An 11-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 16th century and the 20th - 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.
©2016 Emma Donaghue (P)2016 Macmillan Digital Audio
This was marketed as a 'psychological thriller' but unfortunately it was not. I had enjoyed the author's previous book Room and was drawn in by the premise of this novel's story but while listening to it, was never excited at any point.
Not a bad book but a little boring in parts, too much going over and over the same description. Probably the last two chapters were the best. Didn't hate it but not very enthralled by it either.
No, I have enjoyed other audiobooks much more than this that I'd recommend first.
In hindsight, I suppose it was predictable, but I didn't see it coming until late in the story.
I enjoyed the interactions between Anna and Lib, where Lib would tell the girl riddles. The whole situation was a riddle and I think this is what Donoghue was trying to express.
I wouldn't say 'moved', but when Anna was on the brink of death, it was sad.
A very slow paced story which made for a good bedtime listen, as it lulled me off to sleep very well.
"Anna's body had learned to make do with less."
An exploration of belief and faith exposed to the abrasive demands of reality and methodical scrutiny, a study of how we arrange what we want to believe through the power of imagination and religious guilt and fear. A celebration of love and rational thought defeating dogma with intelligence and imagination.
A beautifully written book that is intelligent and hopeful, while holding the reader in suspense till the very end. The characters are crisp and clearly drawn, the plot opens and develops with every turn of the page, making the drama of this people's lives real and concerning.
A lovely find that surprised me as much as it pleased.
"The author has performed a real wonder of her own"
Yes I would recommend to a friend because the story is quite fascinating and very different and would appeal to my friends !
It's difficult to compare this with anything else I have read before.
It’s a long story to listen to, coming in at over 12 hours, but the narrator does such an excellent portrayal of the characters that it becomes very enjoyable to listen to her quiet interpretation of this excellent story.
I did connect emotionally with story. At first it made me angry and unsettled but by the end I felt quite tearful at the way Anna's story unfolded.
Excited to listen to this book after the brilliance of 'Room', but was disappointed. The 'Irish' accents were often inaudible or too thick to understand at all and often in places where it was important to the story line. But the basic premise was interesting so I plodded on to the too-tidy end.
"That is NOT and Irish Accent, Just Stop."
On twitter I described this as the most painful audiobook I've ever listened too and really that isn't far from the truth. The tag line should be 'British women butchers Irish accents in a way that's frankly offensive'. The way should does the Irish characters accents makes them come off as the most ill educated, naive idiots the world ever laid eyes on. Not one Irish person's accent was accurate. Also in 1850s Ireland not all Irish people in Athlone would've spoken fluent English.
The story seems fairly decent and I may stick the print copy on hold at the library but don't put yourself through this monstrosity its not worth it.
Also audiobook producers there are 5 million Irish people out there, could you not have asked one of them to work in tandem with Kate Lock and do the Irish accents? Seriously, the Irish have had their culture erased for long enough!
"Another superb narrative from Donoghue"
Yes, a very atmospheric book, which throws into light questions about religion, faith amongst so many other things. Delightful depiction of the girl.
Lib - I really disliked her at the beginning, but she grew on me the more I listened. A very conflicted and complicated character.
Lib again, I think. The Irish accents seem quite false to begin with, but I got used to them and I found them quite charming in the end!
An young girl hasn't eaten for four months - can a Nightingale nurse discover the truth before it's too late?
This is a brilliant mystery that kept me guessing until the end - highly recommend it!
"Sadly an irritating narrator"
I couldn't get into the book because of the narrators voice. strange irish accent. Story is interesting.
Different. Entertaining. Easy to follow. Interesting ideas. Liked the setting. Liked the main characters. Worth listening.
Story twists and turns drew me in. as an Irish listener, found Kate Lock's Irish accents occasionally a bit too heavy on the Leprechaun so became a bit of a distraction.
"It brought out every emotion possible.Well written"
I continued to think that I had heard this story before but this must be because it is an event that keeps occurring throughout the world in many cultures/religions. I was in turn horrified, puzzled, but mostly furiously indignant. The narrator was wonderful with so many accents and she voiced the girl with such sympathy. What a wonderful writer. I expect, like myself many people tried this book after having loved Room. This is different but still a kidnapping in effect.
"Offence of narration"
This great book by an Irish author was once again destroyed by an ignorant English narrator putting on cartoon accents that made it all but unlistenable. Aside from having one Irish character sound like Bosco and another like Bob Geldof, her overall reading is melodramatic and careless, often getting the names of characters wrong. This recording should not have passed any quality control for a publisher
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