The Dragonfly Sea by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

The Dragonfly Sea

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

Told with a glorious lyricism and an unerring sense of compassion, The Dragonfly Sea is a transcendent story of adventure, fraught choices, and of the inexorable need for shelter in a dangerous world.

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From the award-winning author of Dust comes a vibrant, stunning coming-of-age novel about a young woman struggling to find her place in a vast world--a poignant exploration of fate, mortality, love, and loss.

On the island of Pate, off the coast of Kenya, lives solitary, stubborn Ayaana and her mother, Munira. When a sailor named Muhidin, also an outsider, enters their lives, Ayaana finds something she has never had before: a father. But as Ayaana grows into adulthood, forces of nature and history begin to reshape her life and the island itself--from a taciturn visitor with a murky past to a sanctuary-seeking religious extremist, from dragonflies to a tsunami, from black-clad kidnappers to cultural emissaries from China. Ayaana ends up embarking on a dramatic ship's journey to the Far East, where she will discover friends and enemies; be seduced by the charming but unreliable scion of a powerful Turkish business family; reclaim her devotion to the sea; and come to find her own tenuous place amid a landscape of beauty and violence and surprising joy. Told with a glorious lyricism and an unerring sense of compassion, The Dragonfly Sea is a transcendent story of adventure, fraught choices, and of the inexorable need for shelter in a dangerous world.

Advance Galley Reviews

Beautifully written coming of age story that too a lit bit to get into, but loved it overall. Thanks for the advanced copy!

I like the writing from he beginning but it took me a little bit to get all of the characters sorted out and really get into the story. This was a really lovely coming of age story set in a location I didn't know much about and found my self wanting to know more about by the end.

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor brings readers on a coming-of-age adventure in "The Dragonfly Sea". Slowly building up parts of a story that only pull you in through the lyrical prose until all the pieces begin to fall into place. Beautiful story.

The Dragonfly Sea is a coming of age story richly steeped in setting. We follow the heroine, Ayaana, across a decade or so and three continents. When I began the book, I had no concept of coastal east Africa, but now I feel as though I could find my way around Pate Island like an old resident. This book is wonderfully vivid. So why only three stars? I guess I just struggled to connect to the characters. In some ways Ayaana grew more opaque as the story wore on. The characters seemed to speak on riddles and react in hyperbole. As a reader, I also wanted more closure around certain characters. I loved the beginning of this story, but starting with the voyage to China, I kind of struggled to keep in step. It's a beautiful book, though. I just didn't love it. I received a free digital ARC of this book through the Penguins First Reads program in exchange for an honest review. :)

A beautifully written coming of age story. I find myself enjoying it more than I usually do with books like this because of the beautiful writing.

Wonderfully written coming of age story. Full of lyrical prose.

Beautifully written coming-of-age novel. Very descriptive and lyrical storytelling. Definitely recommend this book!

"The Dragonfly Sea" starts slowly and resists easy understanding in the beginning, but the lyrical prose entices you to keep reading. Before long, the pieces fall into place. The characters come to life. And the story flows. This is easily the best book I've read in a while and certainly the best I've read this year (so far).

I loved this book. Such beautiful prose and with the most beautiful story. I felt entranced by not only Ayaana’s life journey but by all of the other vivid supporting characters as well. The descriptive language brought everything to life in a way only stories can. This book is very well-written and stays consistent in terms of pace. I’d definitely recommend this book, especially if you like books to immerse yourself in and take time to enjoy. Thanks to First to Read for letting me read this early in exchange for an honest review.


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