Emma Donoghue quickly turned into one of my auto-buy authors after I read her novel Room in January of this year.
Because of my attachment to the story of Room, you can imagine my excitement when I found out that Donoghue’s follow-up novel was going to be historical fiction set in Ireland.
When The Wonder was published on September 20 I picked it up right away, and it quickly worked its way up to the top of my TBR pile.
Did Donoghue’s follow up to Room live up to its expectations? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
In a small Irish, village eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell is looked on as a miracle girl surviving without food.
In England, nurse Elizabeth (Lib) Wright, trained by Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War, is called upon to observe Anna and report back to the village’s committee on how she survives without sustenance.
Along with another nurse, Lib begins to see Anna’s health deteriorate, and must decide between what is expected of her or what is right of her to do to help an ailing child.
This book was breathtaking.
From the beautifully designed cover, to the vivid descriptions of Ireland, and how the characters were both individual and part of a whole, Donoghue has a masterpiece on her hands.
I think it should be said that it would be a disservice to the brilliance of Donoghue to compare her two novels to one another because they both represent very different ideas.
I found myself many times throughout the reading of this novel contemplating the questions posed to the reader by Donoghue.
Do I believe in miracles? Is it divine intervention or a hoax? If I were in Libs shoes would I uphold my oath as a nurse or would I intervene to save the life of my patient.
Besides the story, I found upon finishing, that I was interested to learn about the historic side of the cases of ‘Fasting Girls.’
Overall, The Wonder grabbed my attention and held onto it, from the first page to the last, and by the time it was done I was generally sad it was finished.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.