Friday, June 19, 2009

Book Review - Year of Wonders

Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks

‘Year of Wonders’ is the fictionalized account of the village and denizens of Eyam, Derbyshire, England. The year is 1666 and a number of villagers have died of the Black Death. The community reluctantly decides to undergo a self-imposed quarantine and they restrict travel in and out of the village until the plague can run its course. A sympathetic neighbor delivers food and supplies to a preset location at the boundary of the village for those who survive. But the dead soon outnumber the living.

The narrative follows the lives of some of the prominent villagers and the heart-wrenching struggles in which they find themselves entangled. Well written, with believable characters and emotional on many levels Brooks gives us an historical novel of great power and passion. Painstakingly researched to the most macabre details of death from the plague and life in the 17th century this book is not for the weak of heart but will make your heart weak by the suffering and sacrifice of every single member of the hamlet.

This is what every great historical novel should strive to become; real, human and filled with life… even in death.

5 out of 5 Stars

The Alternative
February 6th, 2009
Southeast Wisconsin

No comments: