82 pages 2 hours read

Mary Doria Russell

The Sparrow

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1996

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Before You Read

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Super Short Summary

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell follows Jesuit priest Father Emilio Sandoz and his companions on a mission to the planet Rakhat, detailing the aftermath of the journey and Emilio's attempt to recover from severe physical, mental, and emotional trauma while under the care of his fellow priests. The story alternates between past events and his current condition, centering on what transpired on Rakhat. The book includes themes of religious faith, trauma, and cultural clash.

Reviews & Readership

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Review Roundup

Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow offers a blend of science fiction and philosophical musings that has captivated many readers. Positive reviews highlight its deep, thought-provoking narrative and well-developed characters. Some criticisms point to its complex structure and pacing, which can be challenging for some readers. Overall, it remains a compelling and introspective read.

Who should read this

Who Should Read The Sparrow?

Readers who appreciate a blend of speculative fiction and philosophical inquiry in a richly detailed narrative will enjoy The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Ideal for fans of Dune by Frank Herbert and Contact by Carl Sagan, it appeals to those intrigued by ethical dilemmas, cultural encounters, and complex characters.

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