Emily's Reviews > The Sparrow

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
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Aug 07, 2007

it was amazing

This is an amazing book, full of my favorite subject - religion. Technically this book is also science-fiction since it involves space travel (and time travel, in a way, since the planet traveled to is 17 light years away...). It was recommended to me by my dear sister and my brother-in-law. As much as I love this book (note the 5 stars...), it was probably the most frustrating piece of fiction I have read in a very long time. I say frustrating because it wrenches out your heart, puts it back temporarily, and then wrenches it out again. The characters are so rich and personable that I believe it would be impossible to not become deeply connected or attached to their fictional lives. However, the outcome of their stories are basically known from the first chapter, making it difficult at times to keep reading the happy parts of the book, knowing how it will end up. The story is told partly in flashback which is how this intriguing frustration is brought about.

The other thing to note about this book is that it is very graphic, disturbing, and at times horrific. This is not a reason to discard or discount this book, however. It is because of all those things that this book is great. The Sparrow completely involves the mind and emotions. I got the sensation that sometimes comes after seeing an amazing movie, the sensation that something amazing has just happened and I was a part of it completely. Books don't always provide this sensation because most normal people (although a lot of times not me) read books in stages, going away for hours or days at a time before continuing the story. Even though I read this book in a multitude of sittings over several weeks, I still felt like it had all happened at once when the book was finished. It is a hard thing to explain but there you have it. It was an amazing experience to connect to reading.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Frances Quin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:34PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Frances Quin I appreciate seeing your review of this amazing work - really a chef d'oeuvre on the part of Mary Doria Russell. I found Sparrow and Children of God to be to of the most profoundly moving works of literature that I have /ever/ read. The author was not afraid of showing the extremes of humanity - frailty, strength, sorrow, joy...

Andrea this is the worst book I have ever read.

Emily Andrea - I would have more respect for your comment if you backed it up with some reasoning...

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