The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

The Sparrow

The Sparrow is an odd novel- a mixture of science fiction and religion. It is not a perfect novel but it is pretty close. Russell writes very well, the characters are interesting and believable, and the plot was fascinating and well paced. As a science fiction novel, Russell describes first contact with our neighbors at Alpha Centauri. Unlike most first contact stories, we’re doing the contacting. As a religious novel she deals with faith and what we can or should expect from God. Both threads are dealt with in a logical and thought provoking manor. It is one of the reasons it took me so long to read this book- I wanted to think about what I was reading. The themes were complex but her writing style was not. It wasn’t ponderous nor complex- something of an easy read.

I was tempted to describe some plot holes but the more I think about them the more they fade into irrelevance. And complex issues like the hasta’akala are dealt with at the end of the book. I look forward to reading her sequel: “Children of God“.

408 pages

“Matthew ten, verse twenty-nine,” Vincenzo Giuliani said quietly.
“Not one sparrow can fall to the ground without your Farther knowing it.”
“But the sparrow still falls,” Felipe said.


About craigmaas

I do a little web design work and support a couple web sites and blogs. My primary focus is lighting and energy consulting where I use a number of computer tools to help my customer find ways of saving money and improving their work environment. See my web site for more information:
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4 Responses to The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

  1. This is one of my mom’s favorite books. I’m glad your review didn’t have spoilers, as I have recently started it. I’m delaying really getting into it because of a variety of group reads I am involved with, but am liking it a lot so far.

    • craigmaas says:

      This is one of those rare books where the theme is more important than the plot. (No spoilers needed!) I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I’m debating whether to read the sequel right away or wait awhile. Thanks for commenting.

  2. This is one of my favorite books of all time, I’m actually considering getting a tattoo of your quote above, “the sparrow still falls” somewhere! Such a wonderful book!

    • craigmaas says:

      Thanks for your comment. As I read the book, I wondered where the title would come into play. It’s a good quote as it ties up the theme in the book in a simple sentence.

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