- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Most Helpful Favorable Review
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
No need to worry. This book represents most homeschoolers in a positive light. Miranda's late husband has kept his family tightly under his control, and he in turn was kept in line by the leader of their church (read "cult"). The children were allowed no outside influences. This is not a healthy reason to homeschool and this author recognizes that and throughout the book, Jack slowly pulls Miranda and the children out into the world, without ever telling her she should put the kids in school. (Although I think there was one argument in which he told her she was doing her kids a great disservice by not teaching them certain subjects.)
As for the story, it's at turns heartbreaking and heartwarming. Because of a past tragedy and circumstances beyond her control, Miranda lives under a cloud of fear and guilt. This is part of what allows the church leader to control her even after her husband is gone. Jack comes into their life, and even as the children warm to him and Miranda gets to see more and more of the God of grace and mercy that Jack serves, she still can't completely let go. This book isn't about homeschooling. It's loving and trusting God and others and letting them love you.
My biggest issue with the book is a bit of a spoiler, and I usually don't put spoilers in my reviews, but it's something that really bothered me. As Jack and Miranda build a relationship, they become more affectionate to each other in front of the children. Obviously, they're not doing anything inappropriate, but after reading through the book that for the past 14 years, she's lived a very strict, pious life, and kept her kids in a bubble in which they were not even allowed to read fiction, I find it hard to believe that she would suddenly feel comfortable kissing a man in front of her children. It just felt out of character.
Over all, though, I did like the story... And I think other homeschool moms will, too. (Sorry. I couldn't resist.)
I received this book for free from Multnomah Books in exchange for an honest review.
posted by purplerose75 on September 3, 2011Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
posted by leftyjewel on May 25, 2011Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 13, 2011
Captures Your Attention!
"When Sparrows Fall" was a wonderfully written novel that captured my attention from page one and never let it go. This was a book that once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down until I reached the end. I liked almost everything in this book, especially how Jack would call Michael and Gabriel (Miranda's two middle children) "the archangels" and that Miranda named her camera "Jezebel", because her church had forbidden her to use it to make money. Some of the things I didn't like in the book were 1)That the story jumped ahead - sometimes by weeks; 2)How Jack would openly defy Miranda and the rules she had in raising her children; and 3)That Jack secretly, on three different occasions, gave Miranda a pain pill which he knew she did not want to take. The reason I listed numbers 2 and 3 is because the book makes it seem as though what Jack did was right. I think the last one bothers me the most. I know if I didn't want to take pain medication and someone secretively put it into my food, I would be so angry that I would have a hard time trusting that person again. It's because of these reasons that I'm giving this book 4 1/2 stars. Overall this is a well-crafted novel that is an enjoyable read. The characters are well developed and you can't help but fall in love with Miranda's children. I think that Meg Moseley did a superb job for her first novel. I highly recommend reading "When Sparrows Fall". Thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was not required to give a positive review, only to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 13, 2011
"WHEN SPARROWS FALL" (REVIEW)
"WHEN SPARROWS FALL" BY MEG MOSELYWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
A story of love, deception, and blackmail. A woman, Miranda Hanford, finds herself being manipulated into protecting her children and all those who know her from her secret past.
This is a fast-paced read full of intrigue and mystery.
-Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
Posted June 10, 2011
good but could have been better
This book has me wondering just how common these sort of harsh religious beliefs are and how close they are to my neighborhood. When Sparrows Fall is about young widow Miranda who belongs to a church with these harsh beliefs and when things get to be too twisted she decides it is time to break away! Before she can do that though she gets severely injured and her husband's half-brother Jack shows up to help!! There is so much more that goes on but I will not reveal any secrets!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
There were a lot of moments in this book where I wanted to just scream and say "this is not God"!! The actions of the pastor and the husbands had me on the edge of my seat. Meg Moseley painted a gripping yet compassionate view!!
The characters were all great, especially Jack and the children. I loved Jack because he just seemed so real about who he was and what he believed in. He wasn't afraid to admit that he was a sinner yet he knew how to lead a life worthy to be called a Jesus follower! He might have drunk one or two drinks or smoked a cigar but I felt that just made him more genuine. I have kids the same ages as some of the kids in this book and I felt the author really captured their innocence and energy!
