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In mid-1800s Ireland, an English nurse is sent to investigate an Irish family claiming that their daughter has not eaten anything for several months. Consuming only a small amount of water each day, the young girl claims that her religious faith is sustaining her, and the skeptical nurse is forced to confront her own beliefs as she spends more time with the family. While the plot is simple, I was engrossed in the characters and descriptions of Ireland.

“[Donoghue’s] contemporary thriller Room made [her] an international bestseller, but this gripping tale offers a welcome reminder that her historical fiction is equally fine.”―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Outstanding…. Exploring the nature of faith and trust with heartrending intensity, Donoghue’s superb novel will leave few unaffected.”―Sarah Johnson, Booklist (starred review)

“A fine work, adept and compelling in voice, plot, and moral complexity…. Donoghue deals out the cards with real skill.”―Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe

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