Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Year of Wonders Reflection

It's over. The novel has ended. Anna is alive and well and the Plague is gone. What did you think of the story? The characters? The resolution? Was it what you expected?

Write a thorough reflection.

27 comments:

  1. When i first started the reading I was really surprised that I was actually interested in a book I was reading in class. The book was intriguing when I first started reading, but when the book actually got going i felt that the book was very depressing. I just felt like for awhile the book was jumping from one death to the next. I also did not understand how Anna death with an overwhelming amount of deaths. I mean the love of her life died, a new friend that she began to fall for, both of her children, her best friend, and countless other friends of her died. If I where her I would have to be put in a mental hospital. She seemed as if she cared about them dying, but she never seem depressed, nor did she dwell on any of the deaths for longer than a couple of days. This really confused me and i do not understand how anyone in this world could possible say mentally and emotionally stable through that degree of death.
    I really got interested in the book towards the end though. The book actually became weird, I thought, Between Aphra stabbing Elinor and plastering her dead child to a wall, and then the Bradfords trying to kill their newborn baby, there was so much to think about. I felt like every character i read about in this book had a very odd characteristic. I guess that is what made the book more interesting though, because it really wasn't like anything I had ever read before. The resolution was not what I expected, but it was what I should have expected. Anna eventually took both of her daughters and moved away, I guess that is not how I thought the story would end. I thought the story would end more along the lines of Anna dying from the plaque, or contracting the plaque but surviving. I felt like the ending had a weird twist that no one really could have guessed until the last section of the book. The ending was good, but it was not what I was hoping for. I was hoping for a resolution that tied everything together and made the whole book make sense. When I finished reading the book I had so many unanswered questions. I wondered why Mompellion wanted Anna to leave, and how the book would have been different if Elinor had never died, I wondered how Anna was so stable and fine with starting a new life with two new children, after all the tragedy she had been through. There was many aspects of the ending that did not make any sense to me, even thought the ending did have a cool twist to it.

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  2. Without a doubt this was a very unique novel of this time period. There are many other novels that cover this subject of the plague but this one seemed to have a new perspective. It gave insight and raw emotions to death. It showed that being a survivor is not always glorious but haunting. Anna had to live everyday without anyone that she really cared for. Even when she wanted to find refuge in her sleep the images of her children would not go away.

    I felt as though all of the characters in this book were complex and portrayed real emotions that people could have had. It was interesting in the sections about loosing faith and putting one's trust in someone else how so many people really hoped on board and wanted to make meaning of the massive amount of death. The author did a great job of not making the characters predictable. The ending as a whole was a complete surprise. I thought I new the rector well enough, but his actions were completely out of character. I feel like this is symbolic for how much the plague really effected the lives of the living.

    Although the ending was surprising, it resolved many issues. One of the main problems I had with the book was that Anna no matter how hard she worked and how much she served was still thought of as rather lowly and weak. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Anna is about ready to leave the rector with her new baby on the horse. Her character is expected to use the help of the rector to mount the horse but Anna does not. The text says, “ I turned away from him and mounted unassisted, preferring an ungraceful scramble to the touch of his hand.” (293). Anna showed her since of strength and will power in this situation. Many women would not even dare leaving by them selves. Others would not think about leaving a man who she was obliged to serve and even cared for. Yet Anna shows in this passage that she does not want to sit here in this life anymore. She wanted something new and different and did not want the rector to be apart of it. I feel like this passage also symbolized what would happen in her future. She would be weary to accept much help from others but she would lead her own way strongly and make and bigger and brighter future for herself than that of the one she had now.

    This novel was a great example of a true survivor. She suffered alone. Anna was haunted without her children. In the end she says something very unique. She said that she may have lost some of her faith but she still has her hope. I felt like this is very appropriate for her situation. She is working to learn more but for now she just has to hope that her future will be brighter.

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  3. The story line of this book was a little weak for me. Anna did not really do anything to significant to survive. All she did was live during the plague year and manage not to get sick. She didn't take any extreme measures to save herself and all she did was get lucky. The character that impressed me the most was Mompellion at the beginning of the novel. Throughout the story he was the leader of the village who would make difficult choices for the good of other people. Most other people would not recommend the villagers to contain themselves so others would not get infected and almost no one would be able to dig graves, preach, and lead the village at the same time. However he disappointed me at the end of the book when he gave up his faith in God just because his wive died. It seemed odd that a man with such strong will power would give up after his wive died, it contradicted his character. The end of the book did surprise me a little because I had expected Anna to end up marrying Mompellion and rebuilding her life there. I never would have guessed that she would have saved the Bradford's baby and ran off to an Arabic culture. I had just assumed that if the plague wouldn't chase her from her village nothing would. I guess the wraith of the Bradfords was scarier to Anna than the plague. Or maybe now that she had something to save she started caring about her life again. Her newly adopted baby could have given her the will the live on and given her new hope. That is most likely why the author put that in the story. She lost her hop with the plague and gained it back again with her new daughter.

