Year of Wonders

How do I talk about a book without gushing adjectives when my cheeks are glowing with writerly admiration and, in equal, turning green with writer envy?  A hard call when I’ve just read what’s now up there as one of my favourite books ever.

Geraldine Brooks Year of Wonders is an historical fiction tale, based on a true story, of a Derbyshire village who elect to quarantine themselves and their plague in the Spring of 1666 and spend a year cut off from the world. The writing is beautiful prose and evokes a strong sense of authenticity.  For me, it’s a page turner that reached a very satisfying twist of an ending. However, I do need to add that I (along with others, it seems on Goodreads) did qualm  over the epilogue, which took the story out of the world of the village to a happily ever after that I was not sure could or would have been possible for such a young, ignorant, unworldly girl of the day.  However, I deeply admired the writing, the storytelling and the wonderful drawing together of the plot threads to a powerful and unexpected resolution that I won’t spoil here by telling. The voice captivated me and I found the book in my hands at every opportunity for the two days it took to read it. A “must read” for anyone who loves history and place.

Book 8

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks 2008

Harper Perennial  ISBN: 978 1 84115 458 9

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Corinne Fenton" alt="Corinne Fenton">

Corinne Fenton

It’s fine to admire, even going a shade of green is fine, Chris.
Remember though, with your own writing, to go with your heart.

March 9, 2012 at 3:33 pm
christinemareebell" alt="christinemareebell">


You’re absolutely right, Corinne. The power of story, at least for me as a writer, lies in the passion I have for it and for the characters. Still I hope one day my readers will read my novel with the same wonder and awe and be as transported as I was reading “Year of Wonders”.

March 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm
Alison Reynolds" alt="Alison Reynolds">

Alison Reynolds

Hi Chris,
I loved the writing in this book, but the storyline at the end disappointed me.
Up until then I was swept along.

March 15, 2012 at 6:38 pm
    christinemareebell" alt="christinemareebell">


    Me too. It was the first book in a long time that I couldn’t get back to fast enough. The very different mood, atmosphere and transition at the end (seemingly impossible for a girl of that time and of her socio/economic limitations) disappointed me too, despite wanting a happy ending for her.


    March 15, 2012 at 8:25 pm

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