Genre: Mystery, Fiction
Book Jacket Synopsis: “A village in 1850s Ireland is baffled by Anna O’Donnell’s fast. The little girl appears to be thriving after months without food, and the story of this “wonder” has reached fever pitch. Tourists flock in droves to the O’Donnell family’s modest cabin, 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 tot he root of why the child may actually be the victim of murder in slow motion.”
Review: I really expected to love The Wonder, given how impressed I was by Donoghue’s Room. Unfortunately, The Wonder ended up being one of my least favorite books of 2017 (so far). I really had to push myself to finish this novel and was disappointed throughout. My major grievances include an incredibly slow and boring plot (I felt like half the novel was just Lib walking around the village) with fairly unimaginative twists. The truth behind Anna’s fast is lackluster and predictable, and all of the characters came across as dull. I admit that part of my disappointment in this book likely stems from high expectations and an indifference towards Gothic literature in general, but I felt overall that The Wonder simply did not live up to its book jacket synopsis in any way. The plot picked up in the last 50 pages, but this marginal increase in pace could not overcome a fundamentally flawed novel.