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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
6,436309597 (3.97)543
  1. 200
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    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.
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    The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History by John M. Barry (labfs39)
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    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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    GreenVelvet: Detailed, meticulously-researched historical fiction with intelligent female protagonists, exploration of gender roles

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» See also 543 mentions

English (307)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  German (1)  All languages (310)
Showing 1-5 of 307 (next | show all)
Review: Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. This was a great story based on a true story and the only flaw I found was it was a little wordy at times. It was well written, the characters were well developed and the historical setting of 1666 in a small village of Eyam, England was described with accuracy. Brooks, so well creative that “The Plague” itself generates the power of a character; it lives, breathes and swallows the story. It’s not just a book about disease and death; it’s about survival, passion, empathy and unbelievable heroes. The story is narrated by Anne Frith, a woman who takes care of the minister, Michael Mompellion’s rectory home. From the beginning of the story the reader will notice that Anne is a wonderful person who survived childhood abuse, the death of her husband and left to raise two young children. She carries a mix of feminism and the Puritan values throughout the story. The minister’s character is compelling, captivating, and intriguing to follow and near then end his character’s behavior is surprisingly uncovered believable and relevant to the story, shocking the reader. His wife, Elinor who had a shady background before she married the minister becomes a mentor, teacher and most of all a friend to Anne. What follows is a tale of tragedy that lasted about a year and two thirds of the village perished. They believe the plague seed spread through the village by bolts of cloth sent from London. As the people began to fall ill and die, one after another, those that remained alive made an oath to not go out of the village’s boundary until they were sure it was over. In order for the village to get supplies they left a list at the boundary line and someone took the list and brought back to the same spot what the village needed. There was suffering throughout the village and when a child died or an adult it was heartbreaking to read about. Brooks explains how the plague attacks the body but she did it in a way to lesson the horrific disease as refined as she could. The ending scenario could have been different to be acceptable to some readers. However, I thought the story was amazing and notable. ( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
The subject matter doesn't lend itself to anything but a sad story, but it is an engrossing one.  I wasn't sure what to expect for an ending, but I love what she did with it. ( )
  Darth-Heather | May 31, 2016 |
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks audio CD's narrated by Josephine Bailey
4 stars
I enjoyed this audio performance. The reader captured the accents and the atmosphere exactly. I had to create some additional errands to keep myself in the car long enough to finish the story. As with People of the Book I liked that Brooks gave strong voices to her female characters, showing how women might have taken control of their own lives in a society that gave them no power. I think the ending was more of a fantasy than historically plausible, but at least it was not the predictable Prince saves Cinderella fairy tale ending.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
I am a fan of historical fiction. Here Anna, a house maid in a plague infected village tells a story of how did plague effect not only her life but the life of the whole village. The struggle, ignorance and courage in a village are to be noticed and Anna who survived through the plague sees the things differently as she sees the lives change around her, behaviors change around her.
Though the climax felt a bit unrealistic but its not impossible too.

( )
  PallaviSharma | May 9, 2016 |
This is another excellent tale from this author. She vividly brings to life the events that take place in this village. Another book that I couldn’t wait to return to. ( )
  HelenBaker | May 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 307 (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)

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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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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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