There aren't many novels I feel can be safely quantified under the tired cliche of 'life changing'. Mary Doria Russell's 'The Sparrow' is one of those rare exceptions. Told with a beautiful ease of style and a flawless pacing we learn the result of the first trip by humans to meet an alien race. Deep societal issues are explored with an elegance and understanding most rare. Father Emilio Sandoz represents one of the deepest and most complex character studies in fiction and his transformation becomes the reader's. As the sole survivor of the journey, his story is told through flashbacks and we discover the flaws in preconceiving not only another race of beings but also; ultimately, ourselves. Deep, funny, and wise, 'The Sparrow' hits on every note and will linger in one's thoughts for a long, long time.
The sole survivor of a crew sent to explore a new planet, Jesuit priest Emilio Sandoz discovers an alien civilization that raises questions about the very essence of humanity, an encounter that leads Sandoz to a public inquisition and the destruction of his faith. Reader's Guide included. Reissue. 12,500 first printing.