Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks

Book 19

Geraldine Brooks is a journalist/novelist and I love her work so much that I read an entire novel about a small town in England ravaged by the Black Plague in 1666.  They make a pact to close off the town with no one coming or going until it is over.  The story has all of the terrible things you would expect:

  1. A whole lot of men, women and children end up dead.
  2. Neighbors turn on each other.
  3. A terrible few choose personal gain.
  4. Women are accused of witch craft.
  5. SPOILER The minister isn’t quite as great a guy as he seems.

And it is still freakin’ fabulous.

We have the study of human nature is a particular set of dire circumstances.  Who turns to faith, who turns to science and who turns to superstition?  How does that change as things go from Bad to Worse?  Who makes the best of it, in whom does it bring out the worst?  What summons the heroism among people and what will make them absolutely crack?  How is the world different when it is over?

The story moves swiftly and doesn’t linger too much on the gore.  More importantly, the heroine is worthy.  I will officially read anything this woman writes.


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