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The Wonder

Review by Giulietta Gigliotti (Girl with a Pen)

Emma Donoghue, author of the astounding novel Room, has written another gripping book based on the real life case of the Fasting Girls. This phenomenon saw the recording of girls who lived without the consumption of food for long periods of time. It was seen mostly in Western Europe and Northern America between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. The Wonder is about a girl, Anna, who lives in Ireland and does not eat. When a Florence Nightingale trained nurse, Lib, is called in to supervise and determine whether or not Anna is lying or is really surviving without food, questions of belief and of parental abuse are raised. Highly trained Lib is sceptical from the start, but when she spends hours on end with Anna, she begins to question her own beliefs.

This is a tough book to read, filled with family heart break, famine and many religious passages. The Wonder makes you question your own beliefs. There are many twist and turns to follow when reading this book and many shocking developments to wrap your mind around, but getting to the end is where you will find all of the good stuff and the truth is finally revealed. The writing is gripping and suspenseful, making you want to know what is going to happen and wonder after the last page.

If you like the kind of books that make you wonder about your own life or how other people live or lived, then this is the book for you.