82 pages 2 hours read

Mary Doria Russell

The Sparrow

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1996

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Important Quotes

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“Seventeen years out, almost four years on Rakhat, seventeen years back, but then there were the relativity effects of traveling near light speed. Born a year before the Father General, who was in his late seventies, Sandoz was estimated by the physicists to be about forty-five, give or take a little.” 


(Chapter 1, Page 8)

While this describes the physical effects of interstellar space travel on Emilio, it also demonstrates why he’s having such a difficult time adjusting to life back on Earth. For the people of Earth, Emilio has been gone nearly forty years, but for Emilio, his time on Rakhat feels like it happened only moments ago, leaving him without time to adjust spiritually, physically, or emotionally to the tragedies that happened to him and his friends.

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“Historian by profession, politician by nature, Vincenzo Giuliani had brought the Society of Jesus through difficult times, repairing some of the damage Sandoz had caused.” 


(Chapter 1, Page 11)

This describes the Father General, the head of the Jesuit Order. The Jesuits had sent Father Emilio Sandoz and the others on a secret mission to Rakhat, hoping to reach the sentient creatures. However, news of this mission leaked, and the U.N. sent its own team to Rakhat. While there, two men found Emilio naked in what appeared to be a brothel. The men assumed Emilio had been prostituting, and to make matters worse, Emilio killed a Rakhat child when they found him. News of Emilio’s behavior reached Earth long before Emilio returned, meaning that Vincenzo Giuliani had to attempt to repair the damage that had been done to the Jesuit name, since Emilio couldn’t defend what had happened.

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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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