We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Year of Wonders | [Geraldine Brooks]

Year of Wonders

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.
Regular Price:$28.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

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.

©2010 Penguin Audiobooks (P)2010 Geraldine Brooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (470 )
5 star
 (173)
4 star
 (182)
3 star
 (67)
2 star
 (32)
1 star
 (16)
Overall
4.2 (368 )
5 star
 (163)
4 star
 (125)
3 star
 (60)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (7)
Story
3.7 (358 )
5 star
 (129)
4 star
 (99)
3 star
 (61)
2 star
 (32)
1 star
 (37)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Maggieck Chicago, IL 09-04-12
    Maggieck Chicago, IL 09-04-12 Listener Since 2005

    Maggie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    87
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story - annoying narrator"
    Would you listen to Year of Wonders again? Why?

    Listen - no - really didn't like the narrator's tone of voice.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Year of Wonders?

    The strength and fortitude of the main character Anna Frith.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Geraldine Brooks?

    Almost anyone; maybe Davina Porter?


    If you could take any character from Year of Wonders out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Anna Frith, perhaps Eleanor as well. I'd love to hear more about Anna's experiences during the epilogue of the tale.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the book, and the adaptation of this 'true' story of a plague year in Darbyshire, England. My only complaint; the narrator had the most annoying nasal, downcast quality to her voice. While this was not a happy story for the most part - each time I started up the recording my own mood would deflate to match the tone of the story. Once the book got going I could kind of ignore the tone of the narrator's voice - but ugh - not my favorite narrator by any stretch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Wailuku, HI, United States 08-20-12
    Kathleen Wailuku, HI, United States 08-20-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    524
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Courage and compassion in a desperate time."
    What made the experience of listening to Year of Wonders the most enjoyable?

    It made the era come alive. Detailed descriptions of living conditions--homes, clothing, food, work, sanitation--one can easily imagine oneself back then.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Do you ever wonder what it would've been like to have lived centuries ago, coping with harsh conditions we have no experience of today--feudalism, plague, witch hunts, etc.?What was it like to be an ordinary person back then? Year of Wonders describes how bubonic plague affected one Derbyshire village during 1666, through the life of one woman.
    Although events are harrowing, bringing out both the best and worst in villagers, there is a goodness and humanity that makes this book uplifting and hopeful.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Geraldine Brooks' voice and narration made me think she suffers from major depression. If the story hadn't been so engaging, I would not have been able to endure her narration. If there should be a choice among narrators in future recordings, I recommend anyone but Ms Brooks.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    StrayPup 08-14-12
    StrayPup 08-14-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    168
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An intriguing tale"

    The author/narrator did a wonderful job of subtly and delicately telling her tale. No one knows her story better than an author, and Geraldine Brooks breathed life into her characters and scenes.

    Such an intriguing story, with whispers of nuance liberally sprinkled throughout the story. The tale unfolds in the 17th century with a nicely-crafted set-up for the birth and spread of a deadly plague that brutally takes lives and shreds the fabric of a small, rural community. Even though a few lives in the community are spared, their souls are flayed by the experience and they lose their innocence along with the lives they have known since birth. Tragic death and social collapse reduce the living conditions of the survivors to primitive survival.

    This fascinating story is about revival, redemption, and the innate resilience of humans. Our main character discovers her ability to adapt and find beauty and comfort in the essence of love, sacrifice, and benevolence.

    The story is well-researched, and the small details of 17th-century life flesh out the fascinating story. That is, until the end of the tale. The cadence of the end of the tale is out of step with the rest of the story. The end doesn't do justice to the spare and well-told story of a remarkable woman who lives through hell on earth. Despite the improbable end, Years of Wonder is a compelling, enjoyable, and worthwhile read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Stockton, IL, United States 08-09-12
    Carol Stockton, IL, United States 08-09-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting"
    Where does Year of Wonders rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    At first I thought I was not going to like this book, but, was pleasently surprised to find I was enjoying it and found it to be very informative. Great listen - I went through it all in two days.


    What about Geraldine Brooks’s performance did you like?