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  4. I honestly wasn't a big fan of the novel. It had a good plot, but I just felt that the story kind of fell through. There wasn't much excitement in the way I like. I thought that reading about the Plague itself was interesting, but I didn't like the story much. I really liked Anna, and I think the author did a good job to make her likeable. Although, Mompellion surprised me at the end. I really loved Mompellion, but it was almost as if the Plague had changed him in a more bitter way. He became a little more demanding, but before he was great. I really loved reading all of his sermons and philosophical ideas. I thought it was strange how he somewhat betrayed his wife once she was dead, finally revealing he didn't respect her. Out of all people, I felt that he respected everyone equally, no matter their background. I wish he could have turned out nicer in the end, so Anna could be with him. I somewhat always saw something between them, but didn't know it would have gone that far, however, I am glad she left him. I felt that after what he did, he deserved it. I wish the book would have ended differently, ending a little happier. I get that Anna may have ended happy, but I wanted the book to end with something I wasn't expecting. And maybe I wasn't expecting her to live off without Mompellion, but I wanted there to be more than just that. I also really liked Elinor's character and wish she wouldn't have had to leave. I thought she was the perfect mother-figure for Anna. I respected her so much, and felt that she was a really good factor into the story. I really liked that Anna took the Bradford baby for herself. I think she deserved a child after all she had been through. I always felt that she was a very natural mother, always caring for virtually everyone. I thought this story had good factors, but it just didn't keep my interest for very long. I think overall, I would have liked to see more drama and excitement, but I do understand this is set in a different time, and I suppose that's just my preference. I enjoyed that this book had some historical background, because the Plague interests me. I think my only request was that this book have a little more twists and kept me on the edge of my seat. Overall though, the book wasn't bad, but I wouldn't read it again.

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  5. The story overall was wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed it because of how interesting the fiction made it while staying relatively historical. The many characters were... different. Anna seemed to be an all around good person who dealt with life just like any other but still tried to help people. I like this because there aren't many people like that in our world and reading stories about them, whether real or fictitious, make me happy to know that they're out there. Mr. Mompellion was an especially intriguing character because of his hidden dark side. I respected him because of his profession and his courage whent he plague became rampant, but how he acted after Elinor died surprised me. I said in my reading journal that it was likely Elinor who keeped him sane during the plague outbreak and he broke down because of her death. I hold to this because he essentially gave up after she died. He wouldn't shave, eat, or even bathe. Then he seemed to be getting back to normal after developing his relationship with Anna. I was quickly informed of his change of heart and how he no longer believed in God and chose to please himself. Luckily, he was redeemed by his seemingly honest second wind after his brusque encounter with Anna later on. Not many other characters stuck out to me too much. I thought it ridiculous that Anys and Mem were killed when they were clearly some of the few who could help medically. I loathed Anna's father and stepmother because they were vile people who deserved no sympathy. Her father was a violent drunk who looked out for himself, and her stepmother was literally insane. Sure, she lost much of her family in a small amount of time, but she shouldn't have left her daughter's body to decay while she danced around with a snake. The ending was definitely not what I expected. I assumed it would end like the Diary of Anne Frank with Anna getting the plague and dying like everyone else. Luckily, that didn't happen and she was able to live happily ever after with her two daughters in a fictional world. I am happy that the story ended in such a way because everyone likes a happy ending. Otherwise it would have ended terribly and have been an awful story simply because of an awful ending. But it was happy and cheerful and worked out perfectly. There were times in the book when I was disturbed by the... graphic images portrayed. Fortunately, those are the only complaints I have from it. I'd have appreciated it more if it weren't so awkward, but that's all. It was a wonderful read. I most likely won't ever read it again, but it was a very good read.

