Fans of historical fiction in 2022 will love how easy it is to dig into this book about the plague in the Midlands of England in 1666. It’s a tight, beautifully written masterpiece and with Covid (mostly) behind us, we’ll relate to the feelings that people in England had when they didn’t know how to control or prevent the plague from spreading. We lost a lot of friends and neighbors during Covid, but it’s hard to imagine losing fifty percent of our town!
I believe this book can even be a part of your healing journey if you’ve lost loved ones during Covid.
There are a lot of things to love about this bestseller. The story has great pace and timing, the characters are as real as it gets, and there’s a lot of interesting historical stuff scattered in. Probably the hardest part of the book, the most emotionally difficult for me anyway, was reading about how the plague came to town on a bolt of cloth that a tailor was using to make clothes for people. As the tailor dies, he urges his landlady to burn everything but since his patrons have already paid for their clothes, and they’re relatively poor folk, they are loathe to burn so much valuable cloth. The townspeople come and pick up their new items after he expires. It reminded me of the ignorance we saw in our own times when it came to the spread of Covid. People ignoring the most basic warnings.
But there are also stories of immense courage and self-sacrifice, too.
It’s a beautiful book, perhaps the best one I’ve read in a year.