Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Flight of the Sparrow
by Amy Belding Brown

Publisher: NAL Trade
Pages: 368
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1676. Even before Mary Rowlandson is captured by Indians on a winter day of violence and terror, she sometimes found herself in conflict with her rigid Puritan community. Now, her home destroyed, her children lost to her, she has been sold into the service of a powerful woman tribal leader, made a pawn in the on-going bloody struggle between English settlers and native people. Battling cold, hunger, and exhaustion, Mary witnesses harrowing brutality but also unexpected kindness. To her confused surprise, she is drawn to her captors’ open and straightforward way of life, a feeling further complicated by her attraction to a generous, protective English-speaking native known as James Printer. All her life, Mary has been taught to fear God, submit to her husband, and abhor Indians. Now, having lived on the other side of the forest, she begins to question the edicts that have guided her, torn between the life she knew and the wisdom the natives have shown her.



Kritters Thoughts:  A historical fiction set in a time and place that I am not sure I have ever read - Mary is a wife of a pastor at a time when the man of the house is REALLY the man of the house.  She has blindly followed the path until her world is turned upside down by native americans who are pillaging towns and taking hostage the women and children.  She is taken into their home and her preconceived notions are shot to hell!

My absolute favorite parts of this book were the moments where Mary was second guessing everything she thought she knew both about her own "people" and the native people.  Like many people she had never put herself "in their shoes" and in doing so found some perspective and saw the truths and falsehoods in the stories that the English settlers were sharing amongst themselves.  As a religious studies major in college, I loved the sociology of religion or in this case in societal groups and how one group can judge another before even understanding one another.  This book took me back to my college days and reminded me to keep my judgements in check.  

In many books where native people are depicted, the savage characteristics take center stage.  I loved how this author showed a civilized view of this group that very closely mirrored the English settlers and gave me a new view on a people that I had always viewed through a certain lense.  For historical fans of course, but I would also recommend this book to those who like to read about society through the ages.


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Peguin.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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