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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
Cloud Atlas
David Mitchell

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel - Anthony Marra Set in Chechnya, in the very recent past, this is a story of connections, relationships, and survival. Haava is a young eight year old girl, who witnesses her father's abduction by the Russian authorities. Ahkmed is the neighbor who rescues her. Sonja is a trauma surgeon and the only doctor remaining at Hospital 6. It is through these three that the story is woven, connections upon connections are built, that are revealed to the reader slowly as we travel back and forth between the present and the past.

This is a book that I'm not sure I would have picked up were it not for the rave reviews I kept reading on Shelfari. I am so glad that I did. It was an amazing story; one that I am sure will stay with me for a long time. The way the author was able to weave all of the stories in and out of each other, making connections that I wouldn't have expected was incredibly well done. The characters themselves were well-drawn; even the more minor characters felt like real people.

Before reading this book I knew nothing of what has and is happening in Chechnya since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. I now find myself fascinated by these events and in search of more information. I think it takes a very special author to be able to tell a fictional story about (somewhat) current events and make them want to go out and find out more about what has and is really happening. I'm definitely looking forward to what this author has to offer in the future.