Book Review – The Wonder – Emma Donoghue
Book: The Wonder
Author: Emma Donoghue
Year of Release: 2016
Read 295-page hardcover edition in October 2017.
Nurse Elizabeth Wright, trained by Florence Nightingale herself, is sent from her hospital post in England for a small village in Ireland, to work a special, two-week assignment. There is a young child, Anna, who has mystified the village, by living through a four-month fast, that shows no sign of stopping. Some think it is a miracle of God. Others think it a farce. It is up to Nurse Wright to supervise and monitor the young girl, and determine what is going on. However, Nurse Wright finds herself in a complex situation, trying to find the truth, and not sure of who she can trust.
This was a fantastic story by Irish-Canadian novelist Emma Donoghue. The plot is fast-paced throughout the majority of the novel, with many twists and turns that motivate the reader to keep reading, and find out just what is going on with Anna. The setting is beautifully set and described by the writer, and helps us as the reader feel like we are right in mid-19th century rural Ireland.
The novel has a great opening, which sets up the main character and helps us understand her motives and backstory. However, throughout the novel we learn more about Nurse Wright, which helps us to understand her motivations and concerns better, and the writer’s skill at revealing information about her in pieces, throughout the story, is well-executed.
The novel also has a great closing, which contains surprises as well as elements we may have expected about the overall issues of the plot. The novel’s middle section is interesting, although in some places the action does slow and the story gets a little bit monotonous. This is a minor complaint though, because usually the reader is left wondering what is going to happen next, or has opportunities to learn more about the main and secondary characters that surround Nurse Wright and Anna.
Overall, this is an enjoyable and interesting novel, well worth the read.
Overall: 4 stars out of 5 stars