Tuesday, March 28, 2017

April 2017: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Image result for the wonder by emma donoghueMeeting Date: Thursday, April 6th at Shelagh's house; meeting @ 7:30 with plans to start discussion by 8pm.

Discussion Questions

1. Did you like the book? Why or why not?
2. How would you describe Lib Wright (consider the name, perhaps)—especially when we first meet her? How does she approach her move to Ireland, the people, superstitions, the food?  When does it become evident that there is part of Lib's past she is not revealing to us? How reliable of a narrator is she?
3. Describe the Ireland that confronts Lib, the way in which Emma Donoghue presents the country in the 19th Century after the devastation of the infamous potato famine.
4. How does Anna O'Donnell differ from expectations, both yours and Lib's? When Lib first sees her, what is the state of Anna's health—does Lib find her as healthy as everyone claims she is?
5. Is Anna too young to understand her reasons for fasting? What responsibility do the family and the church have for Anna? What about the doctor's role? 
6. As the days pass and Anna's condition deteriorates, Lib begins to feel she may be complicit in girl's demise. Is she?
7. How does Lib change from who she was when she first ventured into Ireland? How would you describe her as you progress through the novel?
8. The novel brings up basic philosophical and religious questions, one of which is what it means to give up the most vital necessity of life in the name of something greater than yourself. Is it admirable, mad, selfish, narcissistic?
9. What is the role of an outsider, like Lib? Does she have the right to intervene or an obligation to do so? What would you say or do to Anna?
10. The novel has a gothic feel to it: spooky, menacing, even harrowing. What makes for the sinister atmosphere that pervades the novel?
11. Do you find interesting the clinical detail regarding the descriptions of Anna's symptoms and the theory and practice of nursing in the 19th century?
12. Discuss the book's title. What are the multiple meanings of "The Wonder"?
13. Would you recommend this book?

Menu Ideas 
Many of the meals which Lib had contained oats, fish or was in the form of a stew. If you wanted to expand on this?  -I will make corned beef and Irish soda bread as well as provide the beverages on Thursday. 

Reminder: next month we'll be choosing books for the next 1/2 year; 
don't forget to look over the choices!


  1. Can you please email me your address? :)

  2. I'll bring a fish chowder!

  3. I'm completely cheating here but I'm going to "stew" together some fruit and bring a fruit salad :)

  4. I hope to come, but I have a ton of reading to do still :(
    If I come I hope to bring Coconut Cream Baked Oatmeal (from Brown Eggs and Kam Jars - Sherrie made it for our meeting and I'd really like to try it for our family! You'll be my tasters :) )

  5. So I'm coming but at this point may be coming with the 'heavenly manna' lol
    I'll think of something and surprise you all.

  6. I will make oatcakes with butter (and jam)


Tell us what you think!