This Place of Wonder by Barbara O’Neal

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In This Place of Wonder, readers will be transported to the stunning and rugged California coastline, where they’ll follow the journey of four women grappling with loss, grief, and secrets. As they navigate their way through the aftermath of famed chef Augustus Beauvais’ death, Meadow, Maya, Norah, and Rory must rely on their family ties, friendships, and inner strength to find their way forward. This emotional and lush story is an empowering reminder of the power of resilience and the beauty of finding oneself in the face of adversity.

Book review of This Place of Wonder

This Place of Wonder by Barbara O’Neal is a captivating story that explores the lives of four women who are dealing with the aftermath of Augustus Beauvais’ death. Meadow, his ex-wife and business partner, Maya, his daughter from a previous marriage, Rory, Meadow’s daughter, and Norah, his latest girlfriend, all have to come to terms with their grief and anger towards Augustus. The book deals with complex family dynamics, grief, and the healing power of forgiveness.

As a reader, I found the characters to be relatable and believable. I appreciated the author’s ability to describe emotions and reactions in a way that felt authentic. However, I did have some reservations about the book. The women in the story, while well-written, could have been stronger and more assertive. I also struggled with the fact that Augustus, the philandering father/husband/lover, was idolized by all the women in his life, despite his numerous infidelities and abandonment of his daughter. Finally, The book relied heavily on stereotypes, with every woman being described as beautiful and busty, and all of them having relationships with men decades older than themselves.

Despite my reservations, I found the writing to be engaging and the plotlines to be interwoven with ease. The author’s writing style was not overly dramatic or verbose, but still managed to convey the emotional struggles of the characters. I appreciated the way in which the author dealt with the struggle of moving forward after loss and the emotions that get twisted and conflicted.

Final verdict:

In conclusion, while This Place of Wonder has its flaws, it is still an engaging and emotional read. The story deals with complex family dynamics, grief, and the healing power of forgiveness. The author’s writing style is engaging and the characters are relatable. However, readers should be aware of the problematic aspects of the book, such as the reliance on stereotypes and the sympathetic portrayal of a serial cheater. Overall, I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy family dramas with emotional depth.

Our Score


  • The author has a talent for creating complex and relatable female characters, who face difficult situations and struggles, and learn to pick themselves up and move forward.
  • The book deals with themes of love, loss, and family, which are universal and emotionally resonant.
  • The writing style is engaging and well-crafted, with seamless transitions between different characters’ perspectives and storylines.


  • Some readers may find the portrayal of the male character Augustus as a philandering and unfaithful man to be frustrating and unlikable.
  • The book may rely too heavily on stereotypes of physical beauty, with every female character being described as “busty and beautiful.”
  • The book may be confusing at times, with jumps in time and lack of clear continuity, which can be frustrating for readers trying to follow the story.
This Place of WonderPublisher ‏ : ‎ Lake Union Publishing (July 19, 2022)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 316 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1662503709
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1662503702
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 15.5 ounces
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1 x 8.25 inches

About Article Author

Christopher Hill

Christopher Hill has worked in the publishing industry for more than 15 years for both international and national media. When he is not reading, he enjoys spending time with his three dogs, whom he considers his most loyal reading companions.
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