Sunday, February 2, 2014
A First Novel
I've heard a great deal about Anthony Marra's debut novel A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. The novel spans the 1990s through 2004 and takes the reader to a wintry village in Chechnya. Havaa, an eight year-old girl, is taken under the wing of a family friend named Akhmed after her father is abducted by Russian soldiers. Akhmed takes Havaa to the local hospital where a woman named Sonja is the sole surgeon. This is a very well written, heartbreaking novel that explores family and loyalty, tenderness and brutality. Most interesting for me was the fact that Marra's novel exposed me to a topic and region that I knew very little about. This was an eye opening read, and what I got most out of the novel was the eduction that it provided.