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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » When Sparrows Fall: A Novel » User review

Very Nice Debut Novel

  • Aug 15, 2011
Miranda's husband, Carl, died two years ago, but his influence still hung over her and their six children. As a member of a fringe, ultra conservative, almost cult-like church, Miranda had lived in submission and obedience to her husband, even when his decisions were not always legal. Two years later though, she was still unable to leave the confines of a church that held control over her life with the knowledge of secrets that could cost Miranda her children. However, when her pastor, Mason Chandler, tells his congregation God has told him they must all sell their homes and move to another state, Miranda finally sees an opportunity to taste freedom. Before she can formulate a plan, she takes a terrible fall and must rely on her children's guardian, her husband's half-brother, Jack, who she had met only one time.

When Jack received the call from Miranda's oldest son Timothy, he had no idea he had been appointed their guardian, nor did he know she now had six children. He was even less prepared, to step into their world where fictional books, blue jeans, medicine, and a host of other modern items were deemed immoral. In a beautifully written novel, When Sparrows Fall, explores ultra conservative beliefs with a loving touch and a gentle message of mercy.

I was just a bit (okay, a lot) skeptical about this book when I first read about it, but I was also very curious. I homeschool, as do the majority of my friends and my best friend and her family adhere to some of the quiver full ideas. I was concerned that this book would push some buttons and not in a good way. Despite my doubts, curiosity won out and I might have found my sleeper book of the year.

For the most part Moseley handles questions raised about homeschooling quite elegantly. Since Moseley homeschooled, I was fairly certain she would present it in a positive light. At times I recognized some standard `homeschool defenses' as well as certain questions. Thankfully these were kept to a minimum and the focus was on the progress of the children as well as highlighting some of the more positive aspects without neglecting some of the gaps in this particular family's schooling.

Overall, I liked how Moseley presented this story. One of my main concerns was the large family/quiver full aspect of the book and for the most part I think it was handled well. I don't agree completely with the author and at times some of the parent decisions are made for different reasons than those given. However, by placing everything within the decision of a fringe church, Moseley does a nice job of softening the negative perceptions.

I loved the characters and the banter between Jack and Miranda. The internal struggles, the secrets, and the guilt were incorporated nicely into the story and kept the plot progressing at a steady pace. The closing pages wavered a tiny bit and felt as though there was an attempt to include as many inspirational ideas as possible. Overall, though, this is a well written book, easy to read, and definitely held my attention.

I was pleasantly surprised by When Sparrows Fall. It was a fascinating book that gently dealt with sensitive topics. Even the romantic angle set well with me (huge compliment by the way). Moseley has an elegant writing style that was a pleasure to read. I look forward to her next one.

Review title provided courtesy of Multnomah Books

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About the reviewer
Melissa Willis ()
Ranked #209
A little bit about me. I read primarily Christian fiction. My favorites are suspense, with supernatural elements always being a plus. I most enjoy books that will keep me thinking well after I'm done … more
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Praise forWhen Sparrows Fall

“Rich, deep, and painfully honest.When Sparrows Fallis a lovely work of fiction that portrays a side to American freedoms that is too real to ignore.”
—Cindy Woodsmall, New York Times best-selling author ofWhen the Soul Mends

“Meg Moseley is the diamond in the haystack you’ve been looking for. She’s a rising star who will have a permanent place on my keeper shelf.  In her remarkable debut novel, When Sparrows Fall, Moseley spins a tale of depth, poignancy, and humor. I savored every page and after I turned the last, I simply sat for a while, basking in the aftermath of a story well told.”
—Deanne Gist, author ofMaid to MatchandA Bride Most Begrudging

“Meg Moseley has penned a fantastic debut withWhen Sparrows Fall. It’s a story of darkness and light which she masterfully weaves so tightly, the reader can fully understand just how those seeking God can fall victims to the cult-like practices of false prophets. Still, in this thought-provoking, cautionary tale of extremism, Moseley drops in delightful moments of pure joy. Hers is a fresh new voice that readers—like me—should welcome with open arms.”
—Allison Pittman, author ofLilies in Moonlight

“With her debutWhen Sparrows Fall, Meg Moseley writes with passion and daring about a young woman’s  fight for truth and spiritual freedom providing a brave, new voice in Christian
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"Very Nice Debut Novel"
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