Friday, January 8, 2016

Book review: "A Year of Wonders" by Geraldine Brooks

I have a conflicted track record with Ms Brooks. I did not like "March" (you now, that she won a major award for) but I did like "People of the Book". So I appreciate that when I pick up one of her books I never know if it's going to be a hit or a miss. Though I always appreciate that she writes on such a wide variety of times and places. You're going to get something different from her every time and I like her range.

So I picked up this book because it's about the plague. Whenever the 4 hour special on the plague is on the History channel I just understand that the next 4 hours of my life are gone in front of the telly. So, this was in my wheelhouse.

It basically is set in a tiny town in the sticks of England in 1666 and how the people of the village when the plague sweeps into their town. Our main character is Anna, a woman who had a crummy childhood but then makes a tidy, nice life for least for a little while. Despite suffering a lot herself, she becomes a source of strength in the village, but there are people, especially from her past who are not content to let the past go...or not be terrible people. Because at least two of these people were terrible before the plague came through.

Here is my qualm with the book: at the very end of the book there is a big plot twist that involves  (what I would call) a rather large personality twist that I didn't find believable. Everyone in the book suffers a lot because, you know, plague, and that would account for a lot of personality changes but this one I just didn't buy.

Despite the weird plot twist that I just talked about at the end of the book, this was a hit for me. So Ms Brooks is batting over 500 with me, I'm sure she will rest easier at night knowing this :) .  3.5 out of 5 for me!


1 comment:

  1. I read this one so long ago. I think it must've been the early to mid 2000s. My tastes were a bit different back then, but I picked this one up for the same reasons: love plague stories. I enjoyed the book, but I do remember that twist being...something.


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