When Reverend Joseph plucks a gravely wounded child from the mean streets of Manhattan's rough Five Points District, he intends to give her a real home. And though Kassandra flourishes in the preacher's house, learning Bible verses at his knee and going to school, as a young teenager she makes the first of many devastating decisions, running away from the only haven she's ever known. With great attention to detail, Allison Pittman shows the misery of the historic Five Points District during the 1840s and gives unique views into the underhanded and terrible ways people often employed to survive the overwhelming poverty. Kassandra's journey will draw you in. Complete with realistic, flawed characters, Speak through the Wind is The Prodigal Son retold. It offers hope to anyone who feels themself beyond hope and an ending that is very satisfying.
In the mid nineteenth century in New York City, Reverend Joseph Hartmann almost hits the little girl with his carriage. The pastor of the Tenth Street Methodist Church takes her into his home calling her Sparrow though her name is Kassandra. He teaches her to love God and she helps him in little ways. When she turns fifteen, she meets Ben Connor, who delivers packages for Samsons Butcher. He persuades her to leave Joseph so that the reverend can find a wife and have a family, but Ben turns out to be a shake-down artist and a snake who uses charm or muscle to get what he wants. Once he achieves his goal, he discards the heartbroken Kassandra into the mean streets.Humiliated and hurt, instead of returning to Joseph, Kassandra obtains work at local brothels, but soon leaves the city. She obtains employment on the sheets regardless of where she goes. Kassandra believes that God abandoned his sparrow until she meets two desperate women in Silver Peak, Wyoming Territory where she sells her body at Jewel Gunns fancy brothel as Sadie. Gloria is pregnant with no hope while Biddy believes the Lord will help them through this crisis. The three women bond with each gaining so much strength from one another and from God.The second Crossroads of Grace tale (see TEN THOUSAND CHARMS) is a wonderful tale of second chance salvation and redemption. Readers will feel they accompany Sparrow from the onset of her physical journey from New York to San Francisco to the Wyoming Territory as much as her spiritual trek away from God. Allison Pittman writes a powerful inspirational historical starring a fallen woman who believes God has forsaken her until she meets Gloria and Biddy.Harriet Klausner