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  6. To be honest, i thought the story was very bland and uninteresting, until the last 75 or so. The repetitions of the character's deaths were spread out and very predictable, so that it made the entire story dead, (just like its characters). I found it hard to understand the plot at times, and the book did me no good as to learning more about the plague, except for learning the symptoms of it. I believe Anna reminded me a bit of myself in a motherly and tender way, who is always trying to help others and fix everything, even if she is not involved. I believe the last couple chapters of the book did give the story some interest, yet did not surprise me much. About half way through the book, i hypothesized how the ending would be like, and it was not much different from the actual ending. I expected that she would live from the plague and would somehow find a new love for Mompellion in which they would have children together. Although her love interest was not the rector, i had a good idea of what would happen. Most of the characters were typical and uninteresting, and it seemed as if none of them had any background to them except for Anna's story in which involved Sam. I believe that bits of the book were thrown in together to make the text more exciting such as when Anna and Elinor went to retrieve the ore from the mine for Maggie. I thought this small plot of the story was quite random and quickly told. I wish the author had focused more on one specific event instead of briefly explaining many different, random events. Overall, the book did not have a bad plot or ending, but was very expectable and predictable. If i had a choice to recommend this book, i would not, because of its uninforming qualities and boring characters thrown together to create many different plots. I believe one of the reasons i do not like the book is because of the fact of how irrelevant it is in today's society, and until i experience firsthand what is happening in the book, i probably will never relate to this book in any way more than reading it for a high school class.

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  7. The book was a lot more mature than I expected. I thought that this would be more about her relationship with her family and not so much with Elinor. Elinor had a lot bigger role than I expected. I thought she was one of the best characters which is why I was so upset when Mompellion told his feelings toward her to Anna. I think that while Elinor did make a mistake it wasn't fair to blame so much of that on her or make her mistake bigger or worse than anything Mompellion had done, he obviously made some serious mistakes that went against his religion at the end of the book. However, when he admitted he really didn't believe in God it made more sense as to why he did most of the things he did, but at the same time that only made it worse that he judged Elinor so harshly, when she clearly felt embarrassed and remorse over what she had done. Overall, Mompellion got on my nerves which is why I was okay that he was left alone in the end. When I first found out his wife died I felt bad and wished he had someone else, then his personality became so hung up on how he had been wronged, it seemed like, that he became extremely harsh and cold to everyone else. I think that Anna was just confused by the end, which is why she needed to leave. To me, her life in the end was even lonelier than when she still lived in the village because now she has no one, except the baby, that she knows, but that's probably what was best for her. I had forgotten how young she was which made this whole book even more sad but thoughtful to a certain extent. She was only in her late teens then early twenties when her first husband died, the man she considered as a husband (Mr. Viccars) and her two very young children. Compared to nowadays, where at 18 we are just graduating and starting more schooling, she had experienced the most painful deaths and relationships. I was honestly surprised when she announced to herself that she was a christian. If anything, it seemed like she would have lost faith before Mompellion. When I say surprising, I just mean looking back on my opinions from the beginning of the book about everyone versus what I see them as now. I thought she was weak, and that Mompellion was stronger than she was (in an emotional sense) but that he was just so upset. As the book progressed, though, I saw the roles switching through different acts that Anna did. When she helped Elinor with Gem and Anys' job, and when she got the women out of the mine shaft, I changed my views on her. Overall, I was surprised at how much the book was NOT about the plague. Although the plague was used as the event that would bring these characters to their emotional limit, and cause them to break, I really saw the book as a survival book (which is why we are reading it now). The book was not so centered around the plague it was more an instructional guide. While this did take place during the 1600s it can be taken out of context to be used now.

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  8. Year of Wonders was a very interesting book, going into the assignment I didn't think that reading a book all about the plague and death was going to be very interesting but then I started reading and realized that it was a lot more interesting than I had envisioned. I thought that the story line was very depressing but I liked how the characters interacted. The story also had many twists and turns along the way so it kept me interested while reading the book. My favorite character was Mr. Mompellion because of the way he handled situations. I thought he was a very well written character and a strong main character. Even when he was in the background of situations I thought that he was very involved, if that makes sense. Anna was also one of my favorite characters because of the changes that she underwent during the book. At the beginning of the book she was just a servant but then at the end she has evolved. I feel like in a way she grew up and matured. She was married young and she lost so many important people when she was young as well. Throughout the book she is evolving as a person and learning how to start life over as an older woman. She felt like throughout the book she was looking for something and at the end of the book I think she finally achieved what she had been dreaming of since the plague had begun. The ending was not what I expected at all, I thought that Mrs. Bradford had a disease, I did not know that she was pregnant but after Anna delivered the baby I knew that she would be happy. She said “This little girl, seemed to me, at that moment answer enough to all my questions” I feel as if by her saying this she is saying that all the questions that she had were now answered because even in trials and heartache this little girl came into the world healthy and happy. I did not expect that Anna would leave the town after all this dispair that she went through during the plague. She stayed in the village during the plague but then afterward she leaves? I mean, it makes sense because she had to get the baby out of town and I think that shows just how nurturing and caring Anna really was, she wanted that baby to have a healthy, and happy life and didn't care if she had to leave the village to give the baby a happy life. I thought this book was a good book, initially it was very depressing and even through the end I thought it was a bit depressing but I liked the storyline and I found it to be intriguing.

