WOW. What a way to start 2017! I mean, really! I’m so happy I read this book, it gives me such a positive view of how the rest of my year is going to. I picked up this book because Indigo had it on sale for Boxing Day, and I jumped at its lowered price to see what everyone was talking about. I’m so glad I bought it.
Let it be known: I have not read Emma Donoghue before, so she is a new author to me.
The tone of the story at the beginning starts out in a hopeless, simple tone – Lib expects to just get in and out, basically. She plans to find out what is going on with this “wonder” child, Anna O’Donnell, and get back to England where normal living standards are.
As the ending comes, a tone of hope, redemption, and new beginnings takes over.
I am a person who prefers more character development rather than plot, which is probably what makes “The Wonder” that much better for me. Lib is so fascinating. We need to remember, she’s a nurse, a Nightingale, just thrown into this strange watch job, in a strange country, with even stranger people. She has no idea about their customs, and their strict religious practices makes this 10 times worse for her. I think she did a pretty good job trying to keep all the hate away from her and just focus on what she has to do.
Religion, loyalty, and mystery is what drives the plot forward though. The O’Donnell family and their religious beliefs somehow condoning Anna’s unwillingness to eat, the loyalty Anna has towards her family (including the loyalty Lib has to her nursing teacher), and finally the mystery behind what really goes on behind closed doors. “The Wonder” had me at the edge of my seat throughout the whole book. Even better – there’s not many breaks in between, so it felt like I breezed by this book fairly quickly (which reflects how quickly Lib’s two-week watch went by, and how quickly Anna deteriorates. PS, that is not a real spoiler – on the inside cover, we are told this! So please don’t hate me)
The writing style is beautiful, compelling, and left me wanting more. As a new reader of Emma Donoghue’s, I’m definitely going to purchase her other novels. I love the adventure she has taken me on in this book. I really am not exaggerating enough when I say that this read is the perfect start to my 2017 year. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has yet to pick up an Emma Donoghue book, or has read another book of hers and wants more.
For all those who have read “The Wonder”- what did you think? And what about the ending, right? I couldn’t believe my eyes with all that was revealed! If you comment below, please don’t leave any spoilers!