First off, I love diseases and plagues. Well, at least reading and learning about them. The Black Death, 1918 Influenza, you name it, I want to read about it. And I love historical fiction. So I knew I’d like Geraldine Brooks’ Year of Wonders from the start.
This novel is based on a 17th century plague outbreak in a small Derbyshire village. The narrator is a young widow, Anna Frith, who struggles, and succeeds in retaining her humanity, while most others around her succumb to the disease or their own fear.
The characters are believable, and even more importantly, their actions during this horrifying time are believable. You could see yourself acting and feeling the same as the members of this community do. The prose is strong and beautiful, and the fear is felt by the reader. Tiny details make this story what it is, and I recommend it fully to anyone who enjoys reading about disease, or enjoys the historical fiction genre.