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The Wonder
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The Wonder - Sept 2018 > Chapters 4 to END

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Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
You made it. What did you think of how the book ended? Did anything surprise you? What made you think? How did you get on with the writing style? Share any and all thoughts here!

Patti (prenticekid) | 9 comments I have finished the book...but I don't want to go first with my thoughts! LOL I almost wish I hadn't finished so I could linger in the messages for Chapters 2-3 a bit longer.

I will say I enjoyed the read. I gave it 4 stars.

Rhonda Nelson | 14 comments I finished the book and gave it 4 stars. It was a really tough read through the middle but so very worthwhile and heartbreaking in the end! I wept and cheered for the redenption that came for that precious girl. If you DNFed this book, please go back and give it another try. I know it's not for everyone, but I found that the audio book helped me get through to the end and I am so very glad I did. <3

Elsa I am happy with the epilogue, but I wish Lib had been able to change people's minds and that Anna had been able to stay in her family. I was heartbroken with the guilt Anna felt that caused her to fast and nearly die.

My favorite bit is on page 229: "Good nurses follow rules," Lib growled, "but the best know when to break them."

The overuse of italics bothered me because they were used to emphasize words as well as to quote said and written prayers and scripture. I dislike the gloomy tone of the novel as well, though it is appropriate to the story. 3 stars for me.

message 5: by Sue (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sue Richardson | 11 comments I was surprised at the end of the book because I had read ahead briefly to see how it ended. And I was convinced she had died. All the gloom and doom and she still dies. I was convinced this was just one stinking morbid book. I didn’t like the ending but was a little relieved because my first impression was wrong. Not the style of writing I want to read on a regular basis. Different for sure.

Robin (rwaggs) | 14 comments I'm honestly not sure how I feel about this story. Poor Anna is far too young for such guilt and the adults are, what? Too stupid? No. Too caught up in religion? No. Need to be slapped upside the head? That's the one!

I'm glad Nan has a chance at a good life, tho I felt things wrapped up too quickly.

message 7: by Debbi (new)

Debbi Faust | 164 comments I am feeling the SAME way as Robin. I don't know what to think about this story. I was bored at times and very interested at times. All in all, I think I would give it 2 1/2 stars.

Nancy  Altizer | 3 comments I agree with others. This book was a mixed bag. There were some parts that I had a hard time with and others kept me intrigued. I really wondered if Anna had a disease but then duh, she was starving. I do think the religious aspect was interesting. I think Anna's parents loved her but I personally don't think they minded that she was dying. I think the idea of molestation was too much for them. And I think they liked the idea of a miracle in their midst. I think the cover up of the molestation and how Anna internalized it was fascinating and heart breaking and the fact the adults would let her die...frustrated me. One problem I had at the end was the small attention to Lib's child also dying from lack of nourishment. I think the author just put that in as an aside to tie up loose ends. But basically, I found it interesting how much guilt and self shame these characters had for things they really had no control over.

Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
Finished tonight. Whew! Made it before the end of the month...barely! haha.

I think my favorite part of this book was seeing Lib change from the beginning to the end. I really didn't like her at the beginning with her judgement and cynicism. As she spent more time with sweet, misguided, determined Anna, though, and her heart opened up I liked her more and more. I can't imagine how frustrating it must have been to be in her position. I pretty much wanted to strangle all the other adults in this book, except the reporter. I was furious with the mother, disappointed with the father, super annoyed and frustrated with the doctor and priest.

I thought the pacing was pretty slow for the first 2/3 of the book. I was interested, but also wanted things to move a bit faster. But then we get to that last bit and we were flying through to the ending, which did feel a bit rushed.

I do have some mixed feelings about how it ended. It's frustrating to me that none of those adults who infuriated me throughout the book had any kind of change throughout the story. But I was also so glad that Lib was able to convince Anna to leave and start fresh. I loved the epilogue for giving us a bit of a happy ending for Lib and Anna.

I think overall I will give this 4 stars. After the first chapter I was thinking 2 stars but as it went on it moved up in my mind.

Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
All that and I forgot to mention the religion/faith elements in this book...and it's such a major theme! We see such different approaches to faith throughout.

Lib has a lot of anger toward God and is not at all religious, but by the end does call out to him and at least has some understanding (and some frustration too) of the people around her.

Anna is so misguided in her faith, but at the same time is so devoted, so incredibly devoted to the point of being willing to die if it will help her to save her brother from a life in hell or purgatory.

The O'Donnells Ugh. So pious and so hypocritical! That mother. Sneaking food to Anna and calling it Manna on the one hand and on the other parading her before these visitors and hoping for saint status of her daughter...who she knows has been so grievously hurt by her son! Kneeling to pray while her daughter is dying in the other room. Ugh.

So much superstition was tied up in the faith of this community.

Any thoughts from you guys about this theme of faith/religion?

Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
Patti wrote: "I have finished the book...but I don't want to go first with my thoughts! LOL I almost wish I hadn't finished so I could linger in the messages for Chapters 2-3 a bit longer.

I will say I enjoyed..."

Ahh! Ok. so what did you see as foreshadowing?!?

Patti (prenticekid) | 9 comments I had a feeling something was going up in flames based on the all the talk of flammable items. It was a little heavy handed.

I have to say that people in the book acted pretty much like what I would expect for the time and place as described. But it could be a story set in current times. Just look at current events ... we still cover up sex abuse and silence little girls and women to protect males.

The Catholic church silenced abuse victims and protected male priests. I live in Pittsburgh, and as a result of the recent grand jury report, people have been telling their stories of sexual abuse at the hands of the Catholic church and, invariably and so hearbreakingly, their own parents refused to listen to them because of their own love of the priest or church or even just the prestige of their son being an altar boy.

It occurred to me that Anna's physical starvation was allegory for the emotional shriveling of one's soul at the hands of a sexual attacker, the silence forced upon them, and even the guilt and suspicion they are subjected to by the very people who should protect and support them.

As to the ending...the least believable part of the book. I wonder if the author felt she had no choice but to wrap it up with a bow. After my initial "yay!" reaction, all I could think of was too bad they didn't have back then the heavy duty therapy that Anna would need. There is no way that abused, self harming child was going to be normal just because well meaning people who knew her for less than two weeks abducted her.

Theresa | 57 comments I finally finished and I loved the book. The ending did surprise me but I was happy with it. I realize that a lot of what happened may seem way out there but I really enjoyed the book and the main purpose for me in a fiction read is to be entertained and I was.

I liked the nun at the end and I was pleased with Libs change in character. That alone was a good lesson for us all. I think most of us go into a situation and are too quick to judge before we get all the facts.
I really can't see how Anna could come back from being that far gone but, maybe, God worked his miracles.

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