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  9. In the novel, year of wonders, I found the feeling of strength. A woman that had lost so much to this sickening disease could find the will inside herself to get up out of remorse and continue her life to help others facing the same sadness she had. I thought about my own life. I thought about how many tragedies I've been through and how they amount nothing to what Anna went through. It was astounding to me that this one disease could outbreak and kill off so many families. When I heard about the plague I never considered families I just consider the amount of deaths. Reading this novel made me realize there were families behind the scenes and they were hurt but had to carry on. When I lost my grandmother even at her elderly age, I remorsed. In this time you could loose all your family and be sick yourself and still be expected to stay strong. In this situation in the beginning of the book I thought I would make it through a situation like this, but in all actuality, I could not. I would die of a broken heart. The characters in this story seemed very realistic. They covered many different groups and all the different social classes. Not only were they in the book but as a reader I became attached to some characters. When they passed on in the story I felt the sadness. My favorite character was Anys Gowdie. When she passed in such a horrible way, I felt so sorry and sad. All in all this book was nothing I expected. I expected it to be this long boring novel with technical terms. After reading, I've realized this novel was an actualization story. It helped me find myself and was easy to understand. I put myself in the shoes of Anna and took the story from there.

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  10. Overall the story was pretty good. Going into the book, I was not really on top of the reading because at first the novel seemed dry and boring. Although once I started reading it more in depth, I found out the overall the book had turned out interesting. To me, the characters did not really change in many ways throughout the book. Unlike a lot of different novels that have a plot somewhat alike to this theme some of the characters usually change in different ways throughout the story. That was not the case for this novel in my opinion. The ending of the book was not really as what i expected. To me I thought no one would survive the outcome of the plague, but turned out Anna did. Throughout reading the novel, I began to find out very quickly when analyzing different quotes from the book that all of the parts of the novel i pulled from the novel to write in my reading journal had a lot to do with God and other religious views. Some were about trusting in God and following his ways to even possibly losing the ways of God. To me, the book overall made me realize that even through hard times as they faced the plague, one should still put their trust in and believe in God no matter what. Overall the novel turned out to be a lot more interesting than I believed it would have been when I first started reading it. Many parts throughout the story of this book took moments when it seemed happy, but it was never to happy. The novel also took many harsh, cruel, and depressing moments in it as well.

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  11. I though the story is very well thought out and over all a pretty good story line. The characters in this book bring out the best and the worst in each other in a way to where there was a lot more going on than just the plague. I feel that if the only conflict in this book was the plague that the story would've gotten pretty dull and predictable quickly. What Geraldine Brooks did was not only have the plague going on but also through in conflict between the characters, such as the witch accusations and the whole mining incident, to add a layer of depth to her story. I love how you actually got to know who the characters are as a person before they pass away due to the plague because otherwise I would've felt like I was reading a documentary. This book was not at all what I expected it to be. When first starting this book I felt that it wasn't going to be very eventful and that it would get boring quickly but the more I read the story the more I seemed to like it. I though for sure that Anna would be one to die at the end of the book because it seemed like almost everyone she got close to would catch the plague and pass away but she never did. In a way that adds to the meaning behind the book and adds to the characteristic of being a survivor. She survived through many of her loved one passing away and even survived the plague.

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  12. I loved the end, Anna coming our of a time in her life that was basically hell on earth to be happy and have a good job and start a new life, severs all ties from her past life, and even has another child. One aspect that I didn't like was how Mompellion's character turned out. It came as quite a shock to me when him and Anna had sex, and even though the beginning of the book foreshadows it, his denouncing of Christianity seemed so harsh for such a God fearing kind and compassionate man. Also, the fact that Mompellion's marriage to Elinor was some kind of cruel and unusual punishment for her having an abortion seemed so odd to me especially after how upset he was after her death, he really just lost his mind toward the end. I liked how the book was a portrayal of the evolution of the characters, Anna's loss of innocence, and Mompellion's loss of morality and religion and much of the town's gradual loss of all hope as a result of the plague. I don't think either of these characters would believe the things they were going to do at the beginning of the book. One thing that doesn't change about Anna is her willingness to help and compassion on others, and I'm glad she kept that until the very end, helping Mrs. Bradford and caring for many people all throughout the book, someone who has gone through so much loss might lose all of that tenderness. Overall I like this book a lot more than I expected to, the characters had so much depth and the plot line was unexpected.

