With just over two weeks to go until the winner of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize is announced we, here, on the Shadow Jury are heading into the final straight — most of us have nearly finished reading all the titles on the shortlist, so expect a small flurry of reviews over the next fortnight as we play catch up.
Naomi has just reviewed Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder, which I reviewed a few weeks back — and which you can read here if you missed it first time round.
In this story of a young Irish girl, who is apparently surviving on nothing but air, Donoghue sets up an intriguing narrative that Naomi says immediately pulled her in. But pacing was a problem, because “there was a bit of a lag in the middle” before it picked up again. Overall, however:
This is a good book; the history, the religious politics, the setting, and the characters. In particular, I found the attitudes and beliefs of the characters the most interesting aspect of the story. The doctor was hoping to make a great discovery; the possibility of human existence without the need for food. Anna’s family seemed paralyzed by their religious beliefs. And Nurse Lib was an interesting character; she made mistakes and held a prejudice against the Irish – one that represented the feelings about them in other parts of the world at the time (“What a rabble, the Irish. Shiftless, thriftless, hopeless, hapless, always brooding over past wrongs.”). But she was also strong and passionate about her cause, and a good nurse. “Good nurses follow rules… but the nest know when to break them.”
To read Naomi’s review in full, please visit her blog, Consumed by Ink.
Has anyone else read this book? What did you think?