An eleven-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 sixteenth century and the twentieth - 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.
Fans of Emma Donoghue's first novel Room will not be disappointed with The Wonder . . . a tale of claustrophobic suspense and the intense relationship between a woman and a child . . . Donoghue's masterful way with words and imagery has the reader sharing Lib's scepticism and disdain for Anna and her family's naive religious fervour. And it's Donoghue's skill in building The Wonder up into an increasingly tense thriller - is Anna a fake or a saint and will she live or die? - until a heart-thumping, palm-sweating dramatic denouement. * Red Magazine * Vivid, tender . . . Her contemporary thriller Room made the author an international bestseller, but this gripping tale offers a welcome reminder that her historical fiction is equally fine. * Kirkus, Starred Review * Donoghue mines material that on the face of it appears intractably bleak and surfaces with a powerful, compulsively readable work of fiction * Irish Times * Emma Donoghue's writing is superb alchemy, changing innocence into horror and horror into tenderness -- Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife