Monday, November 7, 2016

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
Published September 20, 2016
Summary on Goodreads
Buy on Amazon

I got this book as my first book for Book of the Month Club (if you want to join, click here and you can get 30% off and a free tote) and so far I really like this club mainly because they provide a few different types of books that you can pick per month rather than the typical mailbox clubs where they give you one and only one book so if that book isn’t up your alley then sorry.  Plus, they also range in genres and between non-fiction and fiction so you really do have a wide diversity of books that you can pick.

Anyways, on to the actual review of The Wonder.  I’m usually not a fan of historical fiction but when I saw this book, it seemed intriguing and the author, Emma Donoghue, wrote Room which I haven’t read yet but have it on my TBR list.  I’d heard really good things about Room so I figured why not, let me try The Wonder.  I have to say though, this book was a little disappointing because I expected so much more.  The writing style was just okay and the plot seemed to drag a little at times. 

I actually went to look at the reviews later (I try not to read reviews before reading a book so it won’t influence my expectations) and I saw a few of the complaints about how predictable the book seemed to be and how slow it was.  I definitely agreed that the pacing of the book was a bit slow but I also have to remind myself that this book took place over 2 weeks so undoubtedly the pacing have to be a little on the slow side to get to 300 pages (lol).  However, at the same time, the premise of a girl simply drinking water for two weeks just doesn’t seem that interesting.  And it wasn’t until a week passed or so before Lib got over the whole “must find the farce” to “oh no, is she really dying” that the book really began to pick up and be interesting and it started to reveal the minds of the townspeople and the whole sordid ordeal behind the situation.

While I agreed on the pacing, I don’t agree on the predictability of the book.  I actually couldn’t figure out what was going on until it was revealed in the book so kudos to that.  I mean, I sort of had an inkling to the real truth but I wasn’t 100% positive and there were times when I doubted myself.  The ending, now that I look back on it, wasn’t a revelation but an expectation but I also didn’t think that Lib would go to that length for the girl. 

I’m not sure if I’m a fan of Lib.  This book was set back in the 1850s/60s and I was surprised at how secular Lib was compared to the standard of that time.  I feel like a lot of people were all about religion and having a faith of some sort but for a nurse in that time period, Lib was particularly condescending and kind of an atheist based on the way she referred to God and whatnot.  So I didn’t really think she as a character fit the time period in this book.  Plus, she came into the book all judgmental and stuff after hearing about the “miracle of the girl” and even though she kept denying this miracle and kept thinking about leaving the farce behind, she never did it.  I really don’t like people who can’t commit to what they say/think.  It’s like why are you making such a big deal of it and threatening to leave and then can’t resist staying and ultimately go to great lengths at the end of the book.  It mind-boggled me.

The other characters were more side character even Anna, the little girl.  None of them played a huge role but without them, the book would’ve been nonexistent.  However, they were definitely not very well developed but I guess in this case, they didn’t need to be.

Overall, the book was just okay in my mind.  I wish there was a little more action or a little more romance or simply for things to have been a little more interesting.




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