The Wonder The Wonder

The Wonder

A Novel

    • 4.1 • 192 Ratings
    • $11.99
    • $11.99

Publisher Description

Now a major film from the makers of Normal People and Room, starring Florence Pugh and streaming on Netflix.



“Heartbreaking and transcendent.” —The New York Times

From the Man Booker Prize–shortlisted author of Room and the bestselling novel Haven

In 1850s Ireland a village is baffled by young Anna O’Donnell’s fast. The girl appears to be thriving after months without food, and the story of this “wonder” has reached fever pitch. Tourists flock to the O’Donnell family’s cabin, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensational story. Enter Lib, an English nurse trained by Florence Nightingale, who is hired to keep watch over Anna for two weeks to determine whether or not the girl 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 girl may actually be the victim of murder in slow motion.

Written with all the spare and propulsive tension that made Room a bestseller, The Wonder is a 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.

“Beautifully moody with the taut pace of a thriller, The Wonder grapples with the potency of love, both human and divine.” —Chatelaine

Fiction & Literature
September 20
HarperCollins Publishers
Harper Collins Canada Limited

Customer Reviews

Hana12300 ,


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.

Girthgirl ,

Strong constitution, if a little thin

First off I’m trying to be more critical in my sat giving, where 3 is “good,” 4 is a basically perfect book, and 5 is a transcendent classic which will or should endure for the ages, so 3 stars is not necessarily a slight against the book.
The plot, historical inspiration, setting, and religious and scientific conflicts of this novel were interesting, well-evoked, and compelling. I am fascinated by fasting girls and it’s awesome to see them given this kind of serious and empathetic study.
Donoghue is a perfectly competent writer of elevated commercial fiction, and I think part of what I yearned for was more attention to the emotional and spiritual dynamics of the whole work — novel as symphony, something a little more lyrical and artsy and “literary.” She’s dancing on that line here and I think the novel would have been better if she had just gone there. I was convinced by Anna and Lib’s friendship and of few of the other relationships. I felt there was a huge swath of religious intensity that was kept at a very far distance, which could be explained to an extent by our witnessing this from Lib’s perspective, someone whose relationship to faith is ambivalent at best and otherwise contemptuous. But much of the plot revolves around her grappling with the enormous presence of faith, even just as a human construction, and I felt her grappling was somewhat one-dimensional, and punctuated by surrender or transcendence which felt too quick and too easy. I saw the twist coming from a mile away, and the plot overall felt like a good execution of something prefabricated. I know there is nothing new under the sun, but I could see the seams clear as day in the story structure. I liked the live story, the contrasting of someone who is ostensibly a scientist trying to function in a world that runs on religion, and the way Lib’s own personality flaws play into the plot. I think Lib is a fabulous protagonist, one of the most complete and interesting characters I have read in a long time. Overall I am very happy I read this and excited to suggest it to friends who are nurses.

Cheri Loo Who ,

Frustratingly awesome

I felt Lib’s frustration. I was completely shocked at the outcome. It was such an easy read. Emma Donaghue is a genius.

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