Thursday, March 24, 2011

When Sparrows Fall

When Sparrows Fall, by Meg Moseley, is the story of Miranda, a widow and mother of six young children, who is living under the thumb of the controlling pastor of a tight-knit church with some, shall we say, interesting, ideology.  Miranda has been seeking a way to separate from the church, but the pastor holds some sort of secret over her, which, Miranda fears, if revealed, would cause her to lose her children.
When Sparrows Fall: A Novel
 When Miranda is seriously injured in a fall, her late husband's estranged half-brother, Jack Hanford, is appointed guardian of the children while their mother recovers.  Jack disagrees with Miranda's conservative lifestyle, and immediately begins chipping away at some of the family's more isolating beliefs.  The children quickly come to love the uncle they never knew, but Miranda remains suspicous of his motivations.

I enjoyed the theme of isolation in the book.  Miranda is part of a church that values being isolated from mainstream society, and is further isolated, even within the church, by her rebellious ways, and, of course, her horrible secret.  When Jack comes into the family's life, he offers freedom from that isolation, and yet, even though Miranda is miserable and lonely, she fears the freedom Jack offers.  I think many of us feel that way: longing for freedom, and yet too comfortable in the familiar to take the risks necessary to gain that freedom.
It was a good story, a very quick read, and pretty well written.  I identified with Miranda, and fell in love with her children.  At times, I found the mysterious secret to be tiresome--the author kept coming back to that darn secret, but she basically just kept writing the same thing over and over, rather than giving more clues as the story unfolded.  I wanted the author to be out with it already, or at least tell me something new--it took too long to work up to the reveal, and I found myself distracted as I read, wondering what secret this woman could possibly have that would be that terrible.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Meg Moseley's future novels. 

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.

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