THREE WANDERERS FROM WAPPING by Norma Father

THREE WANDERERS FROM WAPPING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Farber starts with three men--two brothers and their cousin--and gives them names and trades, but on their first night out from London they join a larger group of travelers who are also fleeing the plague (it's the summer of 1665), and from then on it is the whole band (referred to as ""our travelers"") whose progress is chronicled. Thus all that early background information about the plague, presented directly and in rigged conversations, never does give way to a story about the three, and Farber gives no structure or drama to the experiences of the group. They wander, camp outside of a town, finally take shelter in an abandoned farmhouse, making do and receiving charity, until, in the winter, the plague runs its course and they can return to the city. There are several drawn-out conversations with townspeople as to whether the newcomers should or should not be allowed to enter, but the emphasis is on the particularities of the case instead of the larger issues which readers might have been inspired to ponder. Extracted and adapted from Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year, Farber's semi-story presentation is awkward and unsuccessful. Similarly ill-conceived are Mikolaycak's illustrations, in panoramic clumps of three to seven pages, and all aswirl with-his billowing, sinuous lines (fabric, flames, smoke, or simply backdrop) which have nothing to do with his somber subject.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1978
Publisher: Addison-Wesley