When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley (Multnomah, May 3, 2011), 352 pages
When the pastor of young widow Miranda Hanford’s close-knit church announces his plans to move the entire congregation to another state, Miranda jumps at the opportunity to cut ties with Mason Chandler and his controlling method of ruling his flock. But Mason threatens to unearth secrets from her past, and she feels trapped, terrified she’ll be unable to protect her six children.
I like the characters, and I especially like the themes explored in When Sparrows Fall. I think it was pretty well-done, too. The comparisons and contrasts drawn between this small, fringe (large home-schooling families, marked by homemade dresses and long hair for the women and girls), body of believers and the church more generally were well handled and intriguing. I actually know someone whose pastor told his congregation they were all moving to another state, like Mason did in the book, and I was sucked in immediately.
But the romance felt obligatory, separate. I wasn’t a fan.
This probably sounds nit-picky, but Moseley frequently mentions (describes, even) the trademark clunky shoes all the women of this group wear. But even with all the various context and descriptors, I couldn’t picture them. This disappointed me.
I found it interesting how the book brings in praying for the souls of people who have already died, especially since it’s published by a large Christian publisher. And I found myself disappointed by how the idea was so quickly rationalized away in the text.
The story dealt with gender roles, art, medicine, and more in connection with the church. Excellent! When Sparrows Fall is compelling, and I look forward to reading many more books by Meg Moseley (this is her debut novel).
Rating: 4.5 stars
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