Thank you so much to Little, Brown and Company for my free copy – all opinions are my own. I read this book at the beginning of the year and I can’t stop thinking about it.
This story takes place in a small rural village in Ireland in the late 19th Century. Lib Wright, an English nurse, who worked for the legendary Florence Nightingale, is brought in to watch over a new patient, an eleven-year-old girl named Anna O’Donnell. Anna’s parents claim she has survived months without any food, but is otherwise healthy. Lib, along with a nun, take turns watching over Anna to find out if she is eating or how she has survived without food. Lib is determined to discover the truth. Is this a lie? Or a miracle?
“How could the child bear not just the hunger, but the boredom? The rest of humankind used meals to divide the day, Lib realized – as a reward, as entertainment, the chiming of an inner clock. For Anna, during this watch, each day had to pass like one endless moment.”
This is a beautifully written gothic, atmospheric tale that I absolutely loved. It’s the third novel I’ve read from Donoghue and it won’t be my last. I enjoyed being in this quiet, mysterious place. Between the vivid village descriptions and the depth of the characters, I was completely taken with this book. The entire time I was reading this book I felt a sense of eeriness. I just had to know the ending!
“And why must it always be presumed that a woman’s views are based on personal considerations?”
I rated this novel 5 / 5 stars!