Year of Wonders

Year of Wonders

A Novel of the Plague

Book - 2001
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated mountain village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes, we follow the story of the plague year, 1666, as her fellow villagers make an extraordinary choice. Convinced by a visionary young minister, they elect to quarantine themselves within the village boundaries to arrest the spread of the disease. But as death reaches into every household, faith frays. When villagers turn from prayers and herbal cures to sorcery and murderous witch-hunting, Anna must confront the deaths of family, the disintegration of her community, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit love. As she struggles to survive, a year of plague becomes, instead, annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders.' Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged mountain spine of England. Year of Wonders is a detailed evocation of a singular moment in history."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2001.
ISBN: 9780670910212
Characteristics: 308 p. : map ; 24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 23, 2021

Excellent read. Geraldine Brooks writing about the Plague of 1662 puts us back to the time of living through a year of quarantine in a small village which lost most of its inhabitants with the terrible disease.

Jan 15, 2021

Enjoyed this, but the situation of the Plague hit a bit close to home! Rather gory and graphic in parts - not for the weak stomached!

Nov 15, 2020

One of my very favorite books. So rich in descriptions and characters.

Oct 26, 2020

This is a novel about 1660 and the plague. It is not an easy read, but it is a great read. I felt like I was living in the 1660s with all their prejudices and superstitions!

Sep 16, 2020

An account of a year in the life of a 17th-century village afflicted by the bubonic plague. Suitable reading for 2020. Engrossing, moving, and ultimately satisfying.

IndyPL_SherryU May 20, 2020

I read Year of Wonders before COVID-19 was a blip on the radar. The idea that a village would have the collective strength and consideration for others they might come into contact with intrigued me. I never thought that a quarantine was in my future, but 2020 has been a year of new experiences for all of us.

I enjoyed this book very much, liked the plot, characters and setting, but then I am a sucker for historical fiction. As others have noted, the story does start to fizzle toward the end of the tale, not enough for me to stop reading, though! In fact, I enjoyed Year of Wonders enough that I also read People of the Book by this author.

Jan 03, 2020

I liked the book, but the last third seemed far too full of twists and turns and took the story away from a woman's contemplation and reflection on death, religion and duty to something that comes much too close to a romance novel.
A Goodreads review of the Mistress of Death by Ariana Franklin reminds me of the other problem I had with this book and other recent entries in the genre; the heroine invariably looks a lot like a liberated woman with very modern and very liberal values. I'm sorry to say that this seems rather endemic to recent female historical fiction writers (The Golden Mean, Sweet Girl, Mistress, etc).
That's why I LOVE Hilary Mantel. (and you should too!) She lets her characters be of their time.
I'm less disturbed by the marketing necessity of a "modern woman" than I am about packing the book full of exploits in the last third of it - "and then... and then... and then..." - which really upends the slow and thoughtfully paced interiority of the first sections.
It's a pleasant enough read and very well researched, but it doesn't come anywhere close to her very excellent "March".

Tigard_DeidraM Jul 26, 2019

I loved this book! Very engaging story...if you like dark, fictionalized history, this might appeal to you. Geraldine Brooks is one of my favorite writers.

juliarosewaters Sep 13, 2018

I enjoyed 90% of this book, but the end was bizarre and disastrous! :/

Jan 02, 2018

This is a compelling read. Despite the overall topic of bubonic plague I had a hard time putting this down. The brutality of living in this time is overwhelming by itself but putting the plague on top of it is almost too much to much to read about when wanting an escape from our times. The heroine of this historical fiction constantly finds more strength within to make her keep going and help others when her own existence is so precarious. Her search for knowledge is inspiring and explains why I continue to want to learn also. I want to read more from this author.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
CRRL_AdrianaP Nov 07, 2013

"How was I to face the days and nights to come? There would be no other relief for me; in my two hands I held my only chance of exit from our village and its agonies."


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at CAPL

To Top