cover image The Wonder

The Wonder

Emma Donoghue, read by Kate Lock. Hachette Audio, unabridged, 10 CDs, 13 hrs., $30 ISBN 978-1-4789-1501-0

In the mid-19th century, English nurse Lib Wright is sent to a tiny Irish village for an unusual task. An 11-year-old girl, Anna, is being hailed as a miracle and potential saint because, it is claimed, she has eaten nothing in four months yet survives in good health. Lib’s job is to watch the girl like a hawk for two weeks and either confirm that she doesn’t eat or expose her as a fraud. But over the course of her watch, she uncovers a dark secret and faces an urgent moral dilemma. Voice actor Lock’s narration is masterful: she creates a wide variety of memorable voices with authentic accents (from Lib’s English accent to many different types of Irish voices—lower-class rural people, men, women, the elderly, and innocent little Anna). During scenes of conversations and arguments, listeners may think they are hearing a full cast of actors, so distinct are the voices and so committed is Lock’s performance. At every moment, Lock is fully engaged, giving every word meaning and emotion and suspense. It’s a thrilling, award-worthy performance of this dark and suspenseful mystery with a rich historical background. A Little, Brown hardcover. (Sept.)