Book Review: Wonder, R.J. Palaccio


Once in a while it is fair enough to be reminded of the sheer kindness about life; that nothing in life is as complicated as we have made it today and that the true joy of life remains in savouring the mundane, non-chalant moments. Life may be difficult, but life is kind too.
August Pullman is a ten-year old living with his parents and sister in Upper Manhattan. His understanding of life is simple. He is a wonder but he is conscious of himself. A series of operations over the last decade has left scars on his face. Home-schooled all these years, his parents want him to go out and live his life. Hence the decision of getting him into a school. After all, how long do you think can he not accept himself. Little Auggie is resisting this change. His friends have not shown up too many times since they have left the neighbourhood. They have moved on, so must he. But somewhere in his head, it is a rigmarole of the same bunch of events. We know it isn’t going to be easy to shift gears and stand confidently in a room full of people but he must do it for his own good. What follows is a surprisingly smooth turn of events where everyone is kind and accommodating with him in his journey. 
The chapters, short and crisp are symbolic of Auggie’s understanding of life. Narrated by over four or five different characters, the tone of the plot is set by the sheer monotonous kind voices of all characters. Each chapter is a different emotion. The subtlety of the emotions gets to you. It melds perfectly to the tone of compassion and humanity, the overall theme of the book.

However, it is just a matter of time till the plot gets under your skin and makes it tingle. It starts with the anticipation of a sudden, melodramatic turn of events where all hell is let loose. But it never happens. It takes a fairly smooth route.The characters are not different. Neither are their problems. The perspectives are defined but it all continues like a sugarcoated candy; almost like a disguised conversation between an adult and a five year old. It is like spotting a sky high monument in a puddle of mud and not gaining a 360 degree view of the subject. Frankly, it frustrates you. But despite everything, you cannot put the book down for two damn minutes and sulk. The struggle is real and perhaps, it is this struggle, the need for something more, the confusion, the indecisiveness, the void that contributes to the beauty of this book.Despite everything else, I strongly feel that this was the genuine motive of the book: to introduce the readers to something so simple that we understand that melodrama and the evil is not what always accompanies lives. We have created problems for ourselves and the only solution that remains is perseverance and kindness.P.S. The read was triggered by the release of the movie trailer and how Stephen Chbosky, the dearest is the director of the movie. 



Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: Before we Visit the Goddess

A Letter to a Grieving Soulmate

Tracing the Fish-ey Connection with Murer Ghonto

Long Pauses