"What a brilliant book, beautifully and sensitively written."
What a brilliant book, beautifully and sensitively written. Oddly I was about a third of the way in before I remembered that Eyam was a real village and the happenings, although fictionalised, were also true, which gave the story so much more depth. Although the book was set in the 17th century, the characters of the three women, Catherine, Elizabeth and Emmett, seem somehow quite modern. It could be that the plague and our current pandemic make the story line that much more poignant, but I think it is more that the writer is able to write about emotion, grief and hope with such conviction. When reading historical fiction, so much is said about infant mortality that you tend to gloss over it as the norm, but the way it is written about in this book, is so contemporary and real. How the mother watches over her children as they sleep and how each one is so precious, is not an emotion that changes with the centuries. The links to our present situation runs through the whole book, with phrases such as 'every day seemed to have no bounds and flowed in endless sameness' and 'the invisible threat' being particularly memorable. Also the way William carefully records the deaths each month reminds me of radio news reports! The book develops so well in both characterisation but also in plot - how the village isolates itself, but also how it learns from the deaths and ways to cope with the disease and the solitary existence forced upon the village. It was definitely a memorable and thought provoking read. It made me appreciate how much people gave up for the safety of others. I shall be buying a hard copy of this to keep.
Rosie Watch, A LoveReading Ambassador
|Primary Genre||Historical Fiction|
I am particularly pleased to review this book. It tells of three women and individual responses to the plague’s devastation where contact with infected people leads inevitably to death.
I am particularly pleased to review this book. A work of fiction, it is based on facts surrounding the village of Eyam in Derbyshire which took the decision to quarantine itself during the plague of 1665. It tells of three women and individual responses to the plague’s devastation where contact with infected people leads inevitably to death. The book is both powerful and disturbing, particularly as we are currently living through a pandemic. The three female protagonists, Emmott, Catherine and Elizabeth have different problems to tackle, but ultimately work towards the same outcome – to protect their loved ones. The book is filled with historical detail which only helps to place the reader deep in the heartbreak that ensues. Reading this novel during a pandemic is both disturbing and totally recognisable and almost becomes a modern tale of social distancing and distrust of strangers.... Read Full Review
In 'Three: A Tale of Brave Women and the Eyam Plague', Jennifer Jenkins has taken real historical characters and woven a work of creative fiction around their lives and, in some cases, deaths, that is well researched, authentic and completely and grippingly readable.
I first heard of the small Derbyshire village of Eyam in November 2020, when it's story formed part of a Channel 5 documentary, providing, as it does, unparalleled data about the transmission of a devastating disease, so relevant in today's world. In 'Three: A Tale of Brave Women and the Eyam Plague', Jennifer Jenkins has taken real historical characters and woven a work of creative fiction around their lives and, in some cases, deaths, that is well researched, authentic and completely and grippingly readable. The Great Plague escaped London in a consignment of flea-ridden second hand clothing, delivered to one George Viccars, journeyman and assistant to Eyam's tailor. Falling sick on September 6th 1665, he died the very next day.... Read Full Review