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Title: Wonder, The
Authors: Donoghue, Emma
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 291
Year: 2016
Publisher: Picador
Language: English
Description: 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.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"An insightful and fascinating read, raising questions of the place of religion, family, community and science on a child's well-being."

"Well drawn out intrigue, with many interesting elements drawn into the story – mysticism, the role of parish priest and doctor, Crimean war and the discipline of being a Nightingale nurse."

"The second half of the book was my favourite – the speed and excitement picked up."

"If readers can get past the initial slowness of the book I think everyone would enjoy it and have an opinion."

"A well-worked, original plot with minor details and the essential horror of the tale combining to make a fine piece of work."
Categories: Fiction, Community, Historical, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, Religion, Ireland, 2019 Titles

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