I have been doing the Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge for, well, 2017 to date! Sometimes I’ve shoe horned some of my TBR pile into a category – and sometimes I’ve followed up on recommendations from friends. However, I was struggling for some categories – but a little Google revealed that Popsugar had some recommendations for all of the categories – so I thought that would be a good place to start!
So – for the category ‘A book about food’ I went for The Wonder by Emma Donoghue.
Here is the blurb:
“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.”
First things first I was a bit shocked that the main character, and the person whose view the book is written from – the English nurse sent to investigate – is called Lib – like me. That had to be a good sign?!?
I found this a bit of a slow burner (which looking back I also did with the other book I’ve read by Emma Donoghue – the critically acclaimed ‘Room’). I kept expecting for it to get going – but it definitely took over half of the book to do that. There was a lot of descriptions of the Irish Midlands, and the house where the young girl and her family lived. It all felt a bit repetitive and dull. Lib wasn’t that nice – and definitely looked down her nose at the family she was ‘observing’ and the other ‘locals’ – particularly their religious faith. However, most of them did need a good shake – so I can see where Lib was coming from.
I’m not a massive fan of historical fiction (or TV programmes or films) so I guess it’s not a massive surprise I found quite a lot of it a bit dreary (like the Irish Midlands by the sounds of it!)
However, about 70% through (got to love a Kindle!) the book finally picked up – and was a real roller coaster through to the end with numerous twists and turns. This meant that overall it was an ok book – but definitely just ok rather than brilliant!
I’m not sure how much of it was based on fact – and how much was artistic licence – but terribly sad if this did happen a lot.
In conclusion, I’m not sure I’ll be rushing to read any more Emma Donoghue – but that’s another category ticked off the list. Just 13 more categories to complete in the next 2.5 months #nopressurethen