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Maven Books

Reviews about historical, literary, classic, and other fiction.  Miscellaneous book things.

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Days of Greatness
Walter Kempowski
Yevgeny Zamyatin, Clarence Brown

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks

Year of Wonders - Geraldine Brooks

Sigh. This could have been so much better. I was interested in the premise and the time period, but it just didn't deliver beyond the first 30-40 pages. Then it just got a bit tedious and much too predictable. 


It felt like the book was following a soap opera plot line. Something great or positive would happen or be described, and then, bam!, something horrible happened on the next page. I also found the language frustrating. I liked the attempts to make it seem like it was from the 1660s, with several archaic words I had to look up. But then a few of those words were actually from 20 or even 200 years later, so it just missed the mark. 


Worst of all, I just didn't feel like the characters were believable. The narrator seemed too well-spoken, despite all the attempts to make her seem like a simple woman living in the countryside. It was like the author was trying to fit more modern sensibilities into a period where it didn't make sense.