Book Review: The Wonder


The Wonder

Emma Donoghue

Little, Brown and Company

304 pages


Lib Wright is an English nurse who is sent to observe an 11 year old girl. Anna O’Donnell is a devout Irish Catholic who has claimed not to eat for the past few months. Convinced she is a miracle, tourists swarm her home for a glimpse of this chosen girl. Lib becomes involved when a few skeptics want to prove, one way or another, whether Anna and her family’s claims of not eating are true.

Lib is convinced that there is no possible way that Anna has survived for months without being sustained by food. She is determined to prove that Anna’s fasting is a hoax, but as more and more time elapses, she is unable to discover Anna’s story, one way or another.

My thoughts:

Every month, my family gets together and chooses which Book of the Month option we are going to choose to read together. I was thrilled to see this as an October option, because I adore Donoghue’s writing. She is a must read author for me, and although some of her books have been a little lackluster for me, I loved Room and Slammerkin so much that I can overlook her books that I didn’t love. My family quickly decided that this was the book they wanted to read for October. So what did we all think . . . ?

I actually probably liked it the least, which is not to say I disliked it. I thought it was an interesting story and I was intrigued to find out after I finished it that it was based on historical events, where there were actually girls known as “fasting girls”, who claimed they could live without food.

I think, for me, I just got a little bored with the setting. The entire story takes place in a small town, mostly in Anna’s own cottage. It just seemed like the pacing was a little to slow and there wasn’t much going on to distract me. So while I enjoyed the book, it certainly wasn’t my favorite from Donoghue. But it also wasn’t my least favorite.

Meanwhile, my mom absolutely loved it. She described it as the type of book you can’t put down. And my two sisters that read it with us also gave it high marks. So if you’ve noticed the buzz around this book, it is worth the read.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.



2 Responses

  1. I have a funny relationship with Emma Donoghue’s books as, like you, I can find them a little lacklustre. I loved Room but was bored by Slammerkin.

    I love the premise of this one, so I’ll probably pick it up at some point.

    Your family’s little book club sounds wonderful, by the way 🙂

  2. Like you i adored Room but found this one very slow paced aswell! and i found Lib really annoying! I really enjoyed Jodi Picoult’s Keeping Faith a few years back – which also has a Miracle child theme – it was much faster paced and has buckets more emotion.

    p.s your family book club sounds awesome! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s