Friday, May 23, 2008
Years go by
In Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks traces a year in the life of a town that quarantines itself in the hopes of keeping the Bubonic Plague from spreading any further. The novel focuses on Anna, the narrator, and her relationship with the town's rector and his wife. The plot and the premise were quite fascinating, but the writing occasionally seemed overwritten -- a bit too much detail here and there, and I'm generally rather fond of detail. The book was interesting and readable, but not memorable for me (which, in fact, is one of the reasons I started this blog -- too many enjoyable but not-standout books out there, and I wouldn't remember which ones I had read).
ETA: I just read an interesting review of this book on Goodreads, and while I don't agree with the reviewer's optimistic view of suffering, I do agree that the "wonder" in the title was missing from the book. However, if Wikipedia can be trusted, the title's origins meant to refer to the fact that the year wasn't as bad as it could have been. Still, in that case, things in the book pretty much were as bad as they could be.