Review of The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

After being in a bit of a reading slump, I was desperate for a read that would absolutely enthrall me and The Wonder by Emma Donoghue did that and more. Set in the 19th century, an English nurse named Lib is summoned to a small Irish village to observe a young girl who, according to her family, hasn’t eaten anything for 4 months. As people flock from all ends of the earth to witness the miracle girl, Lib makes it her mission to uncover the secrets behind Anna’s survival without proper nutrition for such an extended period of time.

I was immediately captivated by this novel. Donoghue expertly creates an air of mystery surrounding Anna’s “miraculous” existence that was was realistic, but still extremely intriguing. I particularly loved the various dichotomies that Donoghue wove into this novel. The stark contrast between English Protestants and Irish Catholics during this time period served as a beautiful foundation for a story that wonderfully portrayed how difficult it can be to manage the dissonance between religious and scientific truths. Despite the fact that Anna’s existence goes against all the scientific information that has been instilled in Lib, she is still alive and well which forces Lib to question the sanctity of her own beliefs.

Although this book moved at a slower pace than I am typically drawn to in a psychological thriller, I honestly couldn’t put it down. I simply had to know how Anna continued to survive and which of the many flawed characters in her inner circle were responsible for this “divine intervention” and Donoghue’s incredible storytelling abilities kept me guessing until the very last page.

Ultimately, Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder completely redefines the genre of psychological thriller. I absolutely devoured this book and encourage anyone and everyone to move this novel up to the top of your reading list. Donoghue’s incredible storytelling is simply not something any reader should deprive themselves of any longer.

Let me know your thoughts on The Wonder or any of Emma Donoghue’s other works in the comments below! 🙂

5 out of 5 stars


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