Reading roundup 06/04/22

I hope you have had an enjoyable reading week! I finished one book and then had a lot of false starts choosing a second. That means I have just the one book to tell you about.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

The book of the week, chosen at random from the Library’s ebook service, was The Wonder by Emma Donoghue. Here is the blurb:

“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.”

And this is the review that I posted on Goodreads:

The WonderThe Wonder by Emma Donoghue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this a most unusual book, set in mid 19th century Ireland. The plot centres around a young Catholic girl who has apparently stopped eating for several months. Many in her local area, including her family, venerate her as a possible saint and a group set out to test the circumstances. They hire an Irish nun and an English nurse, trained under Florence Nightingale, who are supposed to stay with the child in shifts to see whether she takes any food.

The English nurse begins with a very practical and fairly harsh regime and manner, determined to find out the truth and expose the girl. As the plot slowly unfolds, the reader is drawn into a charged atmosphere of strict religious observance, attempts to prove cheating and lies, and, at the centre, an intelligent and suffering child.

Some readers have found the book too slow, but I was quickly drawn into the story and enjoyed how the two main characters, the English nurse and the young girl, developed and changed.

View all my reviews

All in all, I found the book a really interesting and satisfying read and will look out for more ebooks by this author on our system. Donoghue is also the writer of Room, which I have also read. You may remember that this book was made into a film.

OK, well I had better turn to the book I am currently reading so that I finish it in time for next week’s Reading Roundup post!

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
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