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.
* love to work (nursing informatics) * love dogs * love speed * listen to books 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.
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.
I've read print versions of other work by Ms. Brooks. Her writing is beautiful but the characters in this book were one dimensional and didn't develop enough to be interesting. Moreover, the narration would have been better served by a professional reader.
I LOVED this book. I love Geraldine Brooks in general but this was by far my favorite and a must listen. I was sursprised by the few negative comments on the narration, I found it outstanding and perfectly suited to the story. Very, very well done. I was never so disappointed to have an audiobook finish. The story is grim and gruesome, but the detail and perserverance are inspiring. Simply amazing, do not miss this one if you enjoy historical fiction, especially this time period even a little bit.
The book was an interesting tale of a horrific time in history. The characters were well developed and the story was fascinating, which is the only reason I stuck with it. The reader lacked any emotion and at times the words were slurred, making it hard to understand her. I wasn't sure which of us would fall asleep first - the reader or me!
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.
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