Year of Wonders
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘March’ and ‘People of the Book’.
A young woman’s struggle to save her family and her soul during the extraordinary year of 1666, when plague suddenly struck a small Derbyshire village.
In 1666, plague swept through London, driving the King and his court to Oxford, and Samuel Pepys to Greenwich, in an attempt to escape contagion. The north of England remained untouched until, in a small community of leadminers and hill farmers, a bolt of cloth arrived from the capital. The tailor who cut the cloth had no way of knowing that the damp fabric carried with it bubonic infection.
So begins the Year of Wonders, in which a Pennine village of 350 souls confronts a scourge beyond remedy or understanding. Desperate, the villagers turn to sorcery, herb lore, and murderous witch-hunting. Then, led by a young and charismatic preacher, they elect to isolate themselves in a fatal quarantine. The story is told through the eyes of Anna Frith who, at only 18, must contend with the death of her family, the disintegration of her society, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit attraction.
Geraldine Brooks’s novel explores love and learning, fear and fanaticism, and the struggle of 17th century science and religion to deal with a seemingly diabolical pestilence. ‘Year of Wonders’ is also an eloquent memorial to the real-life Derbyshire villagers who chose to suffer alone during England’s last great plague.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LisCarey - www.librarything.com
Anna Frith is a young widow with two young children to raise, in a little village in Derbyshire, England, as the year of 1665 draws to an end. She is quiet, unassuming, and not inclined to make waves ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - whitewavedarling - LibraryThing
Taking a small village and a single caring woman as her subject, Brooks' "novel of the plague" is not just powerful and elegantly written, but as complete as I can imagine a novel about the plague ... Read full review