Year of Wonders Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Year of Wonders

Anna Frith is a young widow of eighteen. Her husband, Sam, died in a mining accident. When her lodger, George Viccars, mysteriously dies of the plague, Anna does not heed his warnings to burn his items and the Plague spreads through the village.
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Soon enough Anna's own children die from Plague. Anna is left in a state of depression, relying on special herbs to make her sleep. When all seems lost for her, she finds a deep friendship with Elinor, the lady of the house she serves. Elinor's husband, rector Mr. Mompellion, begins a quarantine, stating that the village is to be closed, and no one may leave or enter. So, with the death toll ever rising, Anna and Elinor use their herbal knowledge to try to comfort and maybe even heal, those afflicted with the Plague. Through all this employment Anna goes through a rebirth as she begins to realise just how precious her life is and does not intend on wasting it.
The review of this Book prepared by Veronica

Anne Frithe is a homemaker of a preacher who lives in northern Europe. When her husband died over a minor accident, she only had her two sons. Then a plague killed her two sons. Once this small town started figuring out why people was dying they began to panic, and want to evalcuate the city. Then Anne started taking matters in her own hands. By learning how to read and write she tries to figure out a cure for this mysterious disease.
The review of this Book prepared by Jermaine Dixon

When author Geraldine Brooks came upon the small English village of Eyam and learned its history, she knew she wanted to write about it. During the time of the bubonic plague, the town closed itself off to all outsiders and the townspeople agreed that they would remain within their borders--so that they would not spread the plague any further than their own boundaries.

Year of Wonders chronicles the struggles of the townspeople through the eyes of Anna, a simple serving woman whose physical verve and religious faith are tested to the breaking point as she ministers to the sick and tries to find hope in the midst of catastrophe. Her resolve is further shaken when her priest--and the man who has thus far held the town together by gossamer threads--finally suffers a crisis of faith after the death of his wife.

The review of this Book prepared by S. Kay Murphy

In the Plague Year of 1665-66, a strain of the deadly disease travels from London to a small village of about 300 in Derbyshire, in the north of England, and steadily wastes two-thirds of the inhabitants. Narrator Anna Frith has already lost her husband to the lead mines, and a male boarder and her two little boys quickly fall to the plague. After the rector Michael Mompellion urges the village to shut itself off from the rest of the world -- both to take upon itself this divine judgment and to protect the surrounding communities from contagion -- Anna becomes one of the stalwarts of the village along with Michael, his frail but firm wife Elinor, and the herbalists Mem Gowdie and her niece Anys (whom the villagers are quick to regard as witches). There is also tension with the wealthy family, the Bradfords, who live in a nearby hall and make their own selfish choices. This fascinating and deeply moving 2001 novel, which depicts lives and the nature of faith and supersitition under extreme duress, was inspired by the true events of an English village called Eyam. It is an impressive first novel by the author of Nine Parts of Desire (see my review on this site).
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

This story is based in part on an actual village in England where the bubonic plague erupted. The author uses information about mining, religion, midwives/witches, and cultural depictions of the time as a backdrop for her character development.

Anna, the narrator of the story, loses her husband to a mining accident, and her two sons to the plague. She plunges her heart and soul into working side-by-side with the local rector and his wife to aid the ailing villagers. Each character evokes a personal response from the reader as we relate to how the the characters react to one another during these trying times.

Anna takes up the work of the local healer/herbalist (midwife/witch), after her untimely death, and Anna studies science and medicine in order to make the healing elixirs that she hopes will contribute to easing the suffering of those around her. With the help of the local rector's wife, Anna learns to read, listen, and apply her own suffering to the big picture of how they will get through this ordeal. Most of all, she learns to trust her own intuition.
The review of this Book prepared by Dorothy Halligan

Chapter Analysis of Year of Wonders

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   very sensitive (sigh) Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Family, caring for ill    -   Yes Who is sick?    -   platonic (!) friend because he/she is    -   physically ill Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book War/Revolt/Disaster on civilians    -   Yes Conflict:    -   Environmental Disaster Religion theme?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   homemaker Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   British


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   actual description of hetero sex Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Year of Wonders

Geraldine Brooks Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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