Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks - review

A wonder indeed. This book combines loves, loss, truth and lies into a beguilingly story. Geraldine Brooks captures the imagination with each new discovery, creating an irresistible page turner.

Set in the year of 1666 the country is fraught with plague. When the disease reaches the rural Derbyshire village of Eyam a decision needs to be made for better or for worse. The villagers elect to isolate themselves from the rest of the world in a state of quarantine. Their lives in the hands of God, resentments begin to arise that will bring into question- is the plague really the village's biggest fear?
This story is centered around Anna Frirth, a young maid with a burden to far surpass her years. The villagers struggle for survival will test Anna beyond her limits and she will learn what it means to lose everything.

This dazzling debut is based on a remarkable true story, yet it takes Brooks imagination to recreate and unearth the overwhelming suffering faced by the villagers. A sure recommendation, yet a slow start and some mature themes may make this book unsuitable for younger readers. Nevertheless, Brooks should be congratulated for her fascinating characters and intricate plot. After all, aren't the best stories often true?

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