The only thing that bothered me is that I felt like the beginning got off to a rough start. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not and had mixed opinions about Miranda all the way until about half way through the book. However, it did pick up nicely and I'm glad I continued reading.
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
for an honest review.
Posted June 3, 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed reading "When Sparrows Fall".
"When Sparrows Fall" was a wonderful read. It was relaxing yet had the element of anticipation, not knowing what the end will bring. Well written with nuggets of truth I would recommend Meg's first novel to anyone who enjoys reading.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 31, 2011
Hope, Love, Freedom
Miranda is a widow with six children who is trying to keep things together on her family's remote property in GA. Suddenly, her pastor tells the congregation that God has told him to move everyone to NC. Miranda tries to stand up to him but is told she "shouldn't make waves" and should get ready to sell her property and move. To say that the pastor is legalistic, ultra conservative, and controlling is putting it mildly! Before Miranda can do much about staying put, she has a horrible fall and ends up hospitalized. Enter Jack, her brother-in-law. Jack comes to take care of the children and finds that while they while they are well-mannered and are being home schooled well, much is missing from that education and life. (i.e. computer, freedom in books) He wants to help the children and Miranda as well. Together Miranda and Jack work for the best of the children, disagreeing many times, and find more is in store for themselves. Can Jack help Miranda move from the ultra conservative life she is living enough to breathe? Will she ever get past the ghosts of her past? Can they find peace and love together? And what about Pastor Mason - will he move the group away?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This is the type of book that has me yelling "Run!" to the characters. It is hard to believe that these harsh belief systems still exist today, and Meg Moseley writes about it with compassion and clarity. I loved the characters, especially the children, and loved watching them as the little, subtle changes occurred. Trust was one thing that I watched grow through the story. This book will make a wonderful gift for an individual reader, but groups will also find this book has a wealth of discussion topics. Thank you to the Blogging For Books program for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Posted May 1, 2011
Complex story with more layers than a wedding cake
With more layers than a wedding cake, When Sparrows Fall is a complex story of a mother's devotion that will not leave you untouched. Meg Moseley's characters will climb out of the pages and into your heart. Besides the rebellious Miranda, her children include Timothy, two adorable girls, and Jack dubs her youngest boys "the archangels." As unlikely as the pairing seems, I found myself hoping for romance to bloom between Jack and Miranda, but it seems Timothy had a different idea. Thoroughly enjoyable, Novel Journey and I give it a high recommendation.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 21, 2011
When Sparrows Fall is a captivating novel about a young widow and mother of six, Miranda Hanford, and the life changing events that result from her fall off a cliff. Miranda is a member of a very conservative religious congregation led by a controlling, self serving preacher, Mason Chandler. Following the death of Miranda's husband Carl, Mason declared his intention to move his congregation and his expectation for Miranda and her children to follow. Miranda clearly relayed to Mason her preference to remain behind, but Mason knows a secret that Miranda has kept hidden and threatens to expose her. Miranda seeks God's guidance through fasting. As she walked and photographed the cliffs near her home, she became faint and fell from the cliffs. Jack Hanford, Carl's half brother and college professor is notified that he is named guardian of Miranda's children. Jack is shocked by the news since he met his brother and Miranda only once. Once Jack arrives at Miranda's home, he is shocked by the lack of technology, absence of all fiction and the utilitarian dress code followed by the family. From this point in the book, the focus is on the relationship and tensions between Miranda and Jack. The struggle between attraction and fear grips both Miranda and Jack. Miranda fears her secret will result in the loss of her children should Mason decide to expose the truth. She believes Jack's presence will provoke Mason. Jack feels that Miranda is hiding something and seeks to find the truth. Eventually, Abigail Chandler confides to Miranda that Mason has been unfaithful with a younger woman in the congregation and that his motive for forcing Miranda to move is the tithe on her property. With this new information, Miranda takes a stand against Mason and frees herself.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I really enjoyed this novel and was hooked from the beginning. My only criticism is that Mason Chandler seemed underdeveloped. He was worked up to be such a horrible person, but then he was so easily defeated. Otherwise, I thought the book was great!
