An Update on My Reading Goal: The Wonder

The most recent book I have read off NPR’s list of the 10 best books of 2016 is The Wonder by Emma Donoghue.

I really wanted to love this book because I loved Room, also by Donoghue. However, it fell a little flat for me. The book centers around the relationship between a young girl believed to be a miracle because she has been fasting for several months, and her nurse caretaker. The plot drags and I found it difficult to engage with the characters.

The concept behind the story is fascinating. “Fasting girls” were really a thing in the 1700s and 1800s in northern Europe. Some people viewed them as miraculous. Some viewed them as suffering from an eating disorder. The story does cause us to explore people might do or accept certain behaviors in the name of religion.

The writing just never grasped me. Maybe I was distracted, but I never felt fully engaged in this book. I’m not saying don’t pick this book up at all. It’s not terrible, but it’s not the riveting tale I was hoping it would be.


(Image from

Here is the updated list:

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years and After, 1939-1962 by Blanche Wiesen Cook

Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs by Robert Kanigel


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