A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

Anthony Marra
May 4, 2016

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a historical fiction set mainly in 1996 and 2004. The novel opens with Dokka, a villager in the town of Eldar in Chechnya is kidnapped by the Feds, leaving behind his daughter Havaa. A kind neighbor, Akhmed takes it upon himself to care for her and brings her to a local hospital where he hopes she can find refuge. This novel is beautifully written with gorgeous intertwining storylines.

The cover is beautiful and the novel is wonderfully and lyrically written. Everything is described in detail and in the end it was well worth the read. I'm glad I stuck with it because the payoff was so satisfying. There are so many storylines and at times I didn't quite understand why but in the end everything is woven together so seamlessly I can't help but marvel. The only is issue is at some points in the novel the author tends to do information dumps with very long descriptions and the chapters can fall into a bit of a slump.

Fans of historical fiction with a very dense inclusion of the history will love this book. Would not recommend this to anyone squeamish to torture or blood and this novel requires a little higher reading level, it's quite a challenge at times. Every sentence counts.

Written by
Cathy from Leawood Pioneer Library YAAC

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