A National Book Awards Longlist Selection A New York Times and Washington Post bestseller 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. Two doctors risk everything to save the life of a hunted child in this majestic debut about love, loss, and the unexpected ties that bind us together. "On the morning after the Feds burned down her house and took her father, Havaa woke from dreams of sea anemones." Havaa, eight years old, hides in the woods and watches the blaze until her neighbor, Akhmed, discovers her sitting in the snow. Akhmed knows getting involved means risking his life, and there is no safe place to hide a child in a village where informers will do anything for a loaf of bread, but for reasons of his own, he sneaks her through the forest to the one place he thinks she might be safe: an abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded. Though Sonja protests that her hospital is not an orphanage, Akhmed convinces her to keep Havaa for a trial, and over the course of five extraordinary days, Sonja's world will shift on its axis and reveal the intricate pattern of connections that weaves together the pasts of these three unlikely companions and unexpectedly decides their fate.
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by Anthony Marra
by Anthony Doerr
by David Anthony Durham
by Bret Anthony Johnston
by Piers Anthony
by Anthony Horowitz
by Anthony Swofford
"Narrator Colette Whitaker does a beautiful job with this stunningly accomplished first novel. Set in a tiny Chechen village during the wars, the story deals with human beings under the worst kinds of pressure life or art can devise, and looks at them straight on, with sympathy and depth and mercy. Whitaker must deal with Russian and Chechen accents, voices of men, women, and children, and characters that seem at first to be irredeemable but whose humanity is never in doubt. Again and again in this remarkable work you think you know what has happened and what it means, only to have it go wider and deeper. Whitaker's voice is lovely, and her command of her craft is deft and sure. You won't soon forget it. B.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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