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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
In Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks chronicles life in a tiny English village in the year 1666. What makes this "year of wonders" so fascinating is that it was the year in which an outbreak of bubonic plague struck England. Brooks's novel is based on the historical village of Eyam in the Pennine Mountains, whose denizens were challenged by their local vicar to quarantine themselves to avoid further spread of the disease throughout the countryside. As the villagers doom themselves to near-eradication (two-thirds of them will perish before year's end), the story raises compelling questions about human nature.
The harrowing story of these brave souls is recounted by one Anna Frith, a maid in the charismatic vicar's household. Having watched helplessly as her own family succumbs one by one to the virulent plague, Anna is utterly devoted to the minister's teachings; but as the virus begins to recede, she begins to doubt his entreaty. Like many great historical novels, Year of Wonders will leave readers mulling over its essential questions long after they've finished the book. (Fall 2001 Selection)