: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel (): Anthony Marra: Books. : A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel (Audible Audio Edition): Anthony Marra, Colette Whitaker, Random House Audio: Books. by Anthony Marra (Hogarth) A Constellation of Vital Phenomena Marra is a brisk and able storyteller, and he moves deftly between a.

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Marra seems to derive his astral calm in the face of catastrophe directly from Tolstoy.

Most of the story takes place in a few days inwith flashbacks to the two periods of invasion of Chechnya by Russian Federation forces in andwhich was marked by massive civilian casualties by bombings and artillery strikes.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is his first novel. Did anyone like this book? Recently mesmerized by a stunning debutone that made me step back and look at the people in my life a little more appreciatively, I found myself craving something along the same lines—a story with a deep and resounding message. A story of the transcendent power of love in wartime, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a work of sweeping breadth, profound compassion, and lasting significance.

It is a book that demands to be reread; it is dense and taxing and so much is happening and so many connections are made, that I am sure a second read would be very rewarding still. All of the characters are closely tied together in ways that Marra takes his time revealing, even as he beautifully renders the way we long to connect and the lengths we will go to endure.

From A Debut Writer, A Polished, Passionate, Must-Read Book

Having seen a few comparisons made between A Constellation of Vital Phenomena and A Place for Usin weight of the story, not necessarily style, I thought this would be a smart choice. He will seek refuge at the abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded.

For Sonja, the arrival of Akhmed and Havaa is an unwelcome surprise. Marra was guided by, among other books, the work of assassinated Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya.


The narration by Colette Whitaker was not to my taste either. This helps to counteract some of the bad situations and bad decisions for some of the people on the periphery, but the more we learn about the main characters, the worse it gets. Anthony Marra bypasses the facts and figures and takes us directly into the lives of ordinary people trying to make a meaningful existence amid the rubble and death and ongoing violence.

Weary and overburdened, she has no desire to take on additional risk and responsibility. Havaa ran into the w This beautiful and haunting novel is one of my favorite books of View all 65 comments.

constellatjon View all 35 comments. Good thing for me that it’s about others because what Marra described in this book sounded awful. I have just seen that people post to Goodreaders the request for recommendations of similar books. The structuring was fine, with the to-and-fro in time generally adding interest. Leaving three sisters and myself in a cou I started off lost in a coulee reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena with seven of my Traveling Sisters and some of us really got lost in this story.

The fact that I debated my own feelings about it meant that he made me think, which I should count as a good thing.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra | : Books

The passage actually one long sentence is about a younger brother along with his family whom the readers never see again at the village doctor’s a better artist than he is a doctor to describe his ‘disappeared’ older brother in order for the doctor to draw his portrait. In the center of the story we meet and come to care for Havaa.

That’s the chief factor in determining your ultimate response to a work. Anthonny darkness almost got to be too much for me, but there are some things that balance it out. With a complete absence of emotional manipulation, Marra anthonyy us back and forth in the lives of the characters, moving along a timeline from to As they move in and out of periods of war, we see the events that led them to their current behaviors.


May 6, 4: My heart was simply ripped out. Whimsies of circumstance, fate, and the ties of family and faith serve to guide the reader and the characters through phenomenna richly layered and deeply beautiful journey. In the first pages, we experience him finding eight-year old Havaa and placing her in sanctuary at the hospital in the nearby city of Volchansk.

Read it Forward Read it first. Reviews have hai If you read as much as I do or even if you don’tyou’re bound to come across ot book that is hailed by literary critics and readers as one of the greatest things ever, but no matter how oc you try and read it and are determined to love it, it just doesn’t click for you.

Refresh and try again. It’s always a tricky business, and an editor I know once described the dilemma this way: Jun 12, Melissa rated it liked it Shelves: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is such a book. Marra deals with this problem by using a whimsical tone throughout to offset all the brutality and senselessness.

He knows someone there, Sonja, a no-nonsense surgeon, who is now in charge of what remains of the hospital. Sonja is the sole doctor running this hospital, taking care of ill. Their human spirit shines through like the grass that grows in the cracks of a sidewalk. It is mostly about how the people suffered, and that I knew. How can a debut novelist write like this lyrically and searingly?