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. 

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