Simply the best book I’ve read this year. Marra’s writing is enticingly beautiful while writing about horrific events during the two Chechen wars. Young Hara, recently orphaned, is taken by her neighbor Akhmed to the only safe place he knows—the hospital. There he entrusts the girl to the surgeon Sonja, who is looking for her missing sister, another casualty of the war. Don’t be put off by the brutality of the subject; the beauty of the story comes through on every page of this magnificent debut.