Thoughts on Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder


The end of Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder seemed inevitable, but, for me, it took too long to get there. The similarities between this story and her previous, “Room,” are so obvious, I can’t help but read this as a dialogue with that book. And even a kind of metaphor for the success of that book (and movie). I struggled off-and-on with the intensity of the main character’s (Lib’s) pragmatism, but ultimately, I found her to be richly portrayed, and a good counter-balance to the intensity of the spiritual fatalism around her. The characters were very polarizing.  The question that hangs in the air through the whole novel: Will the young girl die? It is answered, finally, in a richly layered way that surprised me. While the novel’s surface is stark, its subtexts are often surprisingly subtle.


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