I read this book several years ago because I was looking for an absorbing historical fiction novel and a bookseller told me that it’s one of Barack Obama’s favorites. She also said that the protagonist makes a decision in the end that no American woman would understand. Exquisite and crushing, a richly drawn novel of a woman living during the plague of 1665.— From LaRaie's Picks
“Plague stories remind us that we cannot manage without community . . . Year of Wonders is a testament to that very notion.” – The Washington Post
An unforgettable tale, set in 17th century England, of a village that quarantines itself to arrest the spread of the plague, from the author The Secret Chord and of March, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders."
Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged hill country of England, Year of Wonders is a richly detailed evocation of a singular moment in history. Written with stunning emotional intelligence and introducing "an inspiring heroine" (The Wall Street Journal), Brooks blends love and learning, loss and renewal into a spellbinding and unforgettable read.
About the Author
Geraldine Brooks is the author of five novels: the Pulitzer Prize-winning March; the international bestsellers Caleb's Crossing, People of the Book, and Year of Wonders; and, most recently, The Secret Chord. She has also written the acclaimed nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Born and raised in Australia, she lives on Martha's Vinyard with her husband, the author Tony Horwitz, and their two sons.
Praise for Year of Wonders:
"The novel glitters . . . A deep imaginative engagement with how people are changed by catastrophe." —The New Yorker
“Plague stories remind us that we cannot manage without community . . . Year of Wonders is a testament to that very notion . . . [The villagers] assume collective responsibility for combating the plague, rather than seeing it as an act of God before which they are powerless.” —The Washington Post
"Year of Wonders is a vividly imagined and strangely consoling tale of hope in a time of despair." —O, The Oprah Magazine
"Brooks proves a gifted storyteller as she subtly reveals how ignorance, hatred and mistrust can be as deadly as any virus. . . . Year of Wonders is itself a wonder." —People
"A glimpse into the strangeness of history that simultaneously enables us to see a reflection of ourselves." —The New York Times Book Review
"Elegant and engaging." —Arthur Golden
"Year of Wonders has it all: strong characters, a trememdous sense of time and place, a clearly defined heroine and a dastardly villain." —The Denver Post