Best-selling novelist, Emma Donoghue, will be back on the hardback new releases shelf before the year’s out with the arrival of her latest book, The Wonder. While the name sounds like it might be a lighter tale than the Irish-Canadian writer is known for, the story actually centres on family, fasting and fundamentalism in mid-19th century Ireland, so you probably shouldn’t expect a happy walk in the countryside.
The book has been confirmed for a hardback release date of the 22nd September 2016, so it’ll be one of the first big reads of the autumn months. It’ll also be available as an ebook for Kindle, Kobo and iPad readers out there and you can also have it read to you on the move with the audio release of the book.
The Wonder takes place in the Irish Midlands during the 1850s as an eleven-year-old child reportedly stops eating, but somehow stays alive. A nurse is sent to investigate the case, to verify whether or not it’s a fraud and she’s joined by a journalist on the lookout for a killer story, but neither of them could have imagined the reality that they stumble upon.
It’s inspired by a number of similar real-life reports of fasting children throughout the Age of Discovery, but this is less myth and more psychological thriller. The potential of a slow moving murder evolves out of the situation and two new arrivals find themselves in a fulcrum at which fundamentalist beliefs intersect with sense and the bonds of love.
Donoghue rose to prominence with the success of Room, which went on to be an international best-seller with its story of an escaping mum and child from a bunker that they’d been trapped in by their kidnapper. It was shortlisted in the Booker Prize for Fiction in 2010, as well as being longlisted for the 2011 Orange Prize. It also went on to be released as a critically acclaimed film earlier this year, picking up four Academy Award nominations at the 2016 Oscars with Brie Larson, who played Ma in the film, receiving the Best Actress award.
While Emma Donoghue’s last book, 2014’s Frog Music, didn’t quite register the same level of international best-seller status and acclaim as Room, it sounds like The Wonder may see the author getting a lot of attention again later this year. It comes on the back of a huge year with the movie adaptation of Room getting so much attention, so we’re expecting to see the latest novel topping the charts before the year’s out.