I had previously read People of the Book
in 2008. I gave it 3/5 stars. I remember at the time wondering why so much hype about this author. In other words, I was not that impressed. I thought the overall plot of that book was okay but that it wasn't as well-written as other books in that historical/enigma thriller genre that was popular at the time. Reviews said not to base your whole opinion of Brooks on that book so I voted for Year of Wonders
because I wanted to give her writing another try given the positive press and awards she has received.
My verdict is that I did enjoy Year of Wonders
much better than People of the Book
. The writing was indeed of higher quality. I have not read much about the Plague so the topic was fresh to me, and historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. However, the ending really disappointed me. It went off in such a wild direction that I didn't see coming! There were other alternative endings that I think would have been more profound and could have explored the after-effects of the plague in the village once they are no longer in self-imposed quarantine and life resumes its new, altered normal.
The Penguin edition that I read had an introduction written by Brooks and an interview with her that I found very insightful to her research and process of writing the book. This material is available on the Penguin website at the following link.