Authors like Geraldine Brooks remember me why I love to be a reader. Her story about young Anna, who is living in a small village in the far North of England in 1665, grabbed me by the hair and pulled me under water, where I was reading, struggling for air but only coming up when I finally had finished. It is not Brooks' writing which lets me fight for breath, because the writing is simple and slow paced but beautiful, it is the horrible sensation I felt when reading about the plague and how many of Anna's neighbors became it's victims. In 1665 a bolt of cloth, housing plague seeds (commonly known as fleas), comes to Anna's remote village. When the first people die the community decides to shut the gates in and out of the village and isolate themselves to prevent the Black Death from spreading. One year later hope arises, could it be that the plague's rampage is stopped?
Anna is a fascinating character, a simple girl with her heart on the right spot, she is used to hard work and won't give up. In one year she has to face the truth about the human spirit, god's rage and the loss of many beloved ones. I cared for her and her well-being as much as she cared for the well-being of the villagers.
I didn't like the end though. The last 50 pages were needless and I didn't like that Brooks moved the main character from the main scene because of a forced reason.