This book was kindly given to me for review by Waterbrook publishing. This is my honest opinion of the book.
Posted April 19, 2011
Good read, intriguing story
Miranda is a widow with young kids. She lives in a rural area, home-schools her kids, and belongs to a very strict church. When Miranda finds out that her pastor has heard a :message from God" to move the entire church to another town, Miranda figures this is the perfect time to get out of the church that she is not happy being a part of. However, her pastor threatens to expose a secret of her past that could get Miranda in trouble and possibly even lose her kids.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
When Miranda takes a serious fall, her brother-in-law Jack, whom she has met once, comes to stay with the kids and help out until Miranda is better. Jack was surprised to learn that he was recently named legal guardian of the kids if anything should happen to Miranda. As a college professor, Jack takes a leave of absence to come care for Miranda and her kids.
While Jack is staying with Miranda, he is very surprised at how Miranda is raising her children. For example, there is no fiction in the house. They also are not allowed to have a microwave, wear jeans, or eat anything with sugar. Jack is bent on helping the kids see the modern day world and not have them live in a bubble so much. However, Jack has some issues of his own.
When Sparrows Fall is a good book. The characters are believable and it was definitely a book I wanted to keep reading. I couldn't wait to find out the secrets and see how Miranda and Jack and the children would turn out in the end. It was not disappointing and everything comes together nicely.
Posted April 12, 2011
Characters and Story will Capture your Attention!
When Sparrows Fall is a blend of solemnity and humor that grabbed my attention from the first chapter. The mystery built throughout the first part of the book and was solved bit by bit until the end of the book. I loved the characters and that even though the children were extremely well behaved, there was still evidence that they were children. Like when the boys were throwing a ball in the house and broke a picture frame. Meg Moseley made connections between many of the characters which added depth to the story and supported why the characters bonded. The only unfavorable comment I have for this book is that the clues/hints were repeated a little too often. Maybe if I had taken longer to read the book they would have been helpful reminders, but since I finished the book in 2 days, I found it too repetitive. Overall this is an excellent book from a debut author.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2011
I enjoyed reading this book. The story is engaging as Miranda (Randi) a mother of six struggles to cope with raising six children as a widow, her overbearing Pastor and the involvement of her brother in law that she doesn't know. I love how she sticks to her principles for the things she feels strongly about, as well as allowing some latitude on the things she's used to doing but are not written in stone. The author does a great job of describing each of the children as well as giving a great foundation for where the main character is in life. The title of the book confused me. I'm not sure how it fit with the subject of the book. There were a few references to sparrows, but I didn't sense an underlying connection. It could have had something to do with a tragedy that occurred but that's as close as I can get. What a liked most about this book is the way the author brought the whole story together. Throughout she alluded to deeper secrets but didn't give them away until towards the end. This kept me engaged and curious to know what happened. There was a Christian theme throughout the book, although in the beginning it leaned towards the fanatical and evened out towards the end. Overall, a nice, easy read. I would recommend for anyone who has experienced children, tragedies and life in general! Love and Blessings! MargaretWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 9, 2011
Freedom and Happiness are not always easy to find...
What a great book! I give this book an 8 out of 10. This book is a classic Christian romance novel, exactly what I like to read. I was not disappointed with this one; instead it was one of those I could not put down. I found myself reading every chance I could get.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
When Sparrows Fall begins by introducing the reader to a widowed woman, Miranda, who attends a close-knit church within the town. The pastor tells everyone he plans to move the entire church and its members to another state. Miranda does not want to move from her home and uproot her children. She sees this as an opportunity to separate herself and her children from the church and from the very controlling pastor. But he threatens to real secrets in Miranda's past that could hurt her and her children.
The book takes a twist when Miranda takes a serious fall and ends up in the hospital. Jack Hanford, a college professor, is surprised to find he has been named guardian over Miranda's children while she recovers. Jack quickly notices something is a little off with the way Miranda teaches and raises her children. He insists on bringing some much needed change into the house challenging the conservative lifestyle the kids live.
