The Wonder

3.66 based on 25758 ratings & 3850 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 22.09.2016
ISBN: 9781509818419
Number of pages: 0

Synopsis

An eleven-year-old girl stops eating, but remains miraculously alive and well. A nurse, sent to investigate whether she is a fraud, meets a journalist hungry for a story.

Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, Emma Donoghue's The Wonder - inspired by numerous European and North American cases of 'fasting girls' between the sixteenth century and the twentieth - is a psychological thriller about a child's murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes. Pitting all the seductions of fundamentalism against sense and love, it is a searing examination of what nourishes us, body and soul.

In the media

Donoghue mines material that on the face of it appears intractably bleak and surfaces with a powerful, compulsively readable work of fiction
Irish Times
Fans of Emma Donoghue's first novel Room will not be disappointed with The Wonder . . . a tale of claustrophobic suspense and the intense relationship between a woman and a child . . . Donoghue's masterful way with words and imagery has the reader sharing Lib's scepticism and disdain for Anna and her family's naïve religious fervour. And it's Donoghue's skill in building The Wonder up into an increasingly tense thriller - is Anna a fake or a saint and will she live or die? - until a heart-thumping, palm-sweating dramatic denouement.
Red Magazine
The Irish potato famine has been over for seven years when The Wonder commences but the aftereffects are everywhere . . . In an author's note, Donoghue says that The Wonder was inspired by almost 50 cases of "so-called Fasting Girls" between the 16th and 20th centuries . . . Donoghue's prose is as sturdy and serviceable as a good pair of brogans , but never nondescript. There are occasional flashes of lyricism - "a cloud loosely bandaged the waning moon," for instance, a line of perfect description couched in perfect iambic pentameter - but Donoghue's main purpose here is story, story, story, and God bless her for it . . . impossible to put down . . . it also reminded me of The Razor's Edge, only turned inside out. Maugham's book is about the power of spirituality to heal. Donoghue has written with crackling intensity, about its power to destroy
New York Times