Year of Wonders Summary

Topics: Black Death, The Plague Pages: 17 (6581 words) Published: June 4, 2013
This forum needed the Year of wonder chapter summaries so here it is

Apple Picking Season Summary

The novel begins in the Fall of 1666. The main character, Anna Frith, is a servant to the village priest, who she tries to get to eat some apples, but he is despondent and broken. Everyone looks weary and Anna thinks back to happier times when she married Sam Frith at age fifteen and left a drunken father and stepmother who overworked Anna. Sam dies, but she has two sons. She cares for Michael Mompellion, the preacher, because his wife, Elinor, is dead. Anna is lonely at night when her empty house gives her no comfort, her children having died in the plague. The next morning, she milks her cow and carries some milk to Michael. At the rectory, she encounters Elizabeth Bradford, whose family fled the village and the plague. When Anna announces Elizabeth's presence, Mompellion tells Anna to tell her to go to hell. Elizabeth forces her way into the house to plead for Mompellion's attendance on her ill mother. Mompellion says that the Bradford family deserted the village in their time of need so he wants nothing to do with them. Elizabeth tells Anna about her father's abuse of the family. When Anna goes to Mompellion, he sits with an unopened Bible on the desk. Anna reads a comforting passage in the Bible and he recites one back to her about a home and a wife and children and then roughly grabs her arm, bringing tears to her eyes. Shocked, she departs.

Ring of Roses Summary

There is a flashback to the spring of 1665 when Anna is a widow at only eighteen. She is glad to take in a lodger, George Viccars, a tailor. She feels he is heaven sent, though that would prove to be quite wrong. She is thrilled when Geroge offers sixpence a week. Her sons, Jamie and Tom, are very little with Tom still nursing. Anna's children enjoy George's company and Anna enjoys his stories. That summer, a box of cloth arrives from London. George makes a beautiful dress for Anna. George wishes Anna felt something for him. He is flushed and staggers a bit. When she tries on the dress, George gives her a kiss, and Anna realizes he is flush with fever.

The next morning, she goes to the rectory, leaving George asleep. Anna greets Elinor, who is teaching Anna, a willing pupil, many skills. Anna is afraid to learn about herbs because herblore is often associated with witches. Many villagers are suspicious of Mem Gowdie and her pretty niece, Anys. Anna's stepmother, Aphra, is convinced Anys is a sorceress and often gossips to other villagers about her.

Anna checks on George midday and is shocked to find him extremely ill. He tells Anna to leave so she doesn't catch the illness and asks for the priest. Michael Mompellion spends two days at George's side when he finally dies.

The Thunder of His Voice Summary

Before leaving, Michael tells Anna she should follow George's advice "burn everything." Soon, George's customers begin arriving. The first is Anys Gowdie. Anna describes her as a calming force during birthing when helping her aunt Mem Gowdie, the midwife. She tells Anys about George's advice, but Anys will not have her dress burned. George's other clients feel the same. Anna burns his clothes and, sadly, the dress he made for her.

Anna is consumed by thoughts of George and Anys and decides to stop by the Gowdies. Anna remembers with shame how she and other children used to tease Anys for being a vegetarian, but when she was pregnant, Anna used herbs Anys recommended which had helped greatly. Anys tells her that she "lay" with George, but it was Anna he wanted for a wife, and Anys had advised him to win Anna's heart through her sons. Anna asks why Anys did not want George for a husband. Anys replies that she loves her work and will not be chattel to any man, plus she likes a little variety, not just one plant. Leaving there, Anna stops to chat with her friend Lib Hancock. Later, she helps with a dinner at the Bradford manor; none of...
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