Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Wonder (Emma Donoghue)

If you’re author Emma Donoghue, it’s probably next to impossible to top your masterpiece Room.  Not only is it well written and unbelievably popular (it was even made into an award-winning movie), but once it was published, the reader really hadn’t seen anything like it before.  However, The Wonder, her latest, comes very close to Room in its uniqueness and psychological suspense.

Lib Wright, an English nurse, is brought to an Irish village to observe a little girl named Anna. It is said that Anna hadn’t taken any food since her Confirmation, living instead from “manna from heaven.”  Both the local priest and Anna’s doctor want her watched 24/7 to make sure that this is in fact a miracle and that she isn't getting food slipped to her in any way.  Lib starts off firm and no nonsense with Anna, determined to find out what is really going on.  But when it becomes a matter of life and death, Lib fights with all her might for the little girl she comes to love.

Donoghue’s gift is that she can take an extremely tense situation and infuse it with love and warmth.  That’s what she did in Room and what she eventually does in The Wonder.  You’ll wait with bated breath to see if Lib can save young Anna.