I really loved this book, even though the main theme is somewhat depressing. I got engrossed in the characters' lives and couldn't put it down. I agree, though, that the ending seemed contrived. I wish she'd ended the story before the epilogue.
There are a lot of comments about the ending. Wondering how we would have re-written it. I was OK with it because I couldn't come up with anything better! Any other ending ideas?????
A most interesting book because it is based on a true event in history, and even if it weren't, it's a great story. According to DNA testing as reported on a History Channel program, there are relatives of the plague victims still living in the village. I thought the ending was a bit over the top.
I enjoyed the book because I am fascinated with disease management in the 17th century and the plague is especially intriguing. We are so fortunate to live in times of medical control of infectious disease! A good read.
I am also a fan of "disease" books..Search for the Speckled MOnster (or somthing close to that) being my first and favorite of that genre. Enjoyed this book as well..
I will never forget the smell of the plague: rotting apples. Yummy! An interesting book, rather weak ending, but... The herbalism and midwifery elements where what fascinated me the most. Also found curious that, much like the germ warfare established by the "civilized nations" in the twentieth century, it is generally understood that you will only lose half your population in any endemic. Ah, hope for us all.
That is funny...I liked the ending..I felt this need to get out of the rain and muck of England..and there she is in a harem..making her own way..figuring the author is anticipating a sequel??
I'm only on about page 40, and I LOVE this book. Brooks is a brilliant writer, and the characters and plot are full of depth and intrigue.
This is one of my favorite books. I have waited for Geraldine Brooks to write something else and can't wait to read her new one, People of the Book!
One of the best books I've ever read!
Don't let the cover fool you, a somtimes brutal account of a time we are lucky enough to not have lived through..Enjoyed it though..need to read a book about kittens being born in a born now...something LIGHT!
Liking the way this book is starting out. Took me a few pages to adjust to the different language/writing style (formal english)...but am intrigued by the story...
This reminded me of Thomas Mullen's The Last Town on Earth - much more contemporary history of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic in a small town in Washington state.
Great story, but the end seemed like a different book. What was with the porno sex and marriage to an arab ... What?
I totally agree with the disconcerted ending. I found that I had to read it twice to even grasp why the author would go that direction, and even then, still don't understand why the ending took that turn. The only thing I could come up with was the obvious light/dark contrast with not only the "blinding light" of the island, the obvious dark skin of the Arab etc...
Any more thoughts anyone???
A lot of people have been commenting about the surprising ending. Although it is quite sudden and unexpected, I never really minded it, though I sometimes wish it was different. I think the ending is supposed to be a full contrast to her previous life, down to the two daughters as apposed to the two sons and the highly educated and exotic husband and life of relative leisure and pleasure contrasting the mates and lifestyle she experienced throughout the story.
A few months ago, I saw a story on PBS about scientists and doctors researching people who seemed to have a natural immunity to certain diseases that kill others. Part of their research was to draw blow for a DNA screen to search for a inherited marker for immunity. I remembered that part of the special featured this very "plague" villiage for the very reason that the population quarentined itself from the rest of the world while the disease did its worst. the scientist tracked down descendants whose ancestors either never got sick or caught the disease and survived. I am certain that this was the villiage because of certain details in the book, mainly that the disease was introduced by flea-invested cloth. Very interesting.
Did anyone else not see that ending coming? I found it really bizarre but not bad. What did you think?
I was a little confused at the end; where exactly did she end up? First there was talk of Venice then all the Arab stuff ... Morocco?
I read this book 2 years ago and still consider it one of my favorites. Haven't found a period/historical read as intruiging and engrossing as Year of Wonders. Ms. Brooks is a wonderful writer and I wish she had more to share.