82 pages 2 hours read

Mary Doria Russell

The Sparrow

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1996

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Chapters 8-15Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 8 Summary: “Arecibo, May 2019”

Jimmy Quinn’s proposal to his boss is accepted, and Sofia Mendes is hired to be Jimmy’s vulture. Sofia’s broker agreed to the proposal because “[i]f she won, her broker was to receive three times her normal fee, enough to clear her debt. If she lost, ISAS could accept the program with its limitations known, but pay nothing” (74). Sofia isn’t happy about the deal, as she doesn’t want to get her hopes up regarding the prospect of being free. She had “survived because, by heritage and experience, she knew how to see reality unclouded by emotion. It was a talent that had served her family well for centuries” (74).

 

Sofia thinks back to being thirteen in Istanbul, when the country “began tearing itself to rubble in the insanity that grew out of the Second Kurdish War” (75). Sofia’s mother, a musician, died in a random shooting, and her father, an economist, went missing shortly after, never to be seen again. With no way out of the war-ravaged city, she began prostituting herself. Her “clients were mostly half-grown boys crazed with violence and men who might have been decent husbands and good fathers once but were now militiamen in a hundred vicious factions” (76).

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By Mary Doria Russell

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Mary Doria Russell
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Mary Doria Russell
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