Thursday, April 19, 2012

{ book review : the book of jonas }

It's another BlogHer Book Club book. I've seriously never read so much so often. 
I think I need to start pacing myself because I am a very slow reader.

This time I'm reviewing The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau.

Dau tells the story of Jonas, a young Muslim who loses his entire family when he is 15. Jonas is sent to America and assimilates well to a host family and later college and a first love. He meets with a court-mandated therapist, Paul, whom he eventually tells about a soldier he met after a raid destroys his village, Christopher. Paul puts him in contact with a woman, Rose, who turns out to be Christopher's mother. 
After being told her son was lost without any more details, Rose searches for an answer 
and Jonas may just have some of them. When Jonas and Rose meet, the story truly unravels.

The Book of Jonas is about the victims of war that are not necessarily considered "casualties." 

This book is Dau's first novel but you would have no idea. His writing style is so well developed. 
Deep and engaging. I was amazed by his ability to tell a story like that of Jonas in such an intricate and detailed manner. You can really appreciate the craftsmanship of his writing in every page.

The chapters are all very short, a few pages at most. They change back and forth from telling brief stories of Jonas in his home country, Jonas in America, diary entries by Christopher, news articles, stories of Rose. 
I think this helps the reader to better understand just how deeply interlocked the victims of war are.

I found myself looking forward to Christopher's diary entries. 
They shed light on what goes through the mind of a solder... or what one would expect a soldier to think.

I felt that The Book of Jonas provided me with a brief glimpse 
at the perspective of those closely affected by war.

What I am very curious about is the research process that Mr. Dau went through to write this book. 
He writes so well from so many perspectives that he must have 
interviewed, traveled, and observed so much in order to make it happen. 

Perhaps some of these questions will be answered at the Blog Her Book Club discussion page. 
I'll be watching for sure.

Disclosure: This is a paid review from the BlogHer Publishing Network,
however all the opinions I share are my own.

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