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Listening to the Silence

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The Owl Killers
Karen Maitland
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Daniel James Brown
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The Sparrow

The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
5 Stars and Favorite

Angry at God and the world, sufferring from extreme survivor's guilt and an agony of the soul, Father Emilio Sandoza is the only surviving member of an interplanetary mission to a newly discovered world. When his friend Jimmy discovers radio transmissions, Sandoza marshalls the support of his order and in short order finds himself along with Jimmy and six others, half of them Jesuit priests, aboard a modified asteroid in search of alien life.

Put that way, this book sounds not only bizarre, but downright improbable. Not one author in a million could have pulled off this premise. And yet, Russell does so masterfully. Normally, even in the best of books,I can find something to criticize. That is not the case with The Sparrow. Every word was perfection. I loved getting to know these characters, their pains and their joys I felt deeply. I know this is not a book I will soon forget.

I have heard some say they were not happy with the ending and that they needed the sequel, Children of God, to put it to rights. I disagree. Like the rest of the book, I found the ending flawless. That said, I will definitely be reading the sequel very soon, along with the two remaining Russell books which I have not yet read.