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"[A] viscerally detailed tale....Though the historical detail is absorbing, it is the story of Anna...that is Brooks' most wondrous touch."
Megan Harlan, Entertainment Weekly, 08/10/2001Review:
"Brooks is at her best in depicting [the rhythms of life in the plague village]. Her descriptions of village life, the conditions of the sick and the dying, and the emotional struggles of day-to-day existence in plague time are riveting without being tawdry. Her prose is never hurried and remains utterly absorbing....[A]ll historical novelists are guilty of a certain amount of anachronistic thinking, and it is often hard to resist the urge to draw characters who transcend the limitations of their times. Nevertheless, this novel would have been much more satisfying if Brooks had shown how Anna struggled to understand the horrors around her as a 17th-century villager, ignorance, superstition and all. But this is, perhaps, nitpicking in an otherwise remarkably strong novel that is poignant, sophisticated and utterly absorbing."
David Liss, Washington Post Book World, 08/12/2001
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