"So many peculiar symptoms, but they didn't constitute anything Lib recognised as a disease."
Emma Donoghue has this amazing ability to drag you into a story that you would normally run like the plague from. English nurse, Lib Wright, a protege of Florence Nightingale, takes on a nursing role in Ireland. The nurse's role is to watch the wonder that is Anna O'Dowell, a young child who appears to be surviving without food.
Is Anna being fed surreptitiously by someone in the house or is her sustenance truly manna from heaven?
The premise of the novel is so far removed from my experience and interests that I think my engagement with the story is indicative of how fantastic this author's work is. She draws you in to another, quite foreign world, and peaks your interest with a deftly rendered dash of suspense. I'm reticent to share too much of the plot, as I feel this is a story best experienced unimpeded by preexisting knowledge. The notion of interpretation of religious texts is an intriguing one , paired with the sponge like qualities of a young mind.
5 out of 5 times I've wondered where will she take me next?