Study Guide

Year of Wonders Chapter 7

By Geraldine Brooks

Chapter 7

Wide Green Prison

  • Anna walks home from the service in "a strange bliss" (2.7.1). Her reverie is interrupted by the sudden arrival of Maggie Cantwell, the Bradfords' cook.
  • Maggie says that the Bradfords fired her and that she wants Anna to help move out her belongings.
  • When they arrive, Anna realizes that the Bradfords have fired every single one of their servants.
  • Mr. Mompellion arrives. He tries to convince Colonel Bradford to stay behind, but Bradford rudely brushes off the preacher's concerns and hits the road.
  • The servants leave town, as they weren't at church that day and aren't beholden to the agreement.
  • The rest of the village prepares to live up to the newly named "Sunday Oath" (2.7.32).
  • That night, Anna receives some startling news from Elinor: Mrs. Daniel is about to give birth to a child. That's bad because the Gowdies were the town's midwives. Uh-oh.
  • Elinor says that she's already promised that Anna and Maggie will take care of it, despite the fact that they have zero experience between them.
  • This'll go well.
  • Anna knows a little bit more about childbirth than Elinor, which she proves when she stops Elinor from giving Mrs. Daniels some poppy (a.k.a. opium) to ease her pain.
  • The baby is crooked, but Anna manages to right the ship and successfully deliver the newborn. That went a whole lot better than we expected.
  • Before Anna leaves, she pockets Elinor's bag of poppy.