“An unusual, bittersweet coming-of-age novel that’s also a fascinating mystery steeped in Cold War history...Sarginson’s novel movingly captures the private and at times painful evolution of a resilient and inventive protagonist.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
A sweeping and turbulent drama about the anxieties of postwar Britain, where one strong and inspirational young woman looks to find her place, no matter the cost.
Sometimes, the truth lies in fiction
It’s hard to be an American girl in 1957. Especially when your dad’s job means you have to move four thousand miles from home. Especially if you’d rather play baseball than wear a dress. Especially if you see your mom fraying a little more from anxiety each day. And especially if being five minutes older means you have to protect your fragile twin brother.
Still, Hedy Delaney loves her family, and she’s trying to make the best of her new life on a U.S. airbase in England. After all, her dad’s a war hero, her mother’s a beauty, and her brother’s a brainiac who writes moving stories about space travel.
Then one tragic day, the unforeseen occurs and all three are ripped away, leaving Hedy alone with countless questions. What really happened on the airbase? What went on behind military closed doors? What were the secrets that could never be told? And how could any of it have led to her family’s destruction?
In her search for the truth, Hedy turns to a story her brother began months before he died. Deciding to finish what her brother started, Hedy begins to piece together what happened to her family. But whether she’s ready for what she’ll discover is another matter entirely.
A sweeping and turbulent family drama, The Wonderful asks whether writing fiction can uncover fact, and if it’s ever better to let the truth remain hidden.
Sometimes, it’s safer not to finish what you’ve started.