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  13. I thought the book was okay. The story was really good I just didn't really like the plot. I liked how detailed everything was because it made it so much easier to imagine all of the things that happened. I thought Anna was a really good character except that it was weird that her husband died, then she was interested in George Viccaars, then he died, then she was interested in Mr. Mompellion, and then she went off and became one of many wives to a muslim man. That part was what was weirdest to me. I can understand that she would want to leave the village so that she could leave behind all the death and sadness that she experienced there. But I thought it was strange that she would go marry a man that has more than one wife already. I guess she just wanted to start an entirely different life from the one she had and maybe it will help her to forget the death of her family and friends. I really liked Mem and her sister because they wanted to help everyone that was becoming sick from the Plague by using herbs and different medicine that the villagers were not used to. I didn't like that the townspeople freaked out and decided to kill the both of them. I was sad for Anna because of all the death and sadness that she had experience while the plague was in her town. I can't imagine having your husband die and then both of your sons die from the plague. It must have been very lonely for her once Elinor died and Mr. Mompellion became more of a recluse. Maybe that was another reason that she married the muslim man. So that she would always have some company with the other wives and always be surrounded by children. That was the most unexpected and surprising part of the book for me. I liked how well the situations were described like when Jamie was pouring the rose petals on Anna. I didn't like how well the sores and other signs of the plague were described or the in depth birthing scene though. Overall, I liked some qualities of the book and didn't like others. It may have just been to sad and full of death for me to really enjoy as a book.

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  14. This story, to me, was just different overall. I did enjoy it, but a lot of parts of the story caught me off guard, as in I did not expect certain events to happen. The evcents that caught me off guard kept me reading to see how the people or person would react and what would come of it. In the previous reading, where Mompellion and Anna had intercourse, was the most suprising event in the book. I would have never guessed anything would happen between them, mostly because Mompellion is so stricken over the death of Elinor. The characters to me at times were very dramatic and were crazy. A moment i thought the characters were crazy was towards the beggining of the plague when the townspeople thought it was Mem and Any who were starting the plague I felt that it was the characters that kept me reading the book, so as to see what happens next. I really did like the ending of the story. The ending was definately shocking, but at the same time I felt something like it was going to happen. The ending felt to me it was more happy compared to if Anna were to just stay in the town. Even though i would have liked to have seen how life was after the plague in the town, it is still nice that she got away from all of the bad memories that it held and found a new place to live where she could be happy do what she loves to do.

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  15. This book is actually really good. It is one of the best ones I've read in high school. There were a lot of different events that had some excitement and stress. There were always a new turning point it seemed. This includes the ending which might be the only part I didn't like. I think it was awesome that Anna received and had some more kids after her first couple died to the plague. However, the situation of the setting of where she moves to and what she does is kind of disappointing. I thought maybe she would become a person of success in the village or move some better place than what the one was in the book. The whole switcharoo of the rector's attitudes and actions through me for a loop. I did not expect that. That to me just showed the loss of faith suffered through the tramatic experience of the plague. I also didn't like that Mrs. Mompellion died. She seemed to nice to die. I thought it was cool how Anna named her kid after Elinor being a true sign of honor and respect for the role Elinor played in Anna's life. I find it ironic how the Bradfords turned from enemy into friend for Anna. They went from the most disliked because they left the village in the middle of the plague to the most liked. Mrs. Bradford did a good deed for Anna by giving her the kid by also being a good parent and protecting it from harm's way. It is intriguing how people just lost their minds because of the fear they had of the plague. They lost all optimism, faith, and hope. Even though Anna's stepmother had killed Faith, her little rituals were pretty entertaining. I can just see someone acting "different" and just laugh. That is because I don't see it like she does and just see her as a psycho who should be locked up somewhere. The real scary thing is that there is people like that out there in the world. Overall, there are just strange people for that matter. I am probably one of them in my own special way. Just not strange in that I could harm someone. No I am just strange in a positive way. I blame it on my family roots. The book was very good because it provided grabbing drama and seriousness. I would have picked a different ending that doesn't leave me confused by the unexpectation. Honestly, I just didn't think the ending fit the story well. The End

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  16. To my surprise, I actually did enjoy reading this book. This is probably just as much of a shock to me as it is to everyone else. There were times where the text seemed dry and dragged on, but I was able to get through those parts and read the entirety of the book successfully. I think the story and plot was fairly well put together. There were a number of twists and turns in the story that as a reader I did not see coming. Examples of such would be the sexual encounters between Anna and the rector and the Bradford's attempted murder of their wed-locked baby. Throughout reading the book and writing in the journal, I found myself trying to guess what would happen next or trying to read into the text and find hints of foreshadowing of future events. The book was not what I expected. I expected to read a boring book about the life of a woman who survived the Plague and talked about the grueling deaths that people suffered from. Instead, the book contained sensuality, murder, witchcraft, and many other elements that in all contributed to the enjoyment of the book rather than just stating historical facts about the time period of the Plague. While reading the book, I did not enjoy the lengthy descriptions of the main characters and found it boring and pointless. However, in retrospect I found that these lengthy descriptions actually helped contribute and better explain the story to the reader as to why people acted or reacted the way they did. I personally liked the ending of the book. Anna keeps the Bradford's baby and learns and works for a doctor. She also has a baby of her own and names her Elinor. I cannot think of a better way to remember her friend than by naming her daughter after her.

