Note – I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I’m so excited to share this book with all of you today!
On the heels of his critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling
debut novel, The Returned, Jason Mott delivers a spellbinding tale of
love and sacrifice
On an ordinary day, at an air show like that
in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of
spectators. After the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is
found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He
is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his
Ava has an unusual gift: she can heal others
of their physical ailments. Until the air show tragedy, her gift was a
secret. Now the whole world knows, and suddenly people from all over the
globe begin flocking to her small town, looking for healing and eager
to catch a glimpse of The Miracle Child. But Ava’s unique ability comes
at a great cost, and as she grows weaker with each healing, she soon
finds herself having to decide just how much she’s willing to give up in
order to save the ones she loves most.
deeply intimate and emotionally astute, The Wonder of All Things is an
unforgettable story and a poignant reminder of life’s extraordinary
Wow! This book makes you think. I haven’t read The Returned yet, though it’s been on my list of books to read since it was released, but when I read the synopsis of The Wonder of All Things, I knew it was finally time to read one Mott’s books.
To start, the writing of this book is absolutely beautiful. I loved the style and his descriptions. When I read in his biography that he’s a poet, I wasn’t surprised at all. (Writers will be interested in his answer to a question in the Q&A at the end of the book about how writing poetry has influenced his fiction writing.)
And the story… as I read this book, one question was at the forefront of my mind: what is a person’s obligation to help others, especially at the expense of their own well-being. The fact that the character with a healing touch was thirteen made this an even greater conflict in mind. Ava is a girl who has experienced more than she should at her age, having lost a parent and all of the questions and emotions that accompanies a loss like that. To see her, then, grapple with her place in the world in light of her healing touch, made me feel so protective of her. I wanted her to be okay, both physically and emotionally, which is hard when her ability to heal has life-or-death consequences. I wanted to put Ava in a protective bubble, to shield her from everyone who wanted a piece of her because of what she’s able to do. It was hard to know who to trust, so I was wary of all. The mob-like mentality of the general public was frightening, especially since we can see that in today’s world. If there is an outcome that people want, they will do what it takes to get that outcome. If they want to get to a person, there appears to be little thought about who they might hurt in the process. I was stunned to see how people acted when they flocked to her town because they “deserved” her healing touch, without thinking about how frightening, overwhelming and dangerous it might be for her.
This novel is rich in detail, the characters and their pasts are so fleshed out that I felt like I knew each one personally. Even with such an intense subject that really engaged my emotions, there’s a hopeful tone that fills the novel from beginning to end.
I often hesitate to recommend a book to everyone because different people have different reading tastes, but I highly recommend this one. To everyone. I loved it!
Once I finished the book I wanted to talk about it with someone else. This would be an excellent book for book clubs! There’s a discussion guide at the end of the book, but I came up with a few questions that I would put in a discussion post if the Dreams, etc. book club were to read this one month. Look for the questions after the link. Please note, while I tried to make them free of major spoilers, they may contain some details from the beginning of the book. (These were all written within the first fifty pages… after that I didn’t take many breaks!)
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to review this book!
1 // Ava healed Wash with a touch. When she woke from her coma he said he knew that if he sang she’d come back. Does he have healing powers too?
2 // People express disappointment, anger and bitterness that Macon didn’t bring his daughter in to heal their dying loved ones. Do you think that’s fair? Why or why not?
3 // Ava’s healing power came out when she wanted it to (the dying deer, her best friend). Do you think it’s a power that can be brought out at will, or just when she deeply wants to help whoever needs it? Why?
4 // Should Ava be forced into situations where she is expected to heal people or should it be of her own choosing? Should she be expected to make a decision as a child/teen, or wait until she’s an adult? Why?