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Publisher's Summary

A young woman’s struggle to save her family and her soul during the most extraordinary year of 1666, when plague suddenly visited a small Derbyshire village and the villagers, inspired by a charismatic preacher, elected to quarantine themselves to limit the contagion.

In 1666, plague scorched London, driving the king and his court to Oxford, and Samuel Pepys to Greenwich, to escape contagion. The North of England remained untouched until, in a small community of leadminers and hill farmers, a bolt of cloth arrived from the capital. The tailor who cut the cloth had no way of knowing that the damp fabric carried with it bubonic infection.

So begins the Year of Wonders, in which a Pennine village of 350 souls confronts a scourge beyond remedy or understanding. Desperate, the villagers turn to sorcery, herb lore and murderous witch-hunting. Then, led by a young and charismatic preacher, they elect to isolate themselves in a fatal quarantine. The story is told through the eyes of Anna Frith who, at only 18, must contend with the death of her family, the disintegration of her society, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit attraction. 

Geraldine Brooks’ novel explores love and learning, fear and fanaticism, and the struggle of 17th-century science and religion to deal with a seemingly diabolical pestience. Year of Wonders is also an eloquent memorial to the real-life Derbyshire villagers who chose to suffer alone during England’s last great plague.

©2022 Geraldine Brooks (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"A Year of Wonders is a staggering fictional debut that matches journalistic accumulation of detail to natural narrative flair." (Guardian)

"A lyrically written and emotionally engaging novel." (Independent)

"The plot is gripping, I like the psychological subtlety of characters struggling with a shifting world, and it’s packed with historical detail." (Daily Mail

What listeners say about Year of Wonders

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  • Miss JM Collier
  • 03-02-22

Terrible, droning narrator

This book had been recommended to me, and I was really looking forward to enjoying it. However, the narrator has the most awful droning, unclear voice. I found her difficult to understand, and kept falling asleep and having to rewind. Such a shame, because I never got to the end of the book – I returned it and got my money back.

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  • Nikita
  • 06-27-22

My first real literary experience

I read this book for the first time in high school. It was the first novel I read that really showed me how immersive a good fiction book can be. It stuck with me all these years as my first favourite read and I was so excited to hear it brought to life as an audio book. It’s held up well and although initially put off by the tone in which Geraldine read it, her performance grew on me and became enjoyable.

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  • Sarah
  • 05-01-22

Fantastic book

Really great story, well written. The narrator can seem odd at first but she’s perfect for the book and you love her by the end.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-26-22

the story is great, but awful narration

I can't believe how bad a reader Geraldine is. such beautiful language, full of feeling, and she falls flat. even strange pronunciation of words that are neither Australian, British or American. please re-record this with a professional, or have someone coach on reading.

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  • Sonja
  • 01-24-22

Can't go on

I was recommended this book by a friend who says it's a great read but half an hour into listening and I'm sorry Geraldine, you need to find a professional to narrate this for you. I cannot continue.

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  • Mrs L J Martin
  • 01-23-22

Great

I have read the printed version of this book several times and loved it. But the narrator of the audiobook was a bit flat and boring. Sorry but that's just my opinion. Still, this is an excellent story.