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
I believe I would have loved this story if the reader had not been a nasal laconic reader. Although I finished the entire book, it was difficult because of the reader. I know it was read by the author so that is her portrayal of what she imagined the characters to be, but it prohibited me from fully appreciating the story. She is a talented author, but should have left the reading to someone else.
Brooks puts the reader right into the middle of a 17th century English village that has been struck by the plague. Based on real events, the story recounts the village's decision to seal itself off from the surrounding countryside in order to contain the sickness. The first person point of view is from an intelligent, thoughtful young widow who keeps sheep and works as a maid to the Rector and his wife. The bitter conflicts and heartbreaking effects of the rapidly spreading deadly illness within the town come alive in this riveting story. The author is the narrator and I can not imagine a better performance. This is an emotional story that kept me awake late into the night listening.
Year of Wonders is a gripping tale & was well written. But,....and this is a BIG but, as many have stated previously, a writer should never read their own work. Well, OK, if Will Patton ever decides to write a book, please, let him read it too. But in this case, with all due respect to Miss Brooks, someone else should have narrated this important, powerful story. Her voice is thin & watery for starters. She has no ability to change her voice to even hint that another was speaking. At times she sounded like a bored school kid doing an oral report, sometimes trailing off at the end of sentences. There were moments when I felt she might just as well have said 'Yada, yada, yada' or 'blah. blah, blah' for all the enthusiasm she showed. Truly, it was the worst narration I've chosen to sit through. If the story hadn't been as good I'd have given up an hour in. I thought about giving up many times. The fact that I didn't testifies to the strength of the book itself. I know not everyone can read like Davina Porter of 'Outlander' fame, but come on! This was weak & uninspired despite a story that should have fanned at least a little heat. I wish I could say more about what I liked about the story itself, but the reading of it totally overshadowed everything else for me.
Nope! I will be now be purchasing the print version to see if I can finish it in that format.
Yes, it's an interesting account of the plague told through the eyes of a strong protagonist with a moving backstory.
The reader narrates everything in a board, emotionless monotone that makes it sound as if she's stoned or really uninterested in what she's reading. I fell asleep on two occasions and my mind would wander when I did manage to keep awake and try to listen.
I'm sure this is a good book and I'm sure I'll be able to get into it much more in print. Consider listening to a sample before purchasing the audiobook.
Beautiful and heartbreaking....a wonderful historical novel that makes you happy you are living now. Beautifully read by the author. I couldn't stop listening so did all my grocery shopping and driving and house cleaning without stopping it.
Geraldine Brooks is an exceptional storyteller. Her characters are well developed and she so draws you into the time, you truly feel a part of it. However, her narration is a bit flat and atonal, definitely lacking in emotion. This should not deter one from reading the book. The story is too beautiful to be missed.
Every character sounds alike... Reader is not opening her mouth. So if you feel like listening to 10 hours of a mumbling, sleepy, teenage monotone you are in luck! The story could be fantastic but I just can't get past the reader...
It is a very, very, very rare case that an author is the best reader for a work. The only exceptions to that rule is David Spade.
The story is good. Overall I am pleased but the reader has some problems. She will do fine and then sometimes I realize I'm fighting sleep because she has gone to a monotone.
I love dogs, speed, and listening to audiobooks constantly.
This book is very well written, and the characters are vivid and alive - sorry actually many of them are dead by the end of the book. It is about the plague, after all. The author intensely transports you back to this era and surprises the reader at every turn. The story is so well crafted that I felt like I was watching a movie in my mind. I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next, and found myself listening late into the night. Not for the squeamish, there is no lack of realistic detail about the hardships of the period and the nightmare of the plague. I love the author's style of writing, having gotten hooked with Caleb's Crossing. The author reads her own book again, but in a more ordinary spoken style, rather that the careful enunciation of Caleb's Crossing that irritated some readers (I liked it). I highly recommend this book of fiction that relies heavily on historical fact, based on a true story. It is fearful, horrifying, suspenseful, colorful, engaging, and irresistable.
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