Year of Wonders
by Geraldine Brooks
Editor: HarperCollins Publishers
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From the Pulitzer Prize winner, author of “Mars” and “People of the Book.”A young woman struggling to save her family and soul during the extraordinary year of 1666, when the plague suddenly struck a small Derbyshire villageIn 1666, the plague ravaged London, the King and his court at Oxford, and Samuel Pepys at Greenwich, in an attempt to escape contagion.The north of England remained intact until, in a small community of leadminers and farmers’ hill, a rag came in from the capital.The tailor, who cut the cloth had no way of knowing that the wet cloth carried with it bubonic infectionThis is how the Year of Wonders begins, in which a Pennine village of 350 souls faced with a scourge beyond any recourse or understanding.Desperate, the villagers of the tower of witchcraft, the grass traditions, and murderer of witch-huntingThen, led by a young and charismatic preacher, they choose to isolate themselves in a fatal accident in their forties.The story is told through the eyes of Anna Frith who, at only 18 years old, faces the death of her family, the disintegration of society, and the bait of a dangerous and illicit attraction.Geraldine Brooks, the novel explores love and learning, fear and fanaticism, and the 17th century struggle of science and religion to deal with a diabolical appearance of the plague.Year of Wonders” is also an eloquent monument to the real life memory of Derbyshire villagers who chose to suffer alone from England during the last great plague epidemic.
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