The Wonder, by Emma Donoghue
In keeping with the theme of the month, I looked for new stories that had an Irish setting to provide some diversity to my reading repertoire. This was not my traditional urban fantasy romance magic type of Irish book—and boy, was I pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it!
Simply set in Ireland, the themes of religious constriction and warped belief systems led a young girl to starve herself of food in this rather dark, psychological mystery.
A child has not eaten for four months, and both the family and the clergy—ooh, and the doctor—have called it a miracle! Other members of the community do not believe in this miracle, and call in a nurse from England to sit watch (rotating with a nun) to stand watch over the child and either report the miracle—or the deceit.
I wouldn’t call the novel a thriller, but it definitely has you questioning what is really going on. Is Anna truly surviving without any food or water, or if there is something more cynical going on behind the scenes under the guide of a “miracle?” What the nurse finds out is disconcerting, troubling, and immoral…but what on earth can she do about it when she is bound by her contractual work agreement to do nothing but observe?
I felt frustration, relief, anger, desperation, all while watching the story unfold, and found it to be a refreshing new kind of novel to sink my eyes into.
For anyone looking for something a little different than the norm, this book comes highly recommended. A few years’ old book that was a gem to find.
To learn more about this week’s author and her book, you can find her here: https://www.emmadonoghue.com/
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