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Publisher's Summary

Jonas is 15 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's 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 sentence.

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.

©2012 Stephen Dau (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A sobering and accomplished read meant to prick the conscience; highly recommended." ( Library Journal)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • sam
  • Riverside, RI, United States
  • 11-23-12

I bought this on a whim

If you could sum up The Book of Jonas in three words, what would they be?

compeling

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

Great! I love Simon Vance.

Any additional comments?

I read this book several months ago and I am surprised sometimes at how well it has stuck with me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hard to summarize

I listened to this book twice before I understood who was doing what to whom. I'm so glad I gave it second chance because it's an awesome piece of fiction.
The lioness and the fawn may have feelings for each other but in the end, each much submit to its nature -- so, too, with people.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

thought provoking

The story sometimes got slow. But the ending made it all worth while. I read it for book club. It was good for that

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

"Told in spare, evocative prose" means yuck

Would you try another book from Stephen Dau and/or Simon Vance?

Simon Vance - oh yes. Stephen Dau the author - doubtful.

What could Stephen Dau have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This is one of those books that starts in the middle and cryptically works it’s way out with clues to the story. With half hints thrown at you in no consecutive order, the reader is totally lost and clueless till near the end..... making for a LLOONNG 4 hours of listening.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Book of Jonas?

I think it was kinda dishonest. Had I known what the protagonist was - me along with probably MOST AMERICANS, would not be interested in reading this book. Was I supposed to feel kinship or understanding with the prtagonist?

Any additional comments?

Only thing that kept me reading was the money I spent buying it. At the end - I wish I would have stopped listening much earlier.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful