A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra- Book Review!

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena


How much do you know about Chechnya? And the wars, and the occupation and the exiles? If you are like me, probably not very much.
And sometimes not knowing very much about something leads us to shy away from it. It might be too much work for our lowly brains.
But I want to stop using that as an excuse,
“I don’t know anything about money, so how can I make a budget?”
“I can’t shut down my brain, so how can I learn to mediate?”
Just because things are challenging does not mean that they are not worth it.
And I believe this book is worth it.
It is challenging,
and full of anguish.
But it exists. These people in some form exist.
All of these things exist in real life, and this story is based on true conflicts.

And it makes me grateful everyday to be born in Canada.

But what is anything besides a random constellation of anguish and joy?

This is the story of many characters intersecting and coming to find each other. We start with Havaa, an eight-year-old girl who watches Russian soldiers burn her house and take her father. The only people left now are her neighours, Akhmed and Khassan. Akhmed wants to keep her safe, so he takes her to the hospital, the safest place, he, a failed doctor can think of. Here we meet Sonja, the sole surgeon remaining, and her haunted thoughts about her missing sister, Natasha. All of the characters come together and interweave so beautifully, so randomly,as such is life.

I found at beginning of the book I was having trouble getting into it, but then after about a hundred pages, I fell and I fell hard. You began to really love the characters and want to know how they all got to the situations they are in. The book is like a beautiful, mysterious heartbreaking puzzle, that you just can’t wait to find out how all the pieces get together.

This book is told in a very interesting perspective, jumping from the past, to the present to the very far future. I liked this about it, it shows what happens to the characters far down the line and that makes for an interesting telling, certainty, no unanswered questions.

It gives hope in a hopeless world, even if sometimes the world you live in seems to contain no hope.





6 thoughts on “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra- Book Review!

  1. I loved this review because I came to the same conclusion by the end. I definitely wanted to go out and do things or learn things that I hadn’t previously discovered. I also did a lot of research on the history behind this book afterwards because I actually felt bad that I knew nothing. you have a lovely conversational tone, thanks for sharing . 🙂

  2. Our firm, Bostick Communications, distributes press releases via e-mail for our clients who are authors.  These releases make reviewers, such as yourself, aware of new books that are available for review.
    We would like to add you to that database to receive releases from our clients. 
    You will receive two press releases per week on the average. You have the opportunity to specify certain genres that you are interested in to reduce the number of releases you receive, if you wish.
    There is no obligation on your part and you may unsubscribe at any time.
    If interested please reply back to us and note the genres you review and the site(s) where you post your reviews.

    Thank you for your time to consider our service.
    Ken Eason
    Bostick Communications

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: