I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and if you were out shopping on Black Friday… more power to you! After a brief holiday hiatus, I’m back with a few new posts this coming week. First up, a new psychological thriller from Emma Donoghue.
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue follows Lib, an English nurse who travels to a small Irish town to take care of a wealthy patron. Or at least, that’s what Lib thinks she is hired to do. Instead, Lib is charged by the town with watching a poor eleven-year-old girl, night and day for fourteen days, to make sure she doesn’t eat.
Anna is said to be a miracle child; her family claims that she has not eaten in over four months and that her body can subsist off of water alone… oh and prayer. People come from all over to see the devout child who lives off “manna from heaven.” But Lib knows this can’t be true and is determined to exposed the O’Donnell family for the frauds they are.
Fraud or not Anna is starving herself and Lib will stop at nothing to save her. Can Lib uncover Anna’s secret? Can she really just watch as a child slowly starves to death? Or will she be able to save Anna in time?
This book isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But there will be those who love it and will go to bat for it, that’s for sure. For me The Wonder falls some place between Room and Frog Music. It is no where near as good as Room by it is way better then Frog Music.
My main problem with the book was that it started out slow and continued along at a trudging pace until oh, 75-50 pages out. It was like carrying your sled up a steep incline; trudging along until you finally get to the top, for all of two minutes of thrills as you rocket back down. Don’t get me wrong, I was invested in the mystery. I had to know how this girl survived for four months, but there’s not much action in reading about a nurse watching a little girl pray and read scripture all day long.
Funny, but once you know how Anna survived for four months, that’s actually when the story gets good. The why behind Anna’s fast and Lib’s determination to save Anna from herself, is Donoghue in prime form.
Ultimately, this book is a Donoghue–it is messed up in all the right ways. It’s just hard to top a masterpiece like Room. If it weren’t for the slow pace of the story, I’d give The Wonder more stars but for now it gets three from me.
That’s all for now!