Wonder, The

Donoghue, Emma

  13 Reviews

A wonder or a hoax? Eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell has supposedly not eaten for months. Lib Wright, a 'Nightingale' nurse fresh from the Crimea, has been employed by the parish, along with a nun, to monitor the veracity of the claim. Athlone is an impoverished Irish village, a place where faith and superstition are practised hand-in hand, and Anna's welfare is a hotbed of conflicted interest. What possible effect could a lone Englishwoman working with 'scientific nursing principles' have on a family and a community who believe in miracles?

This is an intriguing story, an atmospheric mystery, true to the period and rich with the trappings of faith. [Larger font]



MAST 005
We had an in depth discussion regarding the positivity and negativity of faith and the consequences of following it to the letter. Some loved it, others found it too slow and darkly depressing.
WINT 001
Most found this story very sad but a few found it interesting. Much discussion around the Catholic Church, its role in society and the power of religion in general.
ASHB 027
This book generated a lot of discussion about the control of the Catholic Church in Ireland in this era, the characters especially the mother, the doctor and the priest, the nun versus the nurse and their perspectives, and the ending (tad contrived). Not a nice read but it built up slowly into an unexpected thriller!
NEWP 013
The book was well received by most of the group and was well researched. Some felt it was 'Catholic bashing' but that was true to the era it was set in ( the type of behaviour). The ending was not one we, as readers, could foresee but was acceptable.
It was slow and a bit repetitive to start with, but tense and gripping towards the end. Overall a very satisfying read.
CHCH 185
The whole group read the book. Although there were mixed views on it, most thought it a good read. It certainly promoted an interesting discussion!
A bit slow and steady with anticipation; well worth getting to the end. We asked - what would you do
Overall opinion was that the story "dragged" through the middle chapters then the end was too compacted. We felt that it could have had more about Anna's reaction to leaving her family.
NAP 005
This book divided the group into those with a Catholic background and those without! Those with strong Irish Catholic roots were appalled by this story while those not previously exposed to this type of tale about such Fasting Girls, were intrigued. All agreed it was a story of the new scientific authority versus the old authority of religion. Incredible to reflect that the action took place over only a fortnight! And we all agreed the ending was rather fanciful!
NAP 005
We had a good discussion about this book even though the topics raised were difficult. Written to keep you reading.
Led to a great discussion on faith vs dogma. Felt the book itself was a "game of 2 halves" - slow to begin with then a rapid conclusion.
HAVE 011
Lively discussion - everyone enjoyed the book. Thought perhaps that the ending was contrived but thankful it was happy. Characters richly drawn. The mother was despicable - invoked strong feelings as so particularly well portrayed.
TAUR 039
Loved this one. Winner!!