The Book of Jonas

By Stephen Dau
(Blue Rider Press, Hardcover, 9780399158452, 258pp.)

Publication Date: March 15, 2012

List Price: $24.95*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the April 2012 Indie Next List
“This debut deals with the aftermath of acts of war, told from the perspective of Jonas, a war orphan, relocated to the states, and Rose, the mother of the American soldier who aided him. Spare and moving, the story details the confusion and fear of both the soldiers and the civilians in an unnamed Muslim country. Tension builds as Jonas reveals more about the event that destroyed his home, and the inclusion of journal entries by Rose's son, Christopher, serves to add yet another view of the consequences of battle. Believable, intelligent, and ultimately redeeming, The Book of Jonas demonstrates the lasting impact of relationships even - maybe especially - in a time of war.”
-- Leslie Reiner, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL


Description

An exceptional debut novel about a young Muslim war orphan whose family is killed in a military operation gone wrong, and the American soldier to whom his fate, and survival, is bound.

Jonas is fifteen when his family is killed during an errant U.S. military operation in an unnamed Muslim country. With the help of an international relief organization, he is sent to America, where he struggles to assimilate-foster family, school, a first love. Eventually, he tells a court-mandated counselor and therapist about a U.S. soldier, Christopher Henderson, responsible for saving his life on the tragic night in question. Christopher's mother, Rose, has dedicated her life to finding out what really happened to her son, who disappeared after the raid in which Jonas' village was destroyed. When Jonas meets Rose, a shocking and painful secret gradually surfaces from the past, and builds to a shattering conclusion that haunts long after the final page. Told in spare, evocative prose, The Book of Jonas is about memory, about the terrible choices made during war, and about what happens when foreign disaster appears at our own doorstep. It is a rare and virtuosic novel from an exciting new writer to watch.

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