Lyrical, luminous language evokes the beauty of Pate Island, the poetic muezzin's call, even the scent of rosewater that wafts from each page ... Caine Prize winner Owuor follows up her powerful debut, Dust, with a gentler but no less stunning novel of language, lineage, love, and family, those we're born into and those that we create.
...a sprawling, at times unwieldy, epic ... in its omnivorous interest in the world, The Dragonfly Sea is a paean to both cultural diffusion and difference ... the novel dives into a subplot about the war on terror. It seems gratuitous at first — in fact, it is — but Owuor’s descriptions of religious extremism sketch a virulent strain of Islam against which she can contrast Ayaana’s benevolent spiritual journey ... The parallel between this early Sufi icon and her contemporary devotee isn’t perfect. But it reminds us that, as much as The Dragonfly Sea traces the globe, it also depicts an internal pilgrimage.