Discussion Questions for Year of Wonders
- Eyam, in fact and fiction, is known as the "Plague Village" because
of the self-imposed quarantine. How does the book explain this course
of action? Compare this to current epidemics - such as SARS - and
discuss how communities deal with containing disease.
the lack of medical knowledge, did the villagers really believe the
plague came from God? Was this a convenient explanation?
- Considering Mompellion's relative short tenure in the village, how did he get the villagers to agree to this radical scheme?
- What motivated Mompellion's relationship with Elinor in light of her secret?
- Discuss Anna's and Mem's roles in village life, factoring in the admiration and fear they both inspired.
- There is a large market today for herbal remedies. To what do you attribute their lasting popularity?
the two killings (of Mem and Anna's father) that take place in the
village. Would the mob mentality have taken hold had the village not
aspects of Anna's and Elinor's personalities and life experiences allow
them to overcome class distinctions and become friends?
- How does historical fiction illuminate and explain actual events better than a strictly factual account?
- Discuss the differing roles of religion and superstition in the village.
- Anna is a pillar of strength in the village. What makes her so unique?
- Why does Anna run away from the only home she has ever known? Why does she choose such a radical change?