The Wonder Summary
Emma Donoghue

Everything you need to understand or teach The Wonder by Emma Donoghue.

  • The Wonder Summary & Study Guide

The Wonder Overview

Set in 1859, 12 years after the Irish Famine ends, Emma Donahue’s historical novel The Wonder (2016) depicts the increasingly complex relationship between Anna O’Donnell, an 11-year-old Roman Catholic girl in the midlands of Ireland who appears to have gone without food for four months yet remained relatively healthy, and one of the nurses who has been brought in to watch over her, Elizabeth (Lib) Wright. Told through Lib’s point of view, the novel chronicles Lib’s transformation from a nurse in name only to a nurse in the truest sense of the word. Although Lib believes that the scientific basis of her training will allow her to solve the mystery immediately, what she learns is that science is not a substitute for compassion and understanding. By the end of the novel, not only has Lib found these qualities in herself, but she has changed her own life for the better. Addressing themes of the dangers behind misperceptions and assumptions, in addition to motherhood, the loss of innocence, and the different ways human beings try to recover from loss, The Wonder portrays one woman’s struggle to help her patient while at the same time healing herself.

Study Pack

The The Wonder Study Pack contains:

The Wonder Study Guide