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Year of wonders : a novel of the plague by…
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Year of wonders : a novel of the plague (edition 2001)

by Geraldine Brooks

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7,991384835 (3.97)685
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)
Member:Sirch
Title:Year of wonders : a novel of the plague
Authors:Geraldine Brooks
Info:London : Fourth Estate, 2001.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

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» See also 685 mentions

English (379)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  German (1)  All languages (384)
Showing 1-5 of 379 (next | show all)
This will probably make my top ten favorites this year. I absolutely loved it.

This book is historical-fiction based loosely on a true story of how plague devastated the small English village of Eyam in 1665.

The story is told through the eyes of Anna, a young widow with 2 small children. As the plague starts indiscriminately taking neighbors and friends, Anna begins questioning her faith, while others hold tightly to the belief that God is punishing them all for some unknown reason. This is the conflict at the center of the story: God VS Nature.

When the afflicted begin to out-number the healthy, the town is literally cut-off from the rest of the country-side. Fear and grief envelope the town and neighbors turn on each other with horrific deeds. The towns Rector and his wife take Anna under their wing and the three of them try to hold the town together.

The events take Anna on a journey of grief and discovery. The end of Anna's journey was not at all what I expected.

Seldom does a book evoke both sadness and joy for me. This one touched every emotion. Highly recommended! * (less) ( )
  JBroda | Sep 24, 2021 |
Un libro encantador arruinado por su final. ( )
  Pindarix | Jul 15, 2021 |
good story, unexpected ending, but it dragged. ( )
  SusanWallace | Jul 10, 2021 |
Adult fiction. The narrator reads in a very nice English accent, appropriate for the time period in which this is set. I can see why this one got good reviews. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
SPOILERS...

I really wanted to like this book; I thought the premise was so interesting. But the relentless descriptions of loss and cruelty weighed down on me. (Maybe it was too reminiscent of our current pandemic and the shockingly inhuman reactions we have seen played out in the media and on the political stage.) The ending was for me a "whaaat??" moment, as well.

Two stars. One for the premise and one for the characters who behave consistently and whose dialogue is realistic. But yikes. The cruelty. ( )
  madamepince | Jun 25, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 379 (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.
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brooks, Geraldineprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Diano, FrancescaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
For Tony
Without you, I never would
have gone there.
First words
I used to love this season.
Quotations
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.
And so, as generally happens, those who have most give least, and those with less somehow make shrift to share.
Inasmuch as he knew what love meant, he knew he loved me, and all the more so when I gave him the boys.
This was no stealthy retreat. The Hall hummed like a struck hive.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Publisher's editors
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

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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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