Summary: The life and times of a 15th century healer.
I do not often just say, go buy a book, but if you like the mix of books that I tend to review, just go and buy the book. Laurus is a modern Russian novel, wonderfully translated to English. Vodolazkin, the author, is a midevil scholar who has recreated the alien nature of the midevil Russian world wonderfully.
I really have a hard time trying to figure out how to describe Laurus. It is about an ancient Christian healer. So it is sort of Christian fiction. But it is by a Russian so it does not fit into any of the traditional modern christian novel categories. Laurus takes Christianity very seriously, but using what I can only describe as magical realism to give structure to the healing and mysticism of the Russian Orthodox Christianity that is illustrated so well here. In some ways Laurus reads more like a book of ancient Christian devotional literature as much as it read like a novel.
Laurus opens with a boy, Arseny, trained by Christopher to be a healer. The book then follows that boy as through four acts of his life, each with a different name. There is trauma, healing, spiritual wisdom, magic (and by that I don’t mean spells, but the magical and beautiful reality of faith and real life.)
I mostly listened to this as an audiobook, although I have it both as audio and kindle books. The Kindle book has been $3 for about 2 months now. The audiobook is $7.49 with purchase of the audiobook. I may have more thoughts about it when I read it again. But right now I am still basking in the glow of a book enjoyed.