Wonder by RJ Palacio
Five words from the blurb: facial, abnormality, protect, cruelty, school
Wonder was originally published as a children’s book, but it is now being marketed for adults. The story is narrated by Augie, a ten-year-old boy with a facial deformity, who is attending school for the first time. Augie has previously been home schooled, but he must now learn to live in the cruel world and try to be accepted for who he is.
This book was fast paced and gripping, but it was obviously a children’s book. Some of the scenes were emotional, but they lacked subtlety and the moral messages were repeated too often. I found it too simple and predictable to be a satisfying adult read.
This is the perfect discussion starter for school children studying bullying, but I’d be hesitant to recommend it to adults.
The Doctor Will See You Now by Max Pemberton
Five words from the blurb: NHS, doctor, hospital, elderly, patients
Max Pemberton is an NHS hospital doctor working mainly with elderly patients, but also spending time in A&E. This book is a non-fiction account of his work; highlighting the highs and lows of his stressful job.
I really enjoyed reading this book – I found it entertaining, but also enlightening.
It was packed with funny anecdotes, but also discussed the important issues facing the NHS today. I found some of the hospital policies unbelievable and am pleased that this book brought them to my attention.
Recommended to anyone who’d like to know what really goes on inside a hospital.
Lacrimosa by Regis Jauffret
Five words from the blurb: suicide, letters, lover, depth, soul
Lacrimosa is an epistolary novel composed of letters between Charlotte, a woman who has just committed suicide, and her lover. The book is written in the second person singular, a form that I struggle to connect with.
I also had trouble with the idea of a dead person writing letters, but I persevered to the end as the book was short and strangely compelling. I finished Lacrimosa feeling depressed (as you’d expect from the subject matter), but also confused as to the point of the book – it seemed to end exactly where it started and there was no real plot to speak of.
I admit that there were some beautiful passages, but I’m afraid this didn’t make up for meandering depressive nature of the rest of the book.
Recommended to those who love the sound of an experimental book about grief.
Have you read any of these books?
Did you enjoy them?