FMF's Original And Best Book Swap: Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

(4 Posts)
WigWamBam Mon 10-Mar-08 23:59:56

I can't find a thread for this one; please forgive me if one has already been started and I've missed it.

This is a fictionalised account insprired by the true story of a Derbyshire village struck by the Plague who cut themselves off in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease to surrounding villages.

It is beautifully written, obviously very carefully researched, and fascinating to read. It is moving and evocative, and I never once felt bored by it. It is not an easy read though; there is very little light relief from the harrowing events which beset the village.

Some of the characterisation is lovely, although I felt once or twice that Brooks was relying on the stock characters/caricatures that she thought the readers would expect. Many of the human failings of the characters within the novel are difficult to read, particularly given the grisly nature of some of the events described.

I felt rather let down by the ending; it's not the ending that I felt Anna (the narrative character) or the readers really deserved. I also felt that the twist right at the end was rather predictable, and didn't do the rest of the novel justice.

OP’s posts: |
spamm Sat 29-Mar-08 17:08:04

WWB - Thank you for starting the thread - no, I had not got round to it.

I sent this book into the swap because I enjoy it every time I read it. I discovered it as a Woman's Hour book a few years ago and had to track it down and buy it.

I was very interested by the different female characters in the book - from the ladies of the manor to the Vicar's Wife, through to the old wise woman. And the contrast with the male roles is fascinating - as the women go from strength to strength.

Some of it is predictable and stereotypical, but overall, I thought it was a good read.

Hope you all enjoy it.

WigWamBam Thu 03-Apr-08 16:17:12

Yes, that's an interesting point about the women going from strength to strength while the men flounder. It seems to be once Anna and the vicar's wife take over the role of the two wise women that this happens - an interesting take on the ancient wisdom of women which men don't understand and don't trust.

Some of the characterisation stops just short of stereotypes but I thought it was well done just the same. Just the ending that I felt disappointed with ... do yourselves a favour and don't read the epilogue wink

OP’s posts: |
yogabird Thu 03-Apr-08 21:04:52

So sorry to barge in here, I was looking for a Second Chapter club thread but.. i loved A Year of Wonders when I read it a couple of months ago, I am an early to bed kind of girl but found myself, after 1am, chair drawn up to the fireside crying and crying at the part where her boys die. I hope it's in our book group so i can read it again! (gets coat and shuffles out with head down)

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in