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Year of Wonders

by Geraldine Brooks

What would it be like to survive the Plague in a remote village in 1665? This is a good, old-fashioned, historical novel replete with gory childbirths, wise-women, witch hunts, drunken leadminers, murder and madness. Not to mention the Plague. Our plucky heroine, Anna Frith, survives to a happy ending, however.

Extract

In the afternoon, my stepmother came to take her place. Her words I do remember, for they seared me so.

'Anna you are a fool.'

I looked up in astonishment, dragging my eyes off Tom's little face for the first time that day. Her plain, pasty features came into focus through my tears, and I saw that her expression was one of exasperation.

'Why do you let yourself love an infant so? I warned you, did I not, to school your heart against this?' It was true. Aphra had seen three of her own babies into the ground before their first year ....

'It is folly and ill fortune to love a child until it walks and is well grown. As you now see, as you now see ....'

Parallels

A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe
Restoration by Rose Tremain
Precious Bane by Mary Webb
 

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