Weekly Geeks 2009 #11 – Part 1 : Historical Fiction

This week there are four questions all relating to historical fiction. For now I’m choosing to deal with the second question

Do you have a favorite book that really pulled you back in time, or perhaps gave you a special interest in that period? Include a link to a review of it on another book blog if you can find one (doesn’t have to be a Weekly Geek participant).

but will try to return later in the week to take up the final challenge which is to see what books in the genre other Geek-ers have recommended and choose one to read.

For now though I’m going to talk about one of my very favourite books: Geraldine Brooks’ Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague. As with all good historical fiction it’s based on fact: a village in rural England in 1666 was struck by plague and the residents cut themselves off from the outside world to prevent further spread of the disease. Brooks has created some memorable, multi-faceted characters to tell the grim but ultimately hope-filled story and her descriptions are so vivid that I was able to picture the isolated, misty, dark village and could feel the emotions the villagers experienced. This book is about people: what they think, what they do, how they react and what they learn. It is a fascinating and believable depiction of what might have been in 1666 in a world that began and ended within a few miles. I have always been morbidly fascinated by the plague and adding this fictional account to the many factual ones I’ve read only enhances my interest in the theme.

The book has been reviewed quite extensively including by

Much loved and missed creator of the Weekly Geeks, Dewey

Rebbecca at The Inside Cover

Lisa at Books on the Brain

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19 Responses to Weekly Geeks 2009 #11 – Part 1 : Historical Fiction

  1. Kerrie says:

    I have that somewhere, as yet unread. Maybe I should put it on the priority list. Have you ever read Defoe’s book? It is an e-book now


  2. claire says:

    I also love this time in history. I haven’t read this book and you may have convinced me to add this to my TBR list. Thank you!


  3. bernadetteinoz says:

    Thanks for the link Kerrie as I haven’t read that one. I can’t read too much on the screen but I’ll have to have a go.


  4. Louise says:

    Well, me too. I’ve also always been morbidly fascinated with the plague, although the fiction I’ve read about it has mainly taken place in Medieval Europe and not the Renaissance. I don’t think I have time to do the Weekly Geeks this week, but if I do find the time, I am going to write about Medieval Europe. Thanks for a great WG.



  5. Beth F says:

    I too have always been interested in this time period and the plague. I’ve been contemplating reading this Brooks novel — I’ll have to go ahead and get a copy.


  6. lisamm says:

    This really was a fabulous book. I’ll be seeking out Brooks’ other books- March and People of the Book, eventually! Thanks for the shout out.


  7. sari says:

    This is a great book! My favorite era is the middle ages and this is a great great book from that time.

    Good choice!


  8. wordlily says:

    I have yet to read any of Brooks’s work. I keep meaning to change that!


  9. melissapilakowski says:

    Thanks for the recommendation! I love this era and reading about the plague’s effects on England. This looks fascinating!


  10. Ali says:

    This looks like a great read–and as a bonus I could use it for the Dewey Reading Challenge! (:::taking notes:::)


  11. pussreboots says:

    If you liked that one you might also like the Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. Unrelated to that book, my Weekly Geeks post is ,a href=”http://www.pussreboots.pair.com/blog/2009/comments_03/wg_historical_fiction.html”>here.


  12. I’ll be reviewing this this week as well. I just finished it. It was so good!


  13. bernadetteinoz says:

    It’s nice to hear other people enjoy this book too. I liked Brooks’ People of the Book but haven’t read March (the subject matter is not my cup of tea).

    @pussreboots thanks for the recommendation, I’ll check that one out.


  14. Maree says:

    I love books with vivid descriptions _ they give you a real sense of place.
    Happy Weekly Geeks 🙂


  15. Gavin says:

    This was a wonderful review. I also enjoyed this book and its images have stuck with me.


  16. rikkiscraps says:

    Sounds like an interesting book. I must have a closer look at it. Thanks for the recommendation.


  17. susan says:

    “This book is about people: what they think, what they do, how they react and what they learn.”

    In historical fiction, the personal relationships create an intimacy that make facts meaningful.

    Great post.


  18. Erin says:

    ooooh, definitely adding this to my TBR pile!
    Great post! 🙂


  19. Jodie says:

    This is on my list, great period and fab author is ‘March’ is anything to go by.


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