Saturday, January 20, 2018

Book Review - zo by Murray Pura

A brand new 5 star review came in for Murray Pura's semi-autobiographical, award-winning novel. The Amazon reviewer is petting a tiger in his profile picture, so it seems like a good idea to listen to what he says. That is amazing!

Review: Zo is one of the many inspiring historical fiction works by Canadian author Murray Pura.
The two poems: “My destiny” by Taras Shevchenko and “The Moon” by poet Andrii Chornavka set the tone for the entire book.

The story is set in the year 1911. The protagonist, Andrew Chornavka, is a monk. Interestingly, the author first introduces him as “Zoya’s brother.” Although the book is entirely written through Andrew Chornavka’s point of view, the book is about his sister Zoya.

The book starts off in the United States of America as Andrew Chornavka is being questioned in a monastery by an officer. The animosity that Andrew Chornavka feels, during that enquiry, is unmistakable. The officer asks Andrew Chornavka a number of questions about his sister Zoya and the readers are taken on an adventure down memory lane. This book is unlike any usual historical fiction. With descriptive scenes and strong characters, it successfully holds the reader’s attention until the end.

The book moves at a fast pace and every chapter leaves the reader wanting more. Strong characters and interesting plots leave the reader wanting more. The characters also show interesting contradictions. A good example is Andrew Chornavka’s character. Despite being a monk, he is described as someone who is “easily provoked to violence, sarcastic and spiteful.” Zoya’s character sketch is also equally captivating. Every chapter, without fail, excites and piques the curiosity and attention of the readers.

What I loved most about this book was author Murray Pura’s writing style. It is very elegant and expressive, almost poetic. His words linger with you even after you have turned the page. Murray Pura tastefully and gracefully describes a tumultuous time not only in Zoya and Andrew Chornavka’s life but also for the rest of the world. With eloquent linguistics, the author accurately sets the tone and articulately recounts events and emotion.

Most of the time, a good book comes down to three significant components - 1) a gripping plot, 2) Strong characters and 3) meaningful relationships between the characters. ‘Zo’ has an abundance of all these three components. This is one of those books that you won’t want to put down until you finish it. It is a book that makes you feel, and the feeling stays with you even after you finish reading it. You feel love when there is love and loss where there is loss and this feeling is guaranteed to resonate within you.

If you love historical fiction and stories about the Second World War period, this one story that you will get swept up into. ‘Zo’ by Murray Pura is the book for you. The relationships and plots are compelling; the storytelling is smooth and enlightening. ‘Zo’ will make you want to stay up late or stay in on a Saturday night just to read “one more chapter”. After reading ‘Zo’, I am definitely intrigued and interested to read other works by Murray Pura. ‘Zo’ is truly a great read and I promise you won’t regret it!

zo is available on all major eBook platforms and your favorite paperback sellers. You can see the review on Amazon here:


  1. It sounds cool and I am just became fan of you after reading your blog post. I want to read this novel. I will Download eBook and start reading this interesting story.