A small Irish village is mystified by what appears to be a miracle but may actually be murder in the next masterpiece from New York Times-bestselling author Emma Donoghue.
A small village in 1850s rural Ireland is baffled by Anna O'Donnell's fast, which began as a self-inflicted and earnest expression of faith. After weeks of subsisting only on what she calls "manna from heaven," the story of the "miracle" has reached a fever pitch. Tourists flock in droves to the O'Donnell family's modest cabin hoping to witness, and an international journalist is sent to cover the sensational story. Enter Lib, an English nurse trained by Florence Nightingale who is hired to keep watch for two weeks and determine whether or not Anna is a fraud. As Anna deteriorates, Lib finds herself responsible not just for the care of a child, but for getting to the root of why the child may actually be the victim of murder in slow motion.
A magnetic novel written with all the spare and propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, The Wonder works beautifully on many levels—a simple tale of two strangers who will transform each other's lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil in its many masks.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Emma Donoghue gained fame with her heart-wrenching novel Room (she wrote the screenplay, too!), and the Irish-Canadian author continues to amaze us with her range. The Wonder is the story of a lonely English nurse who’s sent to a backwater Irish village to look into the case of a pious girl who hasn’t eaten in months. The story is mysterious and sometimes eerie. Like many of Donoghue’s novels, it digs around in the muck of human experience and celebrates moments of soulful connection.
In the mid-19th century, English nurse Lib Wright is sent to a tiny Irish village for an unusual task. An 11-year-old girl, Anna, is being hailed as a miracle and potential saint because, it is claimed, she has eaten nothing in four months yet survives in good health. Lib's job is to watch the girl like a hawk for two weeks and either confirm that she doesn't eat or expose her as a fraud. But over the course of her watch, she uncovers a dark secret and faces an urgent moral dilemma. Voice actor Lock's narration is masterful: she creates a wide variety of memorable voices with authentic accents (from Lib's English accent to many different types of Irish voices lower-class rural people, men, women, the elderly, and innocent little Anna). During scenes of conversations and arguments, listeners may think they are hearing a full cast of actors, so distinct are the voices and so committed is Lock's performance. At every moment, Lock is fully engaged, giving every word meaning and emotion and suspense. It's a thrilling, award-worthy performance of this dark and suspenseful mystery with a rich historical background. A Little, Brown hardcover.
Could not figure out how this English nurse who does not like or understand the Irish can help this 11 year old girl. Well done.
I felt Lib’s frustration. I was completely shocked at the outcome. It was such an easy read. Emma Donaghue is a genius.