Year of Wonders
When the plague visits an isolated village in the English countryside, 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 endure a self-imposed quarantine to keep the disease from spreading. 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 the village of Eyam, Year of Wonders is a richly detailed evocation of a singular moment in history. With stunning emotional intelligence, Brooks blends love and learning, loss and renewal, into a spellbinding and unforgettable read.
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'March' and 'People of the Book'. A young woman's struggle to save her family and her soul during the extraordinary year of 1666, when plague suddenly struck a small Derbyshire village. In 1666, plague swept through London, driving the King and his court to Oxford, and Samuel Pepys to Greenwich, in an attempt to escape contagion. The north of England remained untouched until, in a small community of leadminers and hill farmers, a bolt of cloth arrived from the capital. The tailor who cut the cloth had no way of knowing that the damp fabric carried with it bubonic infection. So begins the Year of Wonders, in which a Pennine village of 350 souls confronts a scourge beyond remedy or understanding. Desperate, the villagers turn to sorcery, herb lore, and murderous witch-hunting. Then, led by a young and charismatic preacher, they elect to isolate themselves in a fatal quarantine. The story is told through the eyes of Anna Frith who, at only 18, must contend with the death of her family, the disintegration of her society, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit attraction. Geraldine Brooks's novel explores love and learning, fear and fanaticism, and the struggle of 17th century science and religion to deal with a seemingly diabolical pestilence. 'Year of Wonders' is also an eloquent memorial to the real-life Derbyshire villagers who chose to suffer alone during England's last great plague. Includes PS Section / Reissued and rejacketed to coincide with the paperback publication of Geraldine Brooks's new novel 'People of the Book'. / A heartbreaking historical novel based on the true story of the Great Plague and the tiny Derbyshire village of Eyam, and inspired by the author's visit to the village and her unearthing of this incredible story. / A major literary fiction work from the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning and Richard and Judy pick 'March'. / An international bestseller -- over 250,000 copies sold to date.
Shortlisted for Westfield/Waverley Library Literary Award 2002.
'One of the best novels I've ever clapped eyes on' --Jenni Murray, Woman's Hour 'Geraldine Brooks's impressive novel goes well beyond chronicling the devastation of a plague-ridden village. It leaves us with the memory of vivid characters struggling in timeless human ways with the hardships confronting them -- and the memory, too, of an elegant and engaging story.' --Arthur Golden, author of 'Memoirs of a Geisha' 'Geraldine Brooks's 'Year of Wonders' is a wonder indeed. The novel gives the reader a remarkable glimpse into a 17th century horror, but does so with both compassion and exuberance. Read it for the inventiveness of the language alone -- a genuine treat.' --Anita Shreve, author of 'The Pilot's Wife' and 'The Last TIme They Met' 'More than a mountain of corpses, more than a sensual evocation of the Sapphic bond between two women, more than a pulse-quickening tale, 'Year of Wonders' is a staggering fictional debut.' --Guardian "Year of Wonders' carries absolute conviction as an evocation of place and mood. It has a vivid imaginative truth, and is beautifully written.' --Hilary Mantel
Geraldine Brooks was born and raised in Australia. After moving to the USA she worked for eleven years on the Wall Street Journal, covering stories from some of the world's most troubled areas, including Bosnia, Somalia and the Middle East. Her first novel, 'Year of Wonders' became an international bestseller and her second, 'March' won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She lives with her husband and son in rural Virginia and is currently a fellow at Harvard University.