As Jack tries to make sense of Miranda and the family, Miranda is uneasy and defensive as the pastor's pressure to move increases. The two must learn to trust each other and God to overcome obstacles and find freedom and happiness.
I recommend this book in a heartbeat and it is one I would defiantly read again. Although depending our church and/or homeschooling beliefs it may strike a nerve with some folks. Meg Moseley does a great job keeping the reader wondering how the book will go without having too many twists. It is a very serious/sad book but you find Jack's changes for the children lightening your spirits. You find yourself rooting for Miranda and her family wanting it to all work out and for them to find love and happiness, but knowing that's not exactly how life works out sometimes.
**I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers in exchange for my honest review. I would like to thank Meg Moseley and Waterbrook Multnomah for this opportunity**
Posted April 7, 2011
I could not put this book down! It is about a Mom of six who has some...things...in her past that she fears getting out. Through a turn of events, we travel with this Mom through untraveled waters as she gains courage and strength from the Lord. I read this one in about a days time. The author, Meg Moseley, does a fabulous job of keeping the suspense up throughout the book. Some novels, you figure out the plot after the first chapter and read just to fill in details. This is not one of those books. I didn't see a lot of the events coming at all! There were a few, of course, but overall, I think you should take the time to read this one!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 3, 2011
A delightful debut!
This is a charming book and an excellent debut for Meg Moseley. I was hard pressed to put it down. Miranda Hanford is a widow of six small children, burdened by their father's shadow as well as the oppressive thumb of her pastor, Mason Chandler. As Mason plots to transplant their small church to another state unexpectedly, Miranda sees her chance to take a stand, but unfortunately loses her footing (literally) before she can do so. After her accident, Miranda's estranged brother-in-law, Jack, is called as a temporary guardian. His culture and sensibilities clash with that of the Hanford clan, but as the story unfolds, we see the eight of them grow closer and band together against Mason's controlling influence.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Posted April 1, 2011
Keeps You in its Grip!
My chains are gone, I've been set free! My God, my Savior has ransomed me! That's the first thought that entered my mind when I finished this book. The author weaves a convincing plot while showing us the life of Miranda, a woman bound by man-made chains. These "chains" are placed on her by her husband first, and then continued by her pastor. I felt deep sorrow and pain for her while at the same time appreciating the choices she made in such difficult circumstances. She loves her children deeply and seeks to protect them at all costs. I was challenged in my own life by her unwavering faith in God, and the trust she had that He alone would set her free. Jack's character is very down to earth and realistic. He has an honest desire to help Miranda and her children, and to show them what life could be like without those "chains". I love the fact that he embraces the children unconditionally, even though he has a rough start in their life. He's full of humor and discovers he has an amazing capacity to love. His faith is a little less grounded but that only makes for more reality to me. Ms. Moseley uses such descriptive language I had no trouble envisioning the characters or places in the book. I could see Jack ruffling his hair in his frustration, Miranda huddled in her cuddle-quilt, the children blowing bubbles and their laughter ringing out. I could even smell the campfire! There are many wonderful characters in this story and you will find yourself routing for more than just Miranda. If you are looking for a contemporary story that will draw you in and keep you fastened to the pages for the duration, then I highly recommend When Sparrows Fall. I received this advanced reader copy from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest opinion.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 28, 2011
Inspirational & Courageous MUST READ
Meg Moseley told an inspirational tale of a single mom's role in her very secluded society/church in her book 'When Sparrows Fall'. The lead character Miranda Hanford shows the strength of a widow learning how to have faith and freedom at the same time. It's a beautiful story portraying the power of love.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 27, 2011
I enjoyed this book!
A widowed mom with six kids. A pastor who is less than pastoral. Secrets. "When Sparrows Fall" by Meg Moseley kept me up late reading until the very last page. Meg created wonderful characters, although not all the children were fleshed out as well as the others. Miranda and Jack have baggage that makes them interesting and wanting to learn more about. The plot line draws you in, and kept you guessing as more and more secrets were revealed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. That being said, I would definitely read another book by this author!
