Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks ( is a skilled writer whose 2005 novel, March, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Originally from Sydney, Australia, she became a US citizen in 2002.

In this piece of historical fiction (inspired by the true story of Eyam) the scene is set when an infected bolt of cloth carries bubonic plague from London to an isolated village in England. The reader learns how a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna’s eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a ‘year of wonders’.

This is a spell-binding and memorable read and I do commend it to you. Enquire at your local library or consult  for full bibliographic detail.

336 pages in Harpers Perennial

First published 2001

ISBN 978-1841154589

Covering history-in-the-making led to making novels based in history

Geraldine Brooks

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