I barged in on the readalong for this which was held by Trish at http://www.lovelaughterinsanity.com/
We're Drood-ing this month, with Drood by Dan Simmons aka the book that is bigger than one of my cats: http://www.lovelaughterinsanity.com/2014/10/drood-readalong-beginning.html I actually ended up buying it on iBooks because holy crap. You could take out an orc with that thing.
Anyway. The Sparrow.
In 2060, Father Emilio Sandoz has returned from a disastrous mission to the planet of Rakhat.
The planet had been discovered some 40 years before, and the Jesuits had hastily pulled together a disparate group of people - including Father Sandoz - to travel to the planet.
The mission doesn’t go how anyone envisioned it.
Forty years on, Father Sandoz is back as the only survivor of the mission, nearly broken in body, mind and spirit.
The Sparrow goes back and forth in time, from 2060 back to 2019, where it explores the background of Emilio and the other people drawn in for the mission to Rakhat.
It’s clear from the start that the mission ended in tragedy and chaos, and it’s up to Father Sandoz’s Jesuit order to try and piece together exactly what happened.
This is my second reading of The Sparrow and somehow I’d forgotten what an emotional whumpage of a book it is.
I remember loving it, but somehow forgot the bit where it tore my heart out and ate it in front of me.
It tackles some very, very big themes - the nature and existence of God, faith, love, life … all filtered through the eyes of Father Sandoz, the crew who first travel to Rakhat, and the Jesuits charged with Father Sandoz’s care after he’s brought back to earth.
It’s like. This book broke my heart and then stomped on the fragile fragments, grinding them to dust.
Here, read it.