From the very beginning of The Wonder, author Emma Donoghue sets up clear foci for narrative drama – the English versus the Irish; science and logic versus folklore and superstition; a single woman versus a group of powerful men; fundamentalism and faith versus common sense and love – and uses the phenomenon of the Victorian-era ‘fasting girls’ to explore these themes.
Eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell hasn’t eaten for four months, yet remains alive and well. Newspaper reports proclaiming Anna’s existence a miracle; visits and donations from people paying homage; and the curiosity of doctors and priests, prompts the employment of a British nurse, Lib Wright, to investigate whether Anna is a fraud. Lib, an atheist and a highly experienced nurse, is dismissive of the religious devotion and folklore that drives the small town, and believes she will quickly expose the secret feeding of Anna. Continue reading
It’s time for #6Degrees and it’s a cinch to play – please join in! Continue reading
The Good People, Hannah Kent’s second novel, tells the story of three women living in a remote Irish valley in 1825. Nora Leahy, a widow, is burdened with the care of her grandson, Michael. The boy cannot walk or speak and Nora has kept him hidden from neighbours, fearing they will believe him a ‘changeling’ (someone who has been abducted by fairies). Nora employs a young girl, Mary, to care for Michael but as the child becomes increasingly difficult to manage, Nora seeks the help of Nance Roche, an old woman known as a doctress –
“The keener. The handy woman… She was both the woman who brought babies to safe harbour in the world, and the siren that cut boats free of their anchors and sent them into the dark.
…she stood in for that which was not and could not be understood. She was the gatekeeper at the edge of the world. The final human hymn before all fell to wind and shadow and the strange creaking of stars.“ Continue reading
01. I’m probably going to drink this a million times this summer. Continue reading
Last night I had the great pleasure of hearing Hannah Kent introduce her new book, The Good People. Actually, that sounds too grown-up – I was super-excited. I’ve been anticipating this book for years (seriously) and was thrilled to finally get my hands on it.
Feeling: invigorated after a few days with friends – laughing till our guts hurt; gin and tonics; reality tv with commentary; beach walks Continue reading
01. I know it’s a team effort and doesn’t come down to one kick…
I know mothers carrying on about their kid’s sport is boring… Continue reading
It’s time for #6Degrees – join in! Link up!
We begin the chain with an international best-selling debut that thrilled fans of historical fiction (and everyone else) when it was published in 2001 – Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. Continue reading
I’m as tight as all-get-out when it comes to handing out five stars. Do I even have enough (after four and a half years of blogging) to put together a list of ten? Just.
It’s Top Ten Tuesday and the topic is ‘Ten of My Most Recent Five Star Reads’ (there’s no legitimate reason for the gratuitous Paul Newman pic, I just felt like it).
So, in case you missed me banging on about these books the first time, here are my most recent winners – Continue reading