Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's So Black and White

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks

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.

Review: An enjoyable, fast read about a village's struggles with the plague with an unbelievable ending.

I like the plague, as much as one can like a disease, and love reading about it. This was one of a number of featured books for a book group and since it was about the plague, I decided to read it. It was a fast, enjoyable read about how one village get turned upside down during the plague. The author does a good job of portraying accurate emotions, feelings, and reactions. The village is small so everyone knows one another and this adds another level of psychological stress and fear that might not be present in a larger village or city. 

The plague brought out the best in people and also the worst. Unfortunately the characters in this book were either good or evil. The characters felt very one sided and there wasn't much depth to them. I did like the aspect that witch craft and superstition played. It shows how fear can prey upon people, especially during times of great distress. I had really liked the priest until near the ending and then I was just confused. The ending felt unnecessary and added nothing to the story. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those enjoy fiction about the plague or historical fiction.

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