Synopses & Reviews
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'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.
"A sobering and accomplished read meant to prick the conscience; highly recommended." ---Library Journal
"With its spare prose and nuanced plot that loops back and forth chronologically, Dau's first novel is an absolutely compelling account of the damage done to all sides by armed conflict. An essential addition to the literature of war." ---Booklist Starred Review
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.
About the Author
Stephen Dau worked for ten years in postwar reconstruction and international development prior to studying creative writing at Johns Hopkins University and Bennington, where he received an MFA. His work has appeared in McSweeny's, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on MSNBC, and elsewhere. The Book of Jonas is his first novel. Orginally from western Pennsylvania, he currently resides in Brussels. Simon Vance, a former BBC Radio presenter and newsreader, is a full-time actor who has appeared on both stage and television. He has recorded over four hundred audiobooks and has earned over twenty Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, including one for his narration of Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. A twelve-time Audie finalist, Simon has won Audie Awards for The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan, and The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. Winner of the 2008 Booklist Voice of Choice Award, Simon has also been named an AudioFile Golden Voice as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009.