Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the PlagueRarely has a book so captivated and then disappointed me with such a 180 turn to what I called utter dreckage Year of Wonders managed to do this, infortunately.In order to review, I have to break the book up between pages so that you can see where the trainwreck happened for me, and why I m so PO ed I could almost cry.REVIEW FOR PAGES 1 255Rating 5 stars I d give it 10 stars if Goodreads had that designation, but since 5 stars means it was amazing, then 5 stars it is Year of Wonders Pages 1 255 is a beautiful, incredibly moving fictional account of a real event that happened in Eyam Eem , Derbyshire, England in 1665 1666 Today, road signs point out the direction to Plague Village , so I think you get the idea of where this story is going to go.The villagers of Eyam were ground zero for an outbreak of bubonic plague that had apparently been introduced to the remote village from flea infested bolts of cloth brought into the town Best guess estimates of the population in 1665 set it around 380 villagers By the fall of 1666, only about 120 were left While people all over London and other places in England were hurriedly leaving the areas of plague infection, the villagers of Eyam, under the strong guidance of their pastor Michael Mompellion, decided to stay put, self quarantine themselves and ride out the storm They saw it as a test of their faith and trust toward God, and felt that they would be blessed beyond all measure once the plague left them.Author Geraldine Brooks tells this story through the eyes of Anna, a young widow with 2 very small children to support Anna s role in helping Michael Mompellion and his high born wife Elinor shines the light on all that was the very best of human nature during a time of crisis, as well as what was the very worst in human beings stretched physically, emotionally and spiritually beyond their endurance Brooks married the two extremes so well, weaving a highly readable tale of immense pain, degradation, fear, and ultimately faith I was appalled later, when I googled Eyam , to learn that many of the incidences Brooks used in the book were true Human beings definitely have the capacity for both extreme nobility of spirit, as well as extreme barbarism.If Brooks had left the story of the plague village at page 255, I would have happily accorded this wonderful book a cherished slot in my bulging bookcase and marked it as favorite on these, my Goodreads shelves Alas, the book was 304 pages long Therefore, we come to book review within a review BOOK REVIEW FOR PAGE 256 304Rating 1 star My feeling for these final 50 pages can best be summed up by the word aaaarrrggghhh Year of Wonders Page 256 304 must be read in connection with the first 255 pages to be fully believed It is EPIC FAIL at it s most EPIC It is so crammed with schlocky, hokey, trite piles of plot shite that I can hardly believe that it s written by the same author as my beloved book, Year of Wonders Page 1 255 How is this possible Did Brooks suddenly seize up and hand over the pen to some Harlequin romance writer please, no PO d posts by Harlequin fans I happen to enjoy Harlequins in small doses myself, but there IS a difference in quality between the two writing mediums.What Brooks did so perfectly in pages 1 255, she completely decimated in pages 256 304 Was she attempting to pull off her own mini plague by killing off all the good and noble and faithful ideas her story fostered WTH happened to plot continuity To the characters I am so confused by her ending that I don t even know what to say about it, except that view spoiler I M PISSED, PISSED, PISSED hide spoiler Anna Frith resides in a remote village where a bolt of cloth delivered from London brings with it the bubonic plague Guided by a vision bestowed upon the town minister, Anna and her village elect to quarantine themselves, hoping to prevent the plague from spreading Days of quarantine turn into weeks As the months come and go, villagers grow restless Death is prevalent in every household suspicion and anger mount as villagers yearn for someone to blame for their plight Anna soon faces far greater perils than the devastating plague Year of Wonders is brimming with the same elegant, beguiling prose one can anticipate from any book written by Geraldine Brooks At the edge of the field, the hedgerows were deep green in their glossy leaves and the blackberries beginning to plump and redden Fat lambs, their fleeces gilded by sunlight, grazed in lush grasses. Instead, I lingered in the quiet grove behind the church, where the old graves are It is a lumpy place, where the ground has heaved and sighed into grassy mounds and the briar roses tumbled in a bright profusion of ruddied hips over graves whose markings are weathered and barely legible.While the village is portrayed as a beautiful place any would be lucky to wander, the author depicts the horrors of the plague with equal skill, making use of ghastly descriptions that spare no detail The day of his death, the strange circles bloomed on him vivid crimson welts rising in rings just beneath the topmost layer of his skin As the hours passed, these turned violet then purple black, hardening into crusts It seemed as if the flesh inside of him was dying while he yet breathed, the putrefying meat pushing and bursting its way out of his failing body. Eighteen year old Anna Frith remains a fascinating character from start to finish She faces many hardships but remains a strong woman with a loving heart, befriending outcasts and dabbling in perilous medicinal trades Despite the many dreadful events she bears witness to, Anna maintains a tender view of the worldHe died as babies do, gently and without complaint Because they have been such a little time with us, they seem to hold to life but weakly I used to wonder if it was so because the memory of Heaven still lived within them, so that in leaving here they do not fear death as we do, who no longer know with certainty where it is our spirits go This, I thought, must be the kindness that God does for them and for us, since He give so many infants such a little while to bide with us. Occasionally the pacing in Year of Wonders stumbles and slows, but it always picks up again and eventually arrives at one of the most satisfying