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A reader with the attention span of a hummingbird.

A Review of a Debut, By Anthony Marra

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel - Anthony Marra

In 1994, A beautiful girl named Natasha, sat on the floor, reading the definition of life through her sister's Russian medical textbook, Life: a constellation of vital phenomena-organization, irritability, movement, growth, reproduction, adaptation.



I picked this up without reading any synopsis or anything, simply seduced by that title. I didn't know it was a historical fiction or that i was a historical fiction in Chechnya. Had I known I would have expected another story by Khaled Elhusseny and it wasn't, it was much more elegant than anything he would have written, missing that sad dull damp depression that was his main theme, but with the same desperation in it, and plenty of humor. And it's a debut novel I'll definitely be looking out for Marra in the future.



Taken place within 5 days from the abduction of Dokka, and his friend's effort to keep Havaa, Dokka's 8 year old girl safe. Those 5 days told the story of the last 10 years in the life of a small Chechen village and one number 6 hospital. It told history and future predictions, memories and hopes, secret desires and sacrifices of every single characters as well as some objects, not leaving even a single individual without adding a slice of depth and reality to their characters. In the most romantic reflective way possible with everyone's cross path in each other's tales. With great writing and throwing in some gorgeous prose every now and then just to remind you of the powerful voice, telling the story.