Emilio Sandoz, a brilliant Jesuit priest, seems like the perfect leader for the first expedition to an extraterrestrial culture. However, when Sandoz returns to Earth 20 years later as the mission's sole survivor, he is accused of unspeakable violence and depravity. Why? An extraordinary fiction debut, by paleoanthropologist Mary Doria Russell.
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ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY'S TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT . . . Russell shows herself to be a skillful storyteller who subtly and expertly builds suspense. --USA Today AN EXPERIENCE NOT TO BE MISSED . . . If you have to send a group of people to a newly discovered planet to contact a totally unknown species, whom would you choose? How about four Jesuit priests, a young astronomer, a physician, her engineer husband, and a child prostitute-turned-computer-expert? That's who Mary Doria Russell sends in her new novel, The Sparrow. This motley combination of agnostics, true believers, and misfits becomes the first to explore the Alpha Centuri world of Rakhat with both enlightening and disastrous results. . . . Vivid and engaging . . . An incredible novel. --Milwaukee Journal Sentinel POWERFUL . . . Father Emilio Sandoz [is] the only survivor of a Jesuit mission to the planet Rakhat, 'a soul . . . looking for God.' We first meet him in Italy . . . sullen and bitter. . . . But he was not always this way, as we learn through flashbacks that tell the story of the ill-fated trip. . . . The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence. --San Francisco Chronicle SMOOTH STORYTELLING AND GORGEOUS CHARACTERIZATION . . . Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices, and our blinders. The Sparrow is one of them. --Entertainment Weekly SELECTED BY THE BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB