Just pausing in my reading here to mention how much I am enjoying this book called The Fall of a Sparrow.
The author is Robert Hellenga, from the boonies of rural Illinois. You know, there are great writers hiding out all over the place, you've just got to ferret them out.
The Fall of a Sparrow is about an English professor who loses his college-age daughter in a terrorist attack in Bologna, Italy. Only a third of the way in -- but I am enthralled with the way Hellenga is painting such a realistic canvas, showing us how a deeply intellectual academic individual might go about re-ordering his life after such a horrific event.
In an interview, the author spoke of his admiration of Tolstoy.
When asked, "What works of art and what other writers have inspired you and shaped your journey as a novelist?" he answered:
My favorite novel is Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. I always have a copy nearby. I especially like the forward momentum of the novel. There's an urgency in the narrative voice, something that says this story is so important that I don't need to fool around with narrative tricks or verbal fireworks. Let me just set things down as clearly as possible.
This is what he is doing here in The Fall of a Sparrow.
Setting things down as clearly as possible.
It's the kind of writing I myself admire the most.
Check him out -- HERE.