When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley

Word Lily review

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).

Read the first chapter.

Rating: 4.5 stars

About the author
Meg Moseley (blog, Facebook) has written a column for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She home schooled for more than 20 years. She and her husband live in northern Georgia.

Other reviews
Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

I received this book from the publisher. I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.


7 responses to “When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley

  1. This sounds well done, for the most part, romance and shoes aside, though I haven’t ever really been drawn to the cult/polygamy centered books that have been fairly abundant in recent years. Maybe this would be a good cross over for me?

  2. Good review Hannah, new title to me. It sounds interesting and I really like the thought around a pastor moving his congregation to another state – I have never heard of this before!

  3. How odd. I’ve never heard of a pastor moving his congregation to another state. Kinda sounds cult-like, but maybe that’s because of my experiences with my own churches over the years.

  4. I appreciate how balanced your review is, but overall, I think I have to read this book. I know of churches like this, and I know how abusive and harmful they can be. This is going on my to-read list!

    Hope you’ll stop by my latest review:


  5. Pingback: When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley (via Word Lily) « ~Deep Expressions of The Soul~

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