The Wonder

The Wonder

A Novel

Book - 2016
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In this masterpiece by Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room , an English nurse is brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle -- a girl said to have survived without food for month -- and soon finds herself fighting to save the child's life.

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale's Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl.

Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, The Wonder works beautifully on many levels -- a tale of two strangers who transform each other's lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.

Acclaim for The Wonder :

"Deliciously gothic.... Dark and vivid, with complicated characters, this is a novel that lodges itself deep" ( USA Today , 3/4 stars)

"Heartbreaking and transcendent"( New York Times )

"A fable as lean and discomfiting as Anna's dwindling body.... Donoghue keeps us riveted" ( Chicago Tribune )

"Donoghue poses powerful questions about faith and belief" ( Newsday )
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316393874
Branch Call Number: DONOGHUE
Characteristics: 291 pages ; 25 cm


From the critics

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Jan 17, 2021

Once again a historical fiction that seemed to be well researched and highly interesting. Will look for others by this author.

Aug 26, 2020

Very much enjoyed this book, as I do most of Emma Donoghue's writing. As a Catholic of Irish descent, it was certainly an eye-opening account of a time and place that I had very little knowledge of. I don't know how authentic this little girl's story might actually be but I enjoy historical fiction and would certainly recommend this to anyone who loves this author's work. Am looking forward to her new novel, The Pull of the Stars.

Mar 12, 2020

Loved this book. It got me thinking.
Great development of characters.
Always enjoy reading stories written by Donoghue. Very good story teller.

Jan 15, 2020

I enjoyed some of this author's other books...but this one is so boring it's almost as if there isn't a plot...maybe it gets better but I've sat down with it 2 or 3 times and I just can't get into it. There's also this English derision of the Irish, is it supposed to be funny? a satire?

Dec 19, 2019

A story where religion and science meet to verse each other as the truth is hunted for. The stakes? The life of an eleven year old girl. Lib was called in to conduct a "watch" with Sister Michael to confirm whether or not an eleven year old girl is actually existing without any food as a sort of miracle. When the horrible truth is hinted upon it lands on Lib alone to find the truth's proof. This story was another great example of historical fiction. I really enjoyed it. It is definitely a page turner.

Sep 22, 2019

In my opinion, Emma Donoghue writes some of the most well-researched, evocative historical fiction I've ever read. This was not my favorite book of hers, but it was one of the few books this year as a new mom that kept me engaged enough to finish it!

Aug 26, 2019

Tea & Talk Book Club / July 2019

Jul 10, 2019

7-10-19 Returning for others, too many books showed up now.

VaughanPLDavidB Mar 25, 2019

In mid 19th century Ireland, Nightingale-trained nurse Lib Wright is hired as part of a two week watch on a girl who has been purportedly going without food for over four months. She is understandably skeptical of the claim, but over the course of the two weeks she discovers the appalling truth of the situation. The author effectively unwinds the story, until a somewhat improbable climax, which is the book's only real weakness.

Pippa_R Jul 13, 2018

If you're a fan of Emma Donoghue's bestselling novel Room, you will love The Wonder, a thrilling page-turner that keeps you guessing until the final pages. Lib is a nurse trained by Florence Nightingale. Her expertise is requested by the family of Annie, an eleven-year-old girl who claims she has been surviving for the past four months without food. Lib’s task is to watch Annie night-and-day to either prove or debunk the supposed miracle. Disturbing, fast-paced, and claustrophobic, this novel will have you flip-flopping, taking sides with both Annie and Lib as the horror and wonder of Annie’s self-imposed starvation unfolds.

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Apr 28, 2017

Tjad2LT thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Mar 09, 2018

I suppose it's fitting that I read this during Lent, as it felt like doing interminable penance. The writing is clunky and overbearing, the characters are stereotypical, and the ending is eye-rollingly ludicrous.


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