Because Ideas Matter...

The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents

Recommended Readings

Year-of-WondersYear of Wonders

by Geraldine Brooks, Penguin 2002

Reviewed by Anne Wilson

A fictional tale based upon real events of how a woman from a rural village in England might have survived the black plague, Year of Wonders is a tale of human perseverance. This is not a story to read if you have recently had a child, and there are scenes that are very difficult to read. If you are able to move beyond some of the more gruesome portrayals - the real plague certainly must have been worse - the main character Anna will capture your heart. Through the story, the value of literacy and education is reinforced in ways I had not expected, and Brooks provides an unusual way for Anna to fulfill her potential while maintaining a semblance of historical accuracy. Anna ties many of her reflections to the changing of the seasons giving the reader a sense of connection to her time and place, even if we cannot as easily identify with the Christian vs. pagan theme throughout the story. Upon finishing the story, I am sure that you will share my desire to visit Eyam, Derbyshire, the real town that inspired Brooks' tale.

- Anne Wilson is professor of chemistry at Butler University.