By Mary Doria Russell
Paperback, 483 pages
2016, Ballantine, 20th Anniversary Edition
When extraterrestrial life is picked up via satellite, a group of friends and colleagues lead by a Jesuit priest with a knack for learning languages, set off to make contact with the residents of a foreign planet. At first glance, the mission appears to be a success, until things begin to go wrong and after a series of social mishaps everything falls apart. The lone survivor, Emilio Sandoz, must now face judgment from his superiors and peers in Rome and tell the story of the tragedy that befell the party.
The less you know about the plot of this book going in, the better. I don’t think there’s any way my review will do this beautiful book justice, but I’ll give it a whirl.