Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What A Wonderful, Wonderful Book

Flower, my old chum.

Are you a re-reader? I am and I'm not. I do periodically re-read classics with a capitol C novels, but books written in the last one hundred years? Not so much. Maybe one or two titles? One of them recentlywas AYear of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. I read Year when it first came out in 2002 but not since. I have been pairing down on my books recently dividing my home into keepers and library fair donations. So when I found Year in between a book on tapestry weaving (keeper) and Barbara Walkers Treasury of Knitted Stitches volume 2 (Keeper!) my first instinct was to keep it but I decided to have a re-read to be sure.

Insert loud and heart felt DUH here. How could I have doubted?

Year is magnificent. Simple as that. It's based on a true story. At the height of the Bubonic Plague an English village lead by a charismatic minister quarantine's itself in an effort to keep the plague from spreading to other villages. Brooks tells the story from the point of view of the maid to that minister, Anna. Anna is an eighteen year old widow with two sons. When she takes in a tailor as a lodger it is his flea infected fabrics that begins the infection in the village. At first a follower through education from the Minister's wife and her own bravery Anna becomes a savior for the village when others have abandoned the ideals of the quarantine. What starts out as a kind of act of heroism by creating the quarantine ends as an extraordinary test of self will and sacrifice.

Crammed with detail and intelligent writing, Year is also a page turner and moving. re-reading it I was reminded of how much I loved the first time I read it. It's definatley a Keeper until I find someone to force it on to. Year of Wonders is too good not to share.


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