Year of Wonders

Year of Wonders : A Novel of the Plague

4 (109,500 ratings by Goodreads)
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Unabridged CDs, 11 CDs, 9 hours
Read by TBA
In 1666, a young woman comes of age during an extraordinary year of love and death.
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Product details

  • CD-Audio
  • 134.62 x 144.78 x 40.64mm | 317.51g
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Unabridged
  • Unabridged
  • 0142427667
  • 9780142427668
  • 311,344

About Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks is the author of Year of Wonders and the nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Previously, Brooks was a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, stationed in Bosnia, Somalia, and the Middle East. END
Geraldine Brooks is the author of Year of Wonders and the nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Previously, Brooks was a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, stationed in Bosnia, Somalia, and the Middle East. END
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Rating details

109,500 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 34% (36,768)
4 40% (44,090)
3 20% (22,204)
2 4% (4,914)
1 1% (1,524)

Our customer reviews

Year of Wonders almost taps into understanding the intricacies of human nature but fails to build strong characters to explore the changes within society once a tragedy occurs. Modelled after the Plague city, Eyam, Year of Wonders is a story of how a woman witnesses the effects of the plague of her beloved city and how she deals with becoming the new healer, helping with the rector and her wife. Though Brooks has achieved a believable setting, the novel is a mess. The events that occur do not happen fast enough and when they do, it does not reach its desired climax. The lack of characters makes the novel hard to empathise as we do not really know the characters and how they are changed by the plague. Except for the rector and his awkward personality shift towards the end of the novel, the characters do not change at all. The themes of religion, especially the rise of flagellants as well as witchcraft and good versus evil did not get enough exposure in the book. Brooks skims these heavy themes to focus on Anna's superficial thoughts that do not give any weight to the novel. When a tragedy happens, it is normal for people to deliver goodness within each other or to incite competition to make of what resources they have to sustain their lives, or rather, what may remain of it. Brooks does not do any of this and if she did, they were perhaps too subtle to be noticed and in their subtlety served no purpose for the plot and its themes. What would have made this better is if there were character interactions prior to the novel (not just to one or two characters) so that we could compare how characters were and how they become after the plague. There needed to be more characters to solidify the purpose of this novel, which is, I believe, to show how people in those days acted and how tragedies change people, evidently showing that as humans we are like animals who are bound by our instinct and that we find it arduous to retain our morality in times of difficulty. The problems and other events in the novel whilst important failed to reach their significance as they were outlandish and did not discuss the effects of their actions to one another. Certain characters, for example, the Bradfords, were underused as they could have really shown the power of influence and the demeaning social hierarchy at the time. There were also not enough characters to fully understand how characters change and there were little interactions to other characters, except for Anna and the Mompellions. Also, Anna's sexual desire seemed unrelated to the novel and did not seem to play any significance. As with the ending and the beginning of the novel, Anna's craving for human affection, whilst somewhat justifiable regarding her losing her husband, later Viccars and her children, it could have been deeply explored and not just with sentences that declare her jealousy. She really needed to understand what love and affection felt like as she was robbed with the chance to have them. The ending and the rest of novel do not work together because it felt too different and did not justify at all the change of personality of Mr Mompellion. Though Mr Mompellion was a great man and had some flaws (shouting, having fight with Josiah Bont, losing his temper), his sexual advances with Anna and his secret of never having consummated his marriage with Elinor did not justify him as it felt out of character and it just wasn't believable. There was no reason for supporting it during the novel. The awkward epilogue also questioned, for me, the timeline of this novel and the entire purpose of it, prompting me to ask my myself, "What the fcuk?" P.S. I am absolutely enraged because I can't seem to find a bloody good book. Why do I always find books with great ideas but poor execution?! THIS could have been a beautiful novel, but it just wasn't great. Just a bloody piece of **** disguised in "poetic prose" and the plague cover story. Don't read it, you're better off reading a non fiction book about the plague. Skip itshow more
by Kim
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