Year of Wonders – A Novel of the Plague – Book Review


by Geraldine Brooks

ISBN-10: 0142001430
ISBN-13: 978-0142001431

I have listed this book on more top 100 book lists than I can remember.

Geraldine Brooks swept me away to 17th century England with her fictional drama inspired by the true events of 1665 in the village of Eyam in Derbyshire.  Eyam took the revolutionary step of quarantining itself when the black plague arrived in the village.

The story follows the struggles of Anna Frith during that year of isolation.  She endured the deaths of her family, the decent of her community into hysteria and the temptation of a forbidden relationship.

I love a book that stimulates thought and a desire to research a subject further. The village of Eyam has since been referred to as ‘The Plague Village’ and from those events of 1665 has secured itself a unique position in current society. Many of the descendants of the survivors of that time have now a gene Delta 32 that protects them from the plague and although research is still ongoing, it appears may also have an immunity to HIV/AIDS.

Geraldine Brooks’s story is penetrating and after closing the book I let out an audible ‘Wow’.

Posted on 23 August '09 by , under Historical Fiction, Reviews.