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Date Posted: 17:08:44 03/26/04 Fri
Author: Syl
Subject: Year of Wonders

TITLE: Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague
AUTHOR: Geraldine Brooks
GENRE: Fiction/Historical Fiction




A small volume in comparison to DG's work, but very moving and powerful.

The year is 1666, and bubonic plague has come to a small mining village in
rural England. We see its effects through the eyes of young widow Anna
Frith.

Anna's husband Sam had died earlier in a mining accident, leaving her with
two small sons. To support her family, Anna becomes housekeeper to the new
minister, Michael Mompellion, and his wife Elinor. Mompellion had married
above his station, but despite her quiet, educated way, Elinor and Anna become
friends.

The peace and quiet of the village is broken in the spring of 1666, when
plague comes to the village. In an effort to contain the disease, the
minister exhorts the community to quarantine themselves voluntarily, letting
no one in or out of the village until the disease runs its course.

We see the plague take a heavy toll on the tiny village. Hysterical
villagers accuse the local herbalists of witchcraft, leaving Anna and Elinor
to nurse the stricken without benefit of the wisewomen's knowledge.
Reverend Mompellion has vowed that 'no one will die alone,' and he is a
constant visitor, holding hands, praying, and writing wills for the dying.

The plague continues, and villagers react in a multitude of ways. Some
become religious zealots, scourging themselves in penance for the sins of
the village. Others seek personal profit from the grief of others. Reports
of ghosts and ghostly charms abound.


Based on a true story, Year of Wonders paints a vivid picture of courage and
endurance. This is Geraldine Brooks' first novel; after reading this, I'm
looking forward to her next.

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Replies:

[> Oops! Forgot to say ............ this was sent in by Jamie's Mom! Thanks ever so, JM, a very interesting one and one of my fave periods of history. -- Syl, 17:10:57 03/26/04 Fri


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[> This book sounds really interesting. I'm putting it on my "books to get" list. -- Aislinn, 20:09:51 03/26/04 Fri


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[> I've heard of this book, it came highly recoommended. Must go check it out. -- Brookita, 23:06:45 03/26/04 Fri


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[> I read this book last year and I think mentioned it on the reading recommendation board. It's a lovely book which I really enjoyed reading, I'm usually like buying big thick books(value for money ya ken*G*),but this is a small book that packs a punch. I'm looking forward to her next book. -- Nic, 05:21:08 03/27/04 Sat


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[> I actually knew a young girl who died of the plague. It's a little known fact that a few people contract it in the U.S. (almost always in the southwest) each year. It's scary to think it's still out there, although, if diagnosed early enough, treatable with antibiotics. Sounds like a good read! -- Rosamond, 05:44:30 03/27/04 Sat


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[> This one does sound really good to me. I may just have to put this on my TBR list. Thanks, Jamie's Mom! -- Reilly, 06:51:00 03/27/04 Sat


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[> Oh, thank you, Jamie's Mom. This sounds exactly like something I would really enjoy. I'm going to the library later and will see if they have it. -- GinC, 07:19:44 03/27/04 Sat


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[> Thank you, Jamie's Mom. I've added it to my (ever-growing!) list. -- Milady M, 06:54:40 03/28/04 Sun


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[> This looks like a really interesting book Jamies Mum, my to be read list is growing and growing! In fact I might change its name to the Sassanach Musings list. -- Margy, 11:04:55 03/29/04 Mon


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[> Thank you Jamie's Mom! I will check that one out! -- Antje, 22:59:29 04/08/04 Thu


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