"When Sparrows Fall" is the story of the redemption of Miranda Hanford, widowed mother of six. Deeply entangled in a cult-like church, Miranda panics when her pastor orders all church members to immediately sell their property and move to another location. She has no intention of selling or moving, yet her pastor knows her darkest secret and threatens to tell if she refuses to cooperate. As Miranda fasts and prays over her desperate situation, God brings help in an unexpected way.
I loved this story. Miranda's children were adorable, and author Meg Moseley brought out each of their personalities for her readers to enjoy. And, though Miranda's choices often seemed strange, Moseley explained the history and psychology behind each. Readers can't help but sympathize with Miranda and cheer her on to the end.
Likewise, Moseley made Miranda's brother-in-law into a character the reader could struggle along with. Earnestly trying to help Miranda and her children, he has his own ghosts to chase away. He makes mistakes and realizes it, but he doesn't give up on the family he's coming to know. His heart for them is in the right place.
I recommend this story of truth, mercy, forgiveness, and God's amazing love. I received a complimentary copy from Waterbrook Multnomah for my honest review, and I enjoyed the read!
Meg Mosley's debut novel is a gem! It will stir your heart and make you think deeply about your faith and your family. I am a former homeschooler (5 kids who are all grown), and I was delighted to see her take on this topic as a background for her story. Her characters are well developed and memorable. The word choice and writing itself is beautiful. I highly recommend this book.
There is no doubt that Meg Moseley is a gifted writer and I am sure we will see more of her work. Her first novel, When Sparrows Fall, is an intriguing page turner about a widow whose life has been full of controlling men. Beginning with her tyrannical husband, who expected complete obedience and submission; and ending with a pastor who required a cult-like loyalty from his congregation; Miranda Hanford finds herself and her six children in a situation that she cannot escape from. Then she has an accident and her estranged brother-in-law comes to help out. Both of them have secrets from the past to work through as they try to do what is best for her family. The result is a story that keeps you turning the pages to the very end of the book to see how it all works out.
There were many things to like about this book. Clear, descriptive writing, well developed characters, and an interesting plot that keeps you reading to find out the dreadful secret that Miranda kept so very well for so long. The story gives a glimpse into how good, well meaning people can get themselves caught up into a religious cult without ever realizing what they are doing. I have no doubt that most people will find this book to be a great read and give it wonderful reviews.
Having said all that, I must admit that my personal reaction to the book is really one of anger. I am disappointed with the brother-in-law who is supposed to be a Christian but cusses, drinks and smokes, while being so concerned about his nieces and nephews not being "normal". While I understand that many religious cults use homeschooling to indoctrinate the children in their midst, I was surprised to learn that a former home school mom wrote this book and would choose to exaggerate the negative side of home education. As a "retired" home school mom, I am very aware of the public opinion of home schoolers and it is usually not good. I am tired of the Christian market producing book after book that portrays the "home school loonies" of society while being careful to give lip service to those who "do it right". It's high time we had some books that portray the thousands of home schooling families who "do it right" every year and manage to let their children still be normal. Might I suggest that Christian parents can also succumb to the peer pressure of the public school agenda and be brainwashed by that just as easily as by a fanatical cult? I will not recommend this book to anyone.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for an honest review. My opinions are my own.
Miranda Hanford is a widowed mother of six children, living under the strict guidance of her pastor, Mason Chandler. For several years, Miranda has felt trapped by the teachings and lifestyle practices enforced by Mason. When Mason announces a plan to move his flock to another state, Miranda questions his plans and his authority. Sensing the obstacle that Miranda poses to his carefully laid plans, Mason threatens to unearth past secrets that could destroy Miranda's family.
An unfortunate accident and subsequent recovery leaves Miranda unable to care for her children. The arrival of Miranda's estranged bother-in-law, Jack Hanford, is both a help and a complication. As a comparably worldly college professor, Jack questions the family's ultra-conservative lifestyle. His presence makes waves in Miranda's home and with Mason, but he also opens the doors to truth and freedom. Can Miranda's body, mind, and soul heal in time to break free of the shackles that have bound her so tightly?
When Sparrows Fall is a story of fear and loss, secrets, freedom, love, and faith. Moseley tackles the heavy subject of cult-like religious practices with gracefulness and splashes of humor. While the novel conveys the unyielding framework and psychological shackles of religious extremists, it remains enjoyably introspective and engaging. Moseley introduces well-crafted characters, including a cast of charming children, whose antics lighten the mood. The message of When Sparrows Fall is uplifting and thought-provoking and will be a wonderful novel for reading groups as well as individuals. I highly recommend When Sparrows Fall and look forward to other books by Meg Moseley.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah/ WaterBrook Press through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I bought this book based solely on the synopsis on the back cover and I'm so glad I did. Meg Moseley has written a top notch novel and I look forward to reading more of her work. She has the unique ability to set her readers smack dab down in the middle of the story, feeling as if they know every character. I won't go into the synopsis in case someone hasn't read the book, so as not to spoil it for them. This book had romance, inspiration, mystery and a pastor who isn't happy unless he controls every member of his congregation and has their very lives under his thumb. Meg Moseley is a writer you'll want to keep track of.