  stacykurko | Oct 29, 2015 |
Another audiobook.. think it made the telling better. I am still not understanding M Mompellion and what he reveals at the end -- though it is a good read. ( )
  morieel | Oct 25, 2015 |
I must agree with several other reviewers who were unhappy with the final few chapters of this book. She pretty much went off the rails. I won't say that what happened toward the end was out of character, but the way it all went down felt forced and bizarre and part of a different story.

Don't let that stop you from reading it though! It's a lushly descriptive novel of complex people in a complex time. People who did their best and who did their worst. If you like Geraldine Brooks's writing, I think you will like this novel. The weird ending is not going to put me off from reading her future books. I've read most of her others and my favorite of hers still remains "People of the Book." ( )
  libbromus | Oct 22, 2015 |
LMIC book club; novel about how one town contains the plague by isolating themselves from their neighbors; protagonist is Anna, a woman who takes in the tailor who brings the plague to the town on an infected bolt of cloth, and shows how all the villagers react to this disease in positive and negative ways. purchased book for TLC book club 10/08 selection ( )
  nancynova | Sep 12, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 281 (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 (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Geraldine Brooksprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brooks, GeraldineNarratorsecondary authorsome 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 (3)

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.

Haiku summary

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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