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  17. "To have saved this small, singular one- this alone seemed enough that I lived. I knew then that this was how I was meant to go on" away from death and toward life, from birth to birth, from seed to blosson, living my life amongst wonders." This quotation from page 286 really stood out to me because not only did Anna receive understanding, but also the reader began to understand the purpose behind her survival. I also liked that it gave relief to the depression in the novel. I did like that the novel had a happy ending, because I was beginning to fear there was no hope for Anna and the rest of the town. The fact that I could never have guessed that the book would end the way that it did is what made it good in the end. Another quotation that stood out to me was on page 253, “Life endures. And as fire cannot quench the living spark in a humble patch of grass, neither can our souls be quenched by our death, nor our spirits by our suffering.” I liked this statement from Anna because it seemed as though it should be a very obvious statement; however, when I really looked into it, I felt like it meant more than just what it appeared to mean when I first read it. To me, this quotation is a prime statement of survival. It would be easy to give up and die, or let your spirits go because of suffering. This statement is saying that in reality, suffering does not quench your spirits, the aftermath of the suffering does. The survival aspect of an event is truly what makes a person unique. I found that Anna was a very strong person in the end because she stood up for herself, and was able to move passed her suffering. Overall, my favorite character in the book was Anys. I liked her because she did not care what others thought of her actions, and she died because of this. I feel that any character who meets his or her death bed because of positive actions is one to be praised. Anna stated, “She was quick of mind and swift of toungue, always ready to answer a set down with the kind of witty rebuke most of us can think of only long after an insult has passed.” This statement of praise from Anna was the first remark that really made me appreciate Anys because I am very envious of anyone with this quality. In the end, I was most upset about the death of Anys compared to any other character; however, sometimes I feel as though the deaths of special characters can only make a book better.

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  18. Overall I liked the story there was some parts that were depressing, like the loss of her children, well all the deaths were. I enjoyed the story line and how the plot developed throughout the novel. At the end with the twist of Aphra murdering Elinor, then herself threw me for a loop. I didn't understand how Mompellion said he never consummated the marriage with Elinor because she had before with a different man but then, he did with Anna and they weren't even married. I think that is the real point in the story he lost faith.

    The characters were are well portrayed I never questioned if one was good, bad, or not. Even the small roles like Jakob Merrill I knew his intentions going to the other town were good not out of fleeing, the biggest surprise in the characters was at the part when Elinor said she had induced a abortion, I would not have expected it because she had been developed as a sweet,innocent, preacher's wife. Which she was, but she just had a hard past. Anna surprised me by the way she did keep faith through everything, the death of Sam, her kids, Mr. Viccars, Mem, and the many others. Through the whole thing she tried to help who ever she could, and persevered for better days to come.

    The end of the book is not what I expected it to be. I thought Anna would get the plague and go peacefully knowing that she would be with her kids and beloved husband soon. That was not the case though she ends up getting with Mr. Mompellion, taking a child from Elizabeth and fleeing, I didn't fully understand why she wanted to flee so badly, That and I thought in the beginning Elinor would die from the plague not from being murdered by Aphra. In the beginning when they are explaining the story and we know Elinor isn't there I thought it was because she died from the plague not from being murdered by Aphra.

    To conclude, I enjoyed the story all the twists from the caving of the mine, to unraveling characters I thought I knew it was a good read. Although it was graphic at times, it helped me better understand what a survivor is and gives me a bigger perspective from a time period I didn't know much about. Now I can piece together my definition of survivor from stories present and pastt.