conclusions of any book yet read. I would have given this a higher rating if not for the strange ending. After reading Long Man , by Amy Greene, not long ago.I was craving to read about another female character that might remind me of Annie Clyde Dodson I also wanted the story like Long Man to be inspired by true events.and lastI wanted the writing to be gorgeous rich, beautiful prose..character drivenrealisticI wanted to get in touch with that feeling which is different than the many modern contemporary novels I read YEAR of WONDER was the perfect satisfied what I was longing for YikesSo much is so darn sad The character, Anna Frith, leading female, inspired me, and comforted me with her calm kindness This was another book I couldn t put down page turning engrossing The PROSE is exquisite The rich quality was all there that I was looking for The writing blew me away A dark storywith writing that exceeds your expectation thoughts will linger If you liked Long Man , you ll love Year of Wonder..or vice versa. A lot of people have complained about this book being slow, but I found it beautifully paced for what it was about after all, the title is Year of Wonders, which kind of sets up an expectation and timeframe right away The pace helped set up a world, a time when things movedslowly, when people werethoughtful, when people paid attention to the seasons and nature This is a beautifully narrated, incredibly seamless for the amount of research that must have been put into to it, it reads so smoothly novel I liked the evolution of the protagonist, the way she gained power and still moved within her role in society That being said, the ending just friggin killed it for me It was totally Hollywood ized and a total cop out At turns a romance, a horror, and an action adventure in 20 or so pages but really bad Bad, like Who killed Bobby Ewing bad Sigh I was really pulling for 4 stars here, and then the ending is.5 or 1 star So it averaged out to a heavily weighted 2 stars. Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks 2001 novel describes the plague years of 1666 and concludes with a very unusual and somewhat unbalanced ending While reading I thought of Arthur Miller s The Crucible and of course Camus The Plague and I forgive her much about the ending for the mention of Oran which could NOT have been coincidence This is simply, elegantly written and yet the force and brutality of the plot, told in such straightforward prose is also reminiscent of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God another obvious and brilliant reference relentless and shocking. Year of Wonders tells the story of Anna, a servant to a pastor, and how she emotionally and physically survives the plague while the majority of her village falls ill around her.I was enthralled I listened to the audiobook on my daily commute and it was fantastic.You get the very real drama of life in a small village mixed with the the despair that must have accompanied the plague There s finger pointing, people taking advantage of other s need and, above all, the need to rationalize why all of the deaths were occurring.My favorite part of this book was when Anna stopped in the middle of her hectic life to reconsider how she viewed God She uses common sense reasoning to pick apart why a deity would allow such tragedy to occur and then wonders why the young are taken rather than the old.She comes to the conclusion that what s happening is a biological thing rather than a divine thing Then, once she has that straight in her mind, she s better equipped to handle everybody else s irrational responses to the plague without being bogged down by her own.Anna is a great heroine She has her flaws a flirtation with opium addiction to dull her grief and a crush on someone else s husband but she tries to be a good person Mainly, she s just overwhelmed by what s going on and wants to feel loved and safe.She cares for the ill, helps an orphaned child hold on to her family s lead mine and tries to help her village keep body and soul together.The ending of Year of Wonders was incredibly shocking to me, but in a good way Geraldine Brooks stayed true to her characters but took the story in such an unexpected direction, that I had to turn it off for awhile to absorb what I had just heard.Highly recommended for book clubs or people who love historical fiction Year of Wonders is wonderous indeed. I m still reading the novel and must admit it s really gripped me The novel presents the atmosphere in a 17th century remote English village during the Plague, but not only, it describes a small rural community, the beginnings of mining, witch hunting and superstitions, all of which ultimately lead to dramatic events Also, the language is exeptionally powerful, you do not read it as a historical novel written in modern times I did enjoy reading the novel as it s always interesting to observe how people, unable to leave the place, behave towards each other when confronted with a problem. 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 , 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 Update Mar 29 13 I don t know why I did it, but the very fact that I did it finished this book was going to lead me to up it to three stars But now that I ve done it I M TAKING THIS DOWN TO ONE STAR HOLY MOLY AND GOLLY GEE WILLIKERS BUT I AM P.O d AT THIS BOOK None of the last 50pp new character development COMPLETELY in opposition and nonsensical to anything that went before, new sub plots suggested and followed were either necessary or sensible ALL of it was entirely a contrivance to view spoiler get Anna out of the country and hide spoiler

Librarian Note There is than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.Australian born Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, and attended Bethlehem College Ashfield and the University of Sydney She worked as a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald for three years as a feature writer with a special interest in environmental issu

[Ebook] ➥ Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague ➫ Geraldine Brooks –
  • Paperback
  • 358 pages
  • Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague
  • Geraldine Brooks
  • English
  • 28 July 2017
  • 9780142001431

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