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Outside Wonderland

A Novel

by Lorna Jane Cook

Outside Wonderland
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • Published in USA  Mar 2011
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 46 reader reviews for Outside Wonderland
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Shirley F. (Franksville, WI) (03/17/11)

Still hoping
I wanted to like this book. I had a hard time relating to the 3 siblings and their "poor me" attitudes which affected nearly every life choice. I didn't think that the parents watching from "there" really added anything to the book and their part seemed contrived. This book felt like it was written as a made-for-TV script - not too much depth so that it could appeal to a wide audience.
Kaye D. (Huntley, IL) (03/13/11)

Left Me Wanting Move - Loved It!!!!
This was a wonderful book, I enjoyed reading every word. It followed the lives of three orphaned children and their relationships. Each one had been affected by the early deaths of their parents in different ways and this story followed each one of their relationships and how different each one of them were. A side story involved their deceased parents and their watching over their childrens' lives from heaven. I would highly recommend this book for anyone and think it would make for interesting conversations at a book club. I was sorry to see it end, I would have liked to keep reading about the lives of Alice, Dinah and Grif.
Margaret H. (Springfield, VA) (03/10/11)

Outside Wonderland
What happens to children when their parents die while they are young? The three young adults are still trying to overcome the loss they felt and find their own ways in the world. The older daughter, Alice, is an actress in New York and not interested in a lasting relationship. Diana, the younger daughter, has a quick fling with a man on a cruise and finds that she is pregnant. The brother, Griffin, is in a relationship with Theo which is in trouble for a number of reasons. The three of them find their place in the world and the happiness they have been looking for since their parents died. Meanwhile, the parents look on from heaven, wishing they could help but at the same time finding their own happiness. The use of the parental angels does not help the story move but does add some humor. One does want everything to turn out well but the ending seems to be too contrived.
Judi S. (Boyes Hot Springs, CA) (03/10/11)

Outside Wonderland
Outside Wonderland was a sort of Alice In Wonderland story. It follows the lives of three siblings: Alice, Griffin, and Dinah who lost their parents at a very young age. We root for them as each (now adult) struggles to discover what love really looks like, and what home means to them.

Like Alice, they ultimately discover that the answers most often lie within, and that what is already around us is often the very thing we are desperately searching for.

This would probably be a good book for book groups and might lead to some thoughtful discussions. I gave this an average rating because the images of the parents watching from someplace "not unlike heaven" was too predictable and sweet for my taste.
Tricia L. (Auburn, WA) (03/09/11)

An intriguing read.
What a lovely picture of parents staying near their children even after death to guide them through life. I enjoyed this book, and was interested in the characters.
Karen E. (Sandy, UT) (03/09/11)

Outside Wonderland
A very sweet book that slowly pulls the reader in. The further I got into this book, the more enjoyable it became. Presented as more whimsical than spiritual, the idea of parents in the afterlife watching their children grow was still a comforting thought. But the life lessons were there and the point that eternity is just a short lifetime away was clear. An enjoyable book!
Claire M. (Sarasota, Florida) (02/26/11)

Outside Wonderland
A good beach read. I was interested in the repercussions of how children's lives would be affected by the loss of both parents as they became adults but really found nothing except the emotional disconnect of either the writer or the characters. The heavenly device was a bit clumsy although it answered how Dinah didn't fully die after seeing "the light." I suppose I feel as though this were a not very well fleshed out TV or movie script when it could have been an insightful novel.
Susan P. (Boston, MA) (02/23/11)

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.

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