Book review - Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Genre, Published:
Historical fiction, 2002
Subtitled 'A Novel of the Plague', and based on a true story, this book tells the story of one English village during the great year of the plague, 1665-1666. As the plague appears, and the villagers realise what it is, they decide to isolate themselves from the rest of the world so as to try to protect their neighbouring villages from the dreadful disease. As the village turns in on itself, its inhabitants struggle to retain their humanity and faith in the face of the disaster.
What did I think?
I absolutely LOVED this book. It's the third of my book group books, and the best so far. It's hard to say why I liked it so much. It's not as gruesome as you might expect, although it does give a vivid account of what it must have been like in that village. It's not a cheerful subject, but it has some beautiful passages and there is happiness and love among the death. You know disaster is about to fall from the very beginning, but you still don't know exactly how or when. It's just so well written, and so complex, with more than just the story of the plague. It gripped me from the very first.
Would I recommend?
Would I read again?
Yes, I'm going to buy my own copy
5 out of 5. I loved it.


  1. What did you think of the end?

    I haven't read it myself, but people were talking about it on one of my book groups and there seemed to be a feeling that the ending didn't really fit the rest of the book.

  2. Without giving too much away, the end was a bit of a surprise but I didn't dislike it. Taking everything into consideration, it had to end in a certain manner and, although it may have been a bit extreme, I think it sort of worked. But I've read similar comments too and I'll let you know what my book group thinks!.

  3. I'll look forward to hearing what your group thinks.

    Drop me an email if you can, as I'll probably forget to check here again.


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