Year of Wonders – Book Review

Year of Wonders coverThere are certain authors about whom much is said on LibraryThing. Authors like Margaret Atwood seems to be a special favorite, as does Geraldine Brooks. I had never read anything by either of these women and felt quite deficient. I will be reading Atwood’s, “The Handmaid’s Tale” in mid-May for a group read, but I have begun my experience with Geraldine Brooks in “Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague.”

A novel of the plague. Sounds just fascinating, right? Okay, granted, that does sound like something that would be interesting to me no matter what, I am a huge nerd, after all. Amazingly enough, however, I think it is ALSO something that would be interesting to other people.

This novel is based on a small town Brooks happened across in England that was touted as the ‘plague’ town. In 1666 this town was infected by the bubonic plague and they willingly shut themselves off from contact with all of those outside their village from something around an entire year. Not surprisingly, much of the town died (I don’t think this is a spoiler, it was the freaking plague!).

While this is historical fiction, specifically the type of historical fiction which places partially fictional characters (Brooks uses the names of real people only where her depictions are based solely on historical fact) around a real historical event, there is also fantastic character growth and development. I felt that Anna, Elinor, and Michael (at least) were real people that had really gone through this ordeal. I wouldn’t have been surprised to find out that Brooks found diaries with thoughts and feelings poured out upon their pages, but no, she is just actually that good of a writer.

Whether you are interested in learning something about the bout of plague which ‘plagued’ the town of Eyam in the 17th century or whether you want to read some non-fluffy, solidy written fiction with well-developed characters, Year of Wonders is a book I would highly recommend. I guess all those LibraryThingers were right about Geraldine Brooks!

Go ahead and buy this book on Amazon – Year of Wonders

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7 Responses to “Year of Wonders – Book Review”

  1. Erin Says:

    I just bought this book last night and plan to start it tonight. This is rarcar1 from LT, I just googled the name of this book and came across your site. Great blog, I look forward to reading it. Erin

  2. Marg Says:

    I really enjoyed this book, except for the ending which felt to me as though it came directly out of left field.

  3. teelgee Says:

    I loved this book; this was my first Brooks book too; I have March on my shelf and will read it soon.

    I’m enjoying your blog! Have you checked out the Sunday Salon? It’s a very fun gathering of bloggers who read. http://dhamel.typepad.com/sundaysalon/

    Terri.

  4. Devourer of Books Says:

    I have it Sunday Salon on your blog and a few others, but I haven’t really checked it out yet. I just put up my first Booking Through Thursday post, so I may have to start Sunday Salon soon.

  5. lisamm Says:

    Hi! This is my first visit to your blog. I love it! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on my BTT post.

    I haven’t read Year of Wonders yet, but my book club picked it for discussion on June 8th. I’m looking forward to it. THEN I turned around and suggested it for an online book club at The Inside Cover http://www.theinsidecover.com/ and they announced today that they had picked it for May. So I can kill 2 birds with one stone (or, in this case, plague!)

  6. Review: Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks « Books on the Brain Says:

    […] You can find Devourer of Books review of Year of Wonders HERE […]

  7. Heather Says:

    I just finished this and my review is up … along with a link to yours. 🙂

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