Ok, so it’s been at least two weeks since I finished reading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (see The Sparrow Midway Check In) and I’m ashamed to say it is growing fuzzy in my mind. I read it along with several others in a Sparrow Read-A-Long organized by Trish at Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity, and I just want to thank Trish for getting me off my butt, peeling away my fears and intimidation and making me read this book. It was transformative.
I’m not even going to try to summarize the story. Saying that it is about a Jesuit mission that goes into space to search out other planetary life is just to reductive. I can say that it is an epic journey, with a wonderful cast of characters and deals with issues of faith. The writing is supreme and the storytelling is captivating. More often than not The Sparrow is categorized as science fiction and i think this does the book a grave disservice. It is one of the most complex literary novels I’ve read in a long time.
For those of you who have read The Sparrow, I have one question for you: Will you read the sequel, Children of God?
I don’t know the answer to this question yet. By the end of The Sparrow I felt that Emilio had been through so much that I didn’t want to see him suffer anymore. I was exhausted and devastated by the end. As much as I liked The Sparrow, the state of existential crisis it put me and the characters in was too much. But now, two weeks later, part of me does want to read the sequel. Russell is a brilliant writer. I fear that Children of God won’t live up to The Sparrow, but is that a reason not to read it? There are few books out there that can take my breath away the way The Sparrow did.