In The Wonder Of All Things, Mott bravely tackled the religious and social expectations created when young Ava healed her friend’s fatal abdominal wounds after a plane crash. With each chapter, the country demanded Ava use her power to heal anyone who sought her help. No one was above shaming her into this even though such miracles caused her physical pain and left her in the hospital for days. As these changes permeated her life, I wondered how she would fare against her desperate parents, each with their own agendas.
The mob mentality managed to creep into Ava’s own home when her father suddenly encouraged the healings. These heavy themes and moral dilemmas were cheapened by the outright demands made by certain characters whose motivations were unclear. Mott’s writing is simple and direct, bit needed a little more action. The bursts of excitement in the plot didn’t entirely redeem the majority of the novel that lagged. The book highlighted the dangers of mob mentality and examined how a family would be tested with a miracle, but these aspects were slightly disjointed. Things just happened without much build up, and didn’t have any repercussions other than Amanda’s health. Amanda’s father never developed into character I could identify with, so the actions he took seemed too obvious to give any weight to the story. The ending was beyond obvious just from reading the plot description on the back of the book, which was disappointing.
I was completely won over by Mott’s first book, The Returned, but, with his second novel, Mott fell into the category of authors who couldn’t quite live up to the high standard they set for themselves with their fantastic first book. The Returned was my favorite book by Mott so far, but I would still try another by him.