Year of Wonders

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HarperCollins Publishers, Jul 14, 2011 - Fiction - 336 pages

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 Review

User Review  - cindywho - www.librarything.com

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. Read full review

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User Review  - novelcommentary - www.librarything.com

"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 ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Geraldine Brooks was born and raised in Australia. After moving to the USA she worked for eleven years on the Wall Street Journal, covering stories from some of the world’s most troubled areas, including Bosnia, Somalia and the Middle East. Her first novel, ‘Year of Wonders’ became an international bestseller and her second, ‘March’ won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She lives with her husband and son in rural Virginia and is currently a fellow at Harvard University.

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