    Seemed personnable and the voice seemed to go well with the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but it took two days.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-09-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The book was great,but the narrator was not"

    Loved this book,which I bought after listening to this author's other book,The People of the Book.
    This story is fascinating, and I know I would enjoy it in print, but sadly the author is not the best narrator of her own material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kat MD 08-09-12
    Kat MD 08-09-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One Crazy Year"

    **Spoiler Alert**

    1st 3/4 of the Book: 4 stars
    Last 1/4 of the Book: 2 stars

    The plague portion of the book I really enjoyed (that sounds weird, I know). It was dark and sad and haunting. At first described as an beautiful pasturial and hard-working community, Eyam in Derbyshire, made you ache to visit historic England and then dashed your hopes as the plague infested this village in 1665-66. You felt the pain of the villagers as they suffered through the bubonic plague. I found myself encouraging Anna and Elinor Mompellion as they researched herbs to relieve plague victims and to fight off the disease.

    Then things got weird. This seemingly accurate and heart-wrenching story started to become a romance novel. Not that I mind a romance, but it just didn't fit the rest of the book. I can handle Anna getting down with the rector. Even though there were no real hints of her attraction to the minister, I could get behind Anna wanting to experience her friend Elinor's love life. To have the heroic minister turn into a dark and twisted character seemed wrong. There were only a few hints into this dark nature, and I didn't think it was ample build up for what transpired.

    Next, the Bradfords turn into the ultra villians after appearing for only 10 pages beforehand. I understand by abandoning the town during the plague made them bad people - they certainly caused the town grief during their worst moments. But to become adulterers and baby murderers all of the sudden was just...puzzling.

    Finally, Anna sails away (by herself...in 1666...yeaaaaaaaaah) only to become one of many wives of a Arabian doctor. So, all of the character building and strength is washed away as she willing becomes a wife to live with a doctor and learn his medical wisdom.

    I don't know if Brooks wanted to make the book more exciting by building in a thrilling conclusion, but it stole the spirit of the 3/4 of the book. The majority of Year of Wonders is about a community who heroically suffered through the plague without endangering the surrounding villages. Readers felt the small joys because that's all the town had during a year of hell. As a reader, you felt pride in Anna's strength as she realized her gift in medicine. To have her just abandon the village after months of suffering with it seemed wrong.

    Regarding the narration - Geraldine Brooks' narrated her own book. Her raspy British accent suited Anna, but it took awhile to get used to it. It became a little monotone - I found myself tuning her out at key points.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janie 08-07-12
    Janie 08-07-12

    Papoter

    HELPFUL VOTES
    157
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    110
    58
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Audible: WHY WHY WHY do you let authors read....?"

    Although I did get used to the reader (the author) and you fall into her cadence, she is NOT a professional and it really took a lot away from the story for me.

    The story, BTW, was excellent. I loved it, despite a very bizarre ending that comes out of left field. I'm not talking about a typical surprise ending - I'm talking about "W H E R E did T H A T come from..."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanie 07-29-12
    Jeanie 07-29-12

    Jean

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hire a professional"

    This is an excellent book but I wish it had been narrated by someone who could do it justice. The author is, without a doubt, a very talented writer but her narration has a dull, tired and almost sing-song quality to it. It reminded me to listen! before I make a selection.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karol United States 07-28-12
    karol United States 07-28-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    94
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "HATED THE ENDING!"
    Any additional comments?

    Despite the fact that the narrator was annoyingly unskilled and monotonous, I enjoyed the story very much. That is I enjoyed it until the last chapter. I would have given the story a five star, but because of the ending - I feel I am being very generous with four stars. In the end though the overall rating was a three star because of the narration. I did get use to the narration by the end of the book and she does have a pleasant accent; however, I kept wishing I could tell the characters apart most of the time. I would recommend it though because the first part of the book is so well written and deftly drew me into Anna's world, her sorrows, triumphs, tragedy, loves, fears etc. I liked Anna Frith, as well as Michael and Elinor Mompellion very much and found it hard to put the book down at times. I guess the problem is that I was so invested in the characters that I found the ending completely unbelievable and ridiculous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat United States 07-27-12
    Pat United States 07-27-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    234
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good authors do not necessarily make good readers."
    What did you like best about Year of Wonders? What did you like least?

    I liked the unexpected twists and turns of the story, it was not predictable. Anna seemed to be a little too lucky.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The ending was excellent, unexpected with a few interesting twists.I


    How could the performance have been better?

    Have a different reader, Ms. Brooks was awful!!! Perhaps Beverly Dunn would have been good, or just about anyone with some expression in their voice.


    Do you think Year of Wonders needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I do not think the Year of Wonders needs a follow-up book because it ended so wonderfully.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.