The Sparrow () is the first novel by author Mary Doria Russell. It won the Arthur C. Clarke . Danny got a cold in when I started the book, and I noticed the name Sandoz on the medicine label and thought it sounded good. The Sparrow book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. In , humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when. Editorial Reviews. Review. In , humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial Book 1 of 2 in The Sparrow Series (2 Book Series).

The Sparrow Book

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An enigma wrapped inside a mystery sets up expectations that prove difficult to fulfill in Russell's first novel, which is about first contact with an extraterrestrial. Intrigued, and in an unusually good financial situation, I decided to pick the book up on site. In hindsight, I feel like the Matt Damon thing was a warning sign. Praise. “A startling, engrossing, and moral work of fiction.”—The New York Times Book Review “Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices.

If Sophia can create an AI that can do Jimmy's job better than Jimmy, she can download out her broker and finally become her own woman.

Emilio's granted request to return to La Perla, Puerto Rico, gives him a chance to pay back his hometown for some of the pain his misspent youth gave it. George is an engineer chafing at retirement and Anne is a doctor, and their skills would be put to good use.

Anne and George go to La Perla; the young astronomer Jimmy Quinn becomes a member of their little adopted family. When Sophia Mendes arrives, the sparks still fly between the AI analyst and the Jesuit priest, and Jimmy Quinn pratfalls headfirst into love with the diminutive, distant, beautiful programmer. As the friendship of this little group grows, and as Jimmy prepares to bow gracefully away from the sparking attraction between Sophia and Emilio, the unbelievable happens.

Jimmy discovers music coming from somewhere near Alpha Centauri, about four light years away. With that discovery, this motley group of friends takes the first step on a journey that will change their lives for better and for worse.

The Society for Jesus, with the wealth and missionary zeal of the Catholic Church at its back, will undertake what no government or corporation wants to: Joined by several other Jesuits who are masters of diverse disciplines, the circle of friends embarks on a mission that will show them amazing joys, utter loss, and the hope that only faith can support.

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Intelligent and emotional, The Sparrow is one of the most stunning works of speculative fiction in recent years. It plainly examines the gamut of human emotions, from the plumbless depths of lifelong love to the most harrowing guilt that can only come from causing the life of one you love to end.

In Emilio, Russell brings to life a future Job, a man whose beliefs are put to excruciating tests. This is not a novel for the faint of heart; it is one for those who want more than anything for that core of themselves to be found strong.

The Sparrow Mary Doria Russell book reviews: Also by Mary Doria Russell: The two stories intertwine and come together with greater intensity toward the end, which begs the reader to stay with it.

While science fiction can often deal with complex moral questions, The Sparrow fearlessly engages the issues of theology and philosophy, but more apropos —considering the tragedy—questions of theodicy.

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Not all on the mission are Jesuits. Not all are convinced that there is a God.

They are a complicated sort—sexually active and celibate, engineers and scientists, medical doctors and linguists—connected by profession or friendship, driven by insatiable curiosity or a sense of divine call. It is this last one that runs headlong into issues of pain and sorrow. If he wills the good, does he also will the bad? The Sparrow is about the questions, not the answers, and for this it is better.

The Sparrow

And then we will be something more than clever apes, and we shall dance with God. Watercolor illustration by William Blake June Illustrations from the Book of Job.

The question of theodicy is unavoidable. Why do bad things happen to good people?

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If God is in charge, why is there pain and sorrow? Could he not stop it?

The Buddha would have simply noted the obvious; the one shot by an arrow does not need to know the name of the archer. Perhaps there is something to learn from that, but for the Christian, a very personal God turns this into a very personal question.

Book Review: The Sparrow

But what about everyone else? Many answers have been given over the centuries. Irenaeus recognized that humans were not created perfect. To be like God was a path toward Christ-likeness, and that path contained plenty of opportunity for evil.

For Augustine, evil is not a substance, but the privation of goodness.Mary Doria Russell certainly plays her cards close to her chest. The Jesuits shelter Sandoz from the media and help him recover physically, while the Father Superior selects a panel of Jesuit priests from around the world to help Sandoz come out of his shell and explain what really happened.

Not due to the incompetent sci and incredibly half-assed fi. You have to stop and think, Who does the reader want to be with now?

Mary Doria Russell sends Jesuits and scientists into space, fallible human beings without much experience in alien contact. Russell is a masterful storyteller and weaver of language. Empires rise and fall.

The reason was how deeply Russell made me feel her people. I don't want to call Emilio a whiner or anything - obviously, what happens to him is truly horrible. Beautiful, beautiful writing!

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