Nominated by:

Calgary Public Library, Canada

Serres Central Public Library, Greece

Cork City Libraries, Ireland

Dublin City Public Libraries, Ireland

Publisher of nominated edition:

Picador, UK

HarperCollins Canada

The Wonder

Emma Donoghue    

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.

About the author

Emma Donoghue was born in Dublin and lived in England for many years before moving to Canada. She writes in many genres, including theatre, radio drama and literary history, but is best known for her fiction, both historical and contemporary. Her seventh novel, Room, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes. It sold more than two million copies. Donoghue scripted the film adaptation which was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

(from publisher)

Librarians’ comments

A girl who refuses to eat. For religious reasons? Something else? Even her parents are convinced that she can live without food. An emotional, at times, disturbing, but tremendously thought-provoking novel.

Set in post-famine Ireland, a Nightingale nurse takes on a case of a fasting eleven year old girl in the midlands of Ireland. Is the child genuine, or being manipulated for money or faith? Although the nurse is hired to merely observe, she can’t help being drawn in, leading to a heart pounding climax.

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