more recs

Yeah, so I totally didn’t manage a recommendation every day last week, but I’m still plugging along. This time it’s Mary Doria Russell’s lovely “Jesuits meet aliens” religious SF novel The Sparrow.

0 Responses to “more recs”

  1. diatryma

    The book is such a tragedy, but it’s not the kind of tragedy where everyone is stupid (see Reign in Hell, previous comments). It’s so full of joy and love and joy again.

  2. sartorias

    It shows a heavy influence of Dorothy Dunnett, but Russel’s a good writer.

    • Marie Brennan

      I was getting that vibe, though I couldn’t quite put my finger on why — and then in the author’s note at the end, Russell gives an explicit nod to Dunnett.

      It’s all the funnier because I’ve finally gotten around to picking up a Dorothy Sayers book, and would not be surprised in the slightest to find Sayers was an influence on Dunnett. The description of Lord Peter Wimsey’s mother could be ported verbatim onto Sybilla.

      • sartorias

        Oh yes. Second son–blond–explains self through quotes–brother holds the title–Somerville College/Somerville family.

        Russell appears to follow a series of bright woman authors (Diana Gabaldon, Susan Matthews, and others) who were so taken by Lymond’s character torture that they bent stories around a cute guy getting his guts ripped, either physically or metaphorically or both.

        • Marie Brennan

          I haven’t gotten far enough in yet to spot all those, but okay, I’m not imagining it. <g>

          Strangely, it wasn’t the character torture that reminded me of Lymond — more Emilio’s quasi-manic talent for mimicry, I think. And Anne called forth echoes of Kate.

          I don’t know about the other authors you named, but I can forgive Russell her echo of the character torture because she understood she needed to bring something of her own to the table — in this case, the religious angle.

  3. brigidsblest

    Huh. This book’s been sitting on my shelf unread for at least five years. Maybe I should pull it down and try to read it.

    Just as soon as I finish the 34 books sitting on my desk.

  4. calico_reaction

    That’s one of my favorite books EVER. It’s also my go-to book when I want to show people a fantastic example of how to write omniscient POV. 🙂

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