Advance reader reviews of Outside Wonderland by Lorna Jane Cook.

Outside Wonderland

A Novel

By Lorna Jane Cook

Outside Wonderland
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Mar 2011,
    336 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book


Page 2 of 7
There are currently 46 member reviews
for Outside Wonderland
Order Reviews by:
  • Lisa H. (Salisbury, MD)


    Through the Looking Glass
    Siblings Alice, Griffin, and Dinah, named for characters out of "Alice in Wonderland" lose first their mother in a freak accident, then their father. We get a small glimpse of them in their younger days before the story fast forwards to the adult siblings. All appear successful on the surface, but are struggling with relationships, and perhaps the unresolved issues of growing up without their parents. For the most part, the characters were likable; however I found them a little too cliche, and one dimensional. I wish they had been developed more fully. I would have liked to have had a few more glimpses of their childhood.

    I looked forward to the parents perspective of their children's lives as they caught sight of them from heaven. I liked to think of these scenes as their view of earth "through the looking glass." The dialogue in these interludes was idyllic and the best parts of the novel.

    This was a pleasant novel, easy to read. I give it 3.5 stars.
  • Ann D. (Clermont, GA)


    Watching from Otherwhere
    The three Stenen siblings, orphaned as young children, are going through adult crises unaware that their deceased parents are observing from "somewhere other". Cook's characters are realistic and her writing is spell-binding. You will be left asking yourself if we can ever be truly separated from those we have deeply loved.
  • Virginia B. (Foster, RI)


    Outside Wonderland
    "Outside Wonderland" is an enjoyable read. The three siblings left behind by their parents' untimely and sudden deaths are engaging characters who immediately caught my interest. I found myself engaged in their individual struggles to form meaningful relationships and find some happiness in a world they could not trust. The commentary of the mother who fleetingly observes her three children's progress from some other timeless place reminded me of the narrator of "Lovely Bones" who has also died and looks back on the living.
  • Jan B. (Aiken, SC)


    Outside Wonderland
    Author Lorna June Cook has a well crafted book that displays the endless love of parents for their children. She does a fine job of depicting the haunting loss young children feel throughout their lives after the tragic death of parents. The book also depicts the bond and support of siblings in troubled times. I liked the characters but wished I'd have known more about them. Overall, I thought this book was a wonderful and reassuring read.
  • Susan P. (Boston, MA)


    For Those Who Like the Idea of heaven
    This is the story of three young adult siblings who were orphaned in childhood. Their individual personalities and life events are engaging enough, but the plot seemed a little soap opera-ish (but who doesn't like a little of that?). The parts where their parents are watching and commenting from heaven seemed saccharine and contrived (even if you like that concept). Not everyone has a fascinating life but -- while I wanted to know what would happen at the end -- it all seemed a little one dimensional. Only one or two brief moments were truly tender.
  • Luisa A. (Flemington, NJ)


    Outside Wonderland
    This was a very moving book that at times filled me with angst and in the end tied things together. I wish there could have been more insight into their youth - there was a gap between their younger selves and then as adults. That may have helped to better understand the who they were and why. None the less the story was moving and had me wondering at times - what would happen to my children if I was not around to help guide them?
  • Marta M. (Santa Ana, CA)


    Wonderland of a read!
    I really enjoyed this book. It was slow going at first but soon I found myself thinking about the characters and was excited to return to them. The characters were well written and made me smile and cry. Choices were made and consequences were paid but all the way through it they supported each other even when they were having a hard time themselves. I loved the fact that their parents were in heaven watching and hoping they would make the right decisions. It gave me hope and was a very encouraging novel. I think it would be a good novel for bookclubs and a fun one for mothers and daughters to read together.
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Who Said...

The silence between the notes is as important as the notes themselves.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.