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  19. As much as I'm glad the book is over and we no longer HAVE to read it, I'm kind of sad that it is over. I really liked the book overall. I enjoyed every twist and turn the plot took and the surprises along the way. First of all, I was shocked that Elinor was able to survive out the plague, but at the very end she died for such a sensless reason. I remember rereading that passage because I just couldn''t believe it. I think my biggest shock of the whole book was when Anna gave birth to Mompellion's baby. I was NOT expecting that and I was left speechless. In a way I think it is cool how she was able to have a child of her own blood, but after the whole situation with Mompellion and Elinor it just seemed weird.
    Anna was my favorite character, but Elinor came in a close second. I liked how Anna had to work hard and even though she experienced the death of all her family, she overcame her greif and went on to help so many people. She was pushed out of her comfort zone on multiple occasions, but was still able to thrive. She definitely fits the definition of a survivor. Even after she left the village and was sent out on her own, I thought she would struggle to go on and find happiness. She ended up not only being happy, she found a new family and was able to begin a new life and even have a purpose.
    I also liked reading the afterword that told about the real story behind "The Year of Wonders." I always enjoy reading about people that lived in years past and it was especially interesting learning about the various parts of the book that were actually modeled after the true story of Eym(?). For me it is cool to relate how the character's experiences might have been similar to that of the real people of Eym. When you think about the struggles the characters in the book went through and then try and imagine that real people had to deal with the plague and struggle through the loss of their loved ones and 2/3 of their town it is very eye opening.
    If someone asks me about the book I will definately tell them to read it. There weren't many parts that didn't keep me pulled in and guessing about what was to come next. Along with anticipation there were many great, suprising turns in the book. Some, such as Elinor's death, were sad and some were unimaginable, but they all made the book that much better. I think that since we have to read a book for a class, we like to complain. There were times when I struggled to find the time to read and then write in my journal, but I really did enjoy the book.

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  20. Overall, I have to say that this book was a really enjoyable book to read. Before I started reading the book, I was expected a dry, drawn out story about a little town in England that survived the plague by deciding to isolate itself from the outside world. However, the book turned out to be the complete opposite. There was heartbreak, humor, death, and much more within the pages of this book, and it kept my attention throughout the duration of the book.

    The story was something that really drew me in immediately when I started reading. The book starts out with Anna recounting the events that happened after the plague finally left the village, before making a flashback into the past to talk about how the plague came to the village and what happened during the time that the plague was in the village. This shows the audience glimpses of some of the main characters, such as the rector and Anna, after the plague has occurred, allowing the audience to try to guess what happened to them during the plague time to make them the way that they were after the plague.

    The ending of the book was not at all what I thought it would be. I was expecting Anna to talk about how the town slowly rebuilt after the plague time, followed by an account of how her relationship with the rector developed. Instead, I was left with Anna talking about how she witnessed the Bradford daughter attempting to murder her mother's bastard child, before having to flee the village. In all honesty, I really do not think that the ending did the rest of the novel justice.

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  21. Year of wonders compiles the heartache of many; however it teaches Anna how to survive during adverse circumstances. It is neat to see how characters develop in a story. The reader forms a picture of Anna in their mind and elements revealed in hear character develop. She was forced to mature very quickly, being widowed by the age of 18 and mothering of two children. As the reader, I tended to cheer for Anna and her best interest.

    Since the beginning of the novel, I have been wondering where the title came from. I tend to fine that a good book has an intriguing title. I waited until gathered all of the “pieces of the puzzle” to form my conclusion; however, I feel the title reflects the religious mystery they faced. They “wondered” what role God played in the story of the plague. They questioned why God, the creator of the heavens and the Earth would do such a thing.

    I find it very interesting that Anna, a caretaker and survivor, is treated with luxury for all she endures. Arabic paradise is her reward for trying to mend the sickness of many. In the beginning if the novel she is a servant to the Mompellions and now the rector is rewarding Anna.

    The book took many twists and turns throughout the plot. Just as I was able to foresee the future, Geraldine Brooks incorporates another element. For example, towards the end of the novel, Anna has affair with the rector. This could have various meanings; it may show that Mr. Mompellion is drifting father and farther away from religion. I never would have suspected that to happen.

    Overall, I believe the novel is very well-developed. The author takes many factors into consideration in order to describe various circumstances. The in depth detail Brooks goes into is exquisite. Elements needed to be a survivor are described throughout the novel.

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  22. Over all i thought the story was okay. I honestly thought i would like it a lot more than i did because i usually like stories about things like this. I guess i didn't like it because with everyone dying and with everyone getting sick it was kind of sad and depressing. there were a few parts that surprised I thought Anna was stronger than i made her out to be. I did not think she would make it all the way to the end alive. I really did think she was going to die. This book was pretty much what i expected. I knew a lot of people would die and i knew that they wouldnt die a peaceful death. They all pretty much were tortured while dying. However, i thought it sort of dragged on. I did not think the story itself was all that interesting, however i found it interesting to learn about everything that people had to go through during this time. I just wish it was a little less boring for me.

