The Book of Jonas: A Novel

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Penguin, Mar 15, 2012 - Fiction - 272 pages
23 Reviews
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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And the writing is superb! - Goodreads
The ending of the novel really surprised me. - Goodreads
The beginning was great and the writing was great. - Goodreads

Review: The Book of Jonas

User Review  - Gemma - Goodreads

Stephen Dau is talented, this I believe. I'm very much looking forward to his future work. Now that that's out of the way, let me say that while this is definitely skillful prose, I don't think this ... Read full review

Review: The Book of Jonas

User Review  - Troy - Goodreads

This book started with a lot of promise but as it went along I lost interest. I finished the book with some quick speed reading. The book became slow and cumbersome even in its simple prose style. I ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

 Stephen Dau worked for ten years in postwar reconstruction and international development prior to studying creative writing at Johns Hopkins University and Bennington College. He lives in Brussels with his wife and daughter.

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