A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel by Anthony Marra

Constellation of vital phenomena. A novelA lesson here in writing only what is necessary for the story and only what is necessary for the sentence.

Not a word is wasted and not a sentence is wasted and it shows throughout the entire book.

This is a delicately and masterfully crafted book. Unbelievable that this is Anthony Marra’s first novel. His writing hooked me in from the beginning and immersed me in his character’s lives effortlessly.

The attention to life’s details is extraordinary and the reality he creates leaps from the page in a picture more vivid than I have read for some time. He manages to convey much with very few words.

I felt I had been through an emotional wringer by the time I finished reading and I’m glad I took the journey. The story is at once heartbreaking and uplifting and I defy you not to cry at the closing lines.

That is the purpose of good writing; to touch you and to make you believe you have entered people’s lives who don’t exist; to suspend disbelief and involve you in their story. This book is a fine example of writing at its finest.

Why it didn’t win the National Book Award I’ll never know. Anthony Marra deserves to win prizes for his writing. He has far to go and I, for one, will be keeping track of him to see what wonders he comes up with next.

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