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  23. Overall, I thought the book was very gloomy. I felt like people were constantly dying, because they were, and people were consistently battling depressing moods. In a way, as I read it made me depressed too because when I read I always connect with the story really well. So, as I read the through the character's hard times I put myself in their shoes and it was depressing. I'm not saying that I didn't like the book, because I did. I thought it was well written and included surprising turns when I least expected it. However, it was depressing, and even when things would start to get happy more bad things would occur. For example, when Elinor lived throughout the Plague like sickness, but then was murdered in the end anyway. I think a really good book should have equally good times as bad.
    Compared to the story, I did really enjoy the characters. I thought Anna's sense of bravery and caring was truly inspiring throughout the novel. However, I don't like the way Mr. Mompellion was displayed at the end of the story. He had been the hero throughout the whole story, and then at the end he was unfaithful and malicious. I don't like the way he gave up on his faith and took advantage of Anna. He was always the knight in shining armor and to go from a well respected man to a man that cannot even leave his house was really disappointing. I wish the author would have left Mr. Mompellion to be the man he had always been throughout the book.
    The end was a little shocking, however. I expected Anna to keep the child, but I didn't expect her to move so far away. In a way, I thought Anna's final destination was a little random. She was supposed to end up fairly close to the village, but instead landed in an Arabian atmosphere. I thought this was odd. She had always been devout to her faith and then to agree to live under the rule of the man, who was nice, but still practiced an entirely different religion, was very unusual. As I read it, I felt like the ending didn't really match up with the story. I sort of expected her to end up on a farm alone with the child to raise. I cannot say, however, that the child with Mr. Mompellion surprised me very much. I felt like the only reason his character's personality had a relapse in the story was so that Anna would have his child. I saw this coming as soon Mr. Mompellion entered is gloomy state of mind. I anticipated though, that Mr. Mompellion and Anna would end up together some how. I kept thinking that he would just magically show up and they would live the rest of their lives together in a place far from that village. I was a little surprised when he never did show up.
    After thinking about the book after I finished it, I can honestly say it was what I was expecting. Being a story about the Plague, I could only expect that it would be mostly sad and depressing throughout the entire story. I expected, from reading books similar to this one, that the narrator would turn out with a happy ending in the end. And while I didn't expect for the ending to end in that exact manner, I did expect Anna to get a happy ending after enduring everything in the book. Overall, I found the story to be depressing and slightly predictable. However, the characters kept my interest and I found Anna to be an inspiring and brave narrator for the story.

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  24. The novel, Year of Wonders, was a marvelous book to me. I believe that the storyline was very intriguing & very informative at the same time, which is a difficult thing for a novel to achieve. The novel gave insight to what it was really like when the Plague diminished an entire village within a short time. I think all of the characters had a very unique way of thinking & analyzing things. Anna was very interesting to me, but I favored Elinor the most. I found them all to be quite interesting, though. I did not expect the story to be how it did. Even after finishing the novel, I still had many questions that were unanswered. I still did not understand why Anna never caught the Plague, even though she had been around so many people who had fallen ill. I enjoyed how the story would lead you on & make you think something is going to happen when it is nothing like what you believe. An example of this is when the author makes you believe that Elinor is going to die from the Plague, but she recovers & ends up getting stabbed by Aphra near the end of the book out of nowhere. I did not expect any of those things to happen in the novel. Overall, the novel was one of the best ones I have read & I would reccommend it to anyone who is interested in this kind of stuff.

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  25. I really wanted to like this book, I really did; however, that opportunity definitely went out the window after the first 250 or so pages.

    The book is repetitive (given that it's about a disease that took a lot of people down with it, it's understandable though), there are a lot of names that are hard to keep track of, the pacing is pretty slow for the majority of the novel, and the overly-flowery and romance-novelesque narration made me cringe a few too many times; however, all of this can pretty much be excused whenever it comes down to discussing the "second act" of sorts. Honestly the first half wasn't that bad for me. I liked Anna for the most part and could understand her and sympathize with her. The other main characters were also likeable enough.

    The second half of the book felt like the author began to run out of ideas for me personally, and I have a feeling I'm not the only one who was confused by the suddenly rushed pacing and the overall weird ending. The second half of the novel feels very contrite, and the whirlwind "romance" between Anna and Mompellion felt so trite to me as well.

    The actual ending itself, couldn't have come sooner at that point for me; however, when it actually came I was left even more confused and disappointed. I honestly wanted to like this novel, I really did, but I was left disappointed.

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  26. I thought this novel was quite dull and boring. It sounded enteresting because of all of the deaths and missery I thought was going to be in it. Unfortunatly for me, even the deaths were still boring. It was too predictable so I was never really supprised by anything. When some of the town's people were turning insane was the only point of the book where I was somewhat ammused. It seemed like the characters of this book were too artificial. It seemed like the author spent very little time displaying the personalities of the characters other than the rector and the main character. I just rushed through the last part of the book because I wanted to make it end faster. The book was like a gimick that used readers' fascination with the black plague to get them to read a book that does what it says but nothing extrodinary like I was expecting. I think if I would have been more in tune with the characters and their decisions then I would have liked it more but I disagreed with half of the actions the main character took.

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