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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Year of Wonders...Review

About the book:
When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated mountain village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes, we follow the story of the plague year, 1666, as her fellow villagers make an extraordinary choice. Convinced by a visionary young minister, they elect to quarantine themselves within the village boundaries to arrest the spread of the disease. But as death reaches into every household, faith frays. When villagers turn from prayers and herbal cures to sorcery and murderous witch-hunting, Anna must confront the deaths of family, the disintegration of her community, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit love. As she struggles to survive, a year of plague becomes, instead, annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders." Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged mountain spine of England. Year of Wonders is a detailed evocation of a singular moment in history.

Terrific. I couldn't put it down. It's a fictionalized story based on a true experience of a small town in England that was decimated by the plague in 1666. Rather than spread the disease, most of the townspeople decided to stay and quarantine themselves.

Riveting and engrossing. I loved the narrator, Anna. I loved how she learned about herbs and natural healing to try and stem the tide of disease. In many ways it was ignorance that killed so many people: they didn't understand the need to wash their hands or bedding and clothes and even burn things that could be contaminated. When they finally do these things, the crisis abates.

A wonderful exploration of the time and the people.

Thanks to my library for having a copy I could borrow.

Read 11/07

* * * *
4/5 Stars


  1. I learned a lot about this time in history from this book. I couldn't put this one down either even though it was a bit depressing.

  2. Thanks for the tip. Now all I need is the time in which to relax and read a while.

  3. Sounds like my kind of book. Thanks for the recommendation. My ancestors lived in England at that time and some were affected by the plague, so this will be more interesting...