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The Wonder
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The Wonder - Sept 2018 > Chapters 2 and 3

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Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
We are now more than half-way through the book. Have your initial impressions changed at all? Any themes popping out at you? What do you think of the characters? Any predictions?


message 2: by Berna (new) - added it

Berna | 64 comments I finished Chapter 2 and unfortunately I decided to DNF it. In this chapter Anna, the only character who did not annoy me in the first chapter, managed to get get on my nerves.
I am not one of those readers who can read books with characters who are all unlikeable, I have to like at least one of them to continue reading.

In addition, I was not impressed with the writing style as well.


Patti (prenticekid) | 9 comments Chapter 2 is a very methodical set up for what looks to be a confrontation between science (medical/nursing) and religious fanaticism...or faith.

I am enjoying getting to know the characters. The author is pretty adept at showing the Irish village -- an ancient throw back. Lib is much like you'd expect a Nightingale trained war nurse to be. Amazing to think that at that time, nursing was a drudge job, not a respected profession. I cannot imagine being a nurse and being subjected to religious fanatics.

There was some, what I believe to be, foreshadowing that I should probably keep to myself for the moment . The author nearly beat us over the head with it though.

I will check back in after I have finished Chapter 3.


message 4: by Debbi (new)

Debbi Faust | 164 comments A few people have DNF'd this book so I have wondered what to do. I am still on chapter one but I am enjoying it so far. After reading your comment I think I will continue on. Thanks for sharing.


Patti (prenticekid) | 9 comments I do hope you keep reading, Debbi. It isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I am enjoying the book. It is such an unusual story.

In Chapter 3, we see Lib gain some empathy, maybe even compassion, for the village and, in particular, for Anna's mother with her walk through the cemetery. However, I am not yet sure if the mother even deserves compassion. She seems to love her daughter, but how do you pray for your daily bread as a family, and not feel that maybe God doesn't want your child to go without eating?

It is heartbreaking to hear Lib talk about her service in the war to Byrne. It would be very difficult to come out of that experience without making yourself hard.

Anna seems so intelligent, she even seems to have a sense of humor. It is hard to fathom that she simply doesn't eat for religious reasons, and she is so accepting of it. I can't decide if it is her own piety or of all the adults who are permitting it, even encouraging it. I do think that for Anna, it is truly
rooted in some sort of religious purpose.


Elsa I am still enjoying the book. I particularly like the single word chapter headings and definitions. It seems like a lot of thought has gone in to choosing the right word for each one because of the double meanings.

I notice that fire is mentioned several times - the cooking fire, the lamp, Anna's broken memorial candle, the flammable peat.

I wonder if Anna feels starving herself will help get her brother out of purgatory. When she asks the priest about speeding up time in purgatory, is she asking for her brother's sake or for her own?


Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
Berna wrote: "I finished Chapter 2 and unfortunately I decided to DNF it. In this chapter Anna, the only character who did not annoy me in the first chapter, managed to get get on my nerves.
I am not one of tho..."


I agree about the unlikeable characters. But the last 1/3 of the book really does pick up pace. I didn't connect with the writing style at first either, but I think I got used to it.


Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
Patti wrote: "Chapter 2 is a very methodical set up for what looks to be a confrontation between science (medical/nursing) and religious fanaticism...or faith.

I am enjoying getting to know the characters. The..."


I'm so curious to hear what you saw as foreshadowing! I almost always miss that kind of stuff. I look forward to your thoughts at the end.


Theresa | 57 comments I know I am late in writing this but I am enjoying the book so much I just had to put my two cents in.That comment probably shows my age.

I have liked Anna from the start and disliked Lib. I don't agree with some on their views about the mother. I can see her love of her daughter when she comes in in the mornings and hugs her and prays with her.

As for the comment on the family being fanatics, I feel Anna and her family seem quite calm and the nurse seems like the fanatic one.

One definition says:a person exhibiting excessive enthusiasm and intense uncritical devotion toward some controversial matter (as in religion or politics)
That sounds like the nurses constant searching and even breaking items just to prove her view point. After all, her job was to observe.

Finally, I do agree with Elsa on the purgatory issue. I think Anna is still grieving.

I can't wait to finish.


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