When Sparrows Fall
Multnomah, May 3 2011, $13.99
Pregnant with her sixth child, Miranda Hanford had no time to mourn the death of her husband. When the Pastor Mason Chandler announces he is relocating the flock from Slades Creek, Ohio to McCabe, North Carolina, Miranda decides this is the time to end ties with the church though she will miss some of the women. She wants her children to feel free and loved instead of trapped and scorned as the pastor controls everyone’s life.
However, Chandler rejects Miranda’s notion of staying behind even when she says her late husband told her to hold on to the land. Instead he threatens to expose her secrets for the world, especially her kids, to know. The oldest child Timothy calls his Uncle Jack, a university professor, informing him that his mom took a nasty fall and he is their guardian while Miranda recovers. Though estranged from Miranda, wasting no time Jack arrives. He finds his nieces and nephews charming in spite of their ultra fundamentalist lifestyle. Jack brings with him a sense of freedom that life is to be enjoyed. Meanwhile Mason turns up the heat on Miranda while Jack tries to learn what the Pastor has on his sister-in-law.
When Sparrows Fall is an exciting small town drama that uses hyperbole to purposely showcase how much a pastor can control their flock. Character driven by a strong cast, readers will relish the psychological battle between Jack and Mason over the souls of the children and their mother. Although a romantic subplot feels more like a sub-genre requirement, the relationship shows how far Jack has come from mocking his sister-in-law. Fans will enjoy this deep family drama.