Study Guide

Year of Wonders Chapter 6

By Geraldine Brooks

Chapter 6

Venom in the Blood

  • Mr. Mompellion holds a funeral for Anys the next day. Mem, having gotten sick after nearly drowning, dies several days later. It's a real Bummertown over here.
  • Needless to say, things are awkward that Sunday at church service. No one wants to make eye contact with anyone else.
  • The week prior, Anna had seen Mompellion speaking in secret to Thomas Stanley, their former preacher, who had quit due to a religious dispute. This sort of secret meeting is strictly verboten.
  • Back in the present, Mr. Mompellion looks "serene" (2.6.11) as he starts his sermon. He speaks about God's love for a bit before landing on his main argument: they should do a service to their fellow man and show their loyalty to God by remaining in town as the plague takes hold.
  • Mr. Mompellion has even figured out the practical stuff. They will get food and other supplies dropped off by a nearby village, and they'll pay them by dropping coins in a container filled with vinegar, which they presume will kill off any "Plague seeds" (2.6.23).
  • After Mr. Mompellion finishes, the members of the congregation discuss this plan among themselves. Thomas Stanley appears to show his support. Meanwhile, Anna's dad seems like he wants to leave.
  • Ultimately, everyone agrees to stay. That is, except for the Bradfords. They're already packing their things.