Posted March 26, 2011
Typically Not a Fan of Christian Fiction, But This Was Good!
As the title of this review states, I really do not enjoy reading Christian fiction. I only choose Meg Moseley's book, When Sparrows Fall, as my next Blogging for Books choice because there were very limited options. But, once I picked up the book and began to read, I just couldn't put it down...a truly enjoyable read. The story of Miranda Hanford, a widow with six young children, living in an environment of extreme fundamentalists is full of twists and turns. Reading about her desire to flee the constraints of the life she is currently living and the introduction of her brother-in-law, Jack, into her family's sheltered life makes reading this book a wonderful way to spend a lazy afternoon. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for thisWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 24, 2011
Great Vacation Read
When Sparrows Fall, by Meg Moseley, is the story of Miranda, a widow and mother of six young children, who is living under the thumb of the controlling pastor of a tight-knit church with some, shall we say, interesting, ideology. Miranda has been seeking a way to separate from the church, but the pastor holds some sort of secret over her, which, Miranda fears, if revealed, would cause her to lose her children.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
When Miranda is seriously injured in a fall, her late husband's estranged half-brother, Jack Hanford, is appointed guardian of the children while their mother recovers. Jack disagrees with Miranda's conservative lifestyle, and immediately begins chipping away at some of the family's more isolating beliefs. The children quickly come to love the uncle they never knew, but Miranda remains suspicous of his motivations.
I enjoyed the theme of isolation in the book. Miranda is part of a church that values being isolated from mainstream society, and is further isolated, even within the church, by her rebellious ways, and, of course, her horrible secret. When Jack comes into the family's life, he offers freedom from that isolation, and yet, even though Miranda is miserable and lonely, she fears the freedom Jack offers. I think many of us feel that way: longing for freedom, and yet too comfortable in the familiar to take the risks necessary to gain that freedom.
It was a good story, a very quick read, and pretty well written. I identified with Miranda, and fell in love with her children. At times, I found the mysterious secret to be tiresome--the author kept coming back to that darn secret, but she basically just kept writing the same thing over and over, rather than giving more clues as the story unfolded. I wanted the author to be out with it already, or at least tell me something new--it took too long to work up to the reveal, and I found myself distracted as I read, wondering what secret this woman could possibly have that would be that terrible.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Meg Moseley's future novels.
*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.
Posted March 21, 2011
Wow! Imagine never watching a dvd or shopping at Wal-Mart! Welcome to Miranda's world. She and her six children have led very conservative lives not necessarily because they chose this way of life but because Miranda's husband, Carl, and the pastor of their church insisted on these "rules of life."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
When Miranda is badly hurt after a fall her oldest son, Timothy, contacts his uncle Jack (half brother to his late dad) to come and help his family while his mom recuperates.
Jack drops everything to go and help Miranda and her children. Jack's easy going ways and challenges aren't the perfect way to help but Miranda with her defensive ways begins to question "the why of her conservative living."
The mystery involving Pastor Mason and even the secrets Miranda harbors are intriguing as well as hard to guess why it all happened.
This book brings out some hard to answer questions: Why do some people follow the Law but forget about the Grace? Is it right for a pastor to "rule" his flock? Are people who follow pastors who require more than God requires just part of a cult?
This was a truly interesting read. There are slow parts but I likes the way the author pulls the reader into the "fray." I found myself rooting for Jack to help Miranda and the children pull away from their pastor. But found that pulling away from a cult leader is about like pulling a tooth. A lot of pain, some tears but healing as the end result.
This is an enjoyable read! God sees every sparrow that falls and He knows just how to help His "sparrows" regain life again!
*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah*
Posted March 19, 2011
When Sparrows Fall
Miranda Hanford married at the age of nineteen to a religious zealot, who controlled just about every aspect of her life, except for the letters that his half-brother Jack sent them regularly. While her husband forbade contact with Jack, those letters allowed Miranda a sense of normalcy, a connection to the outside world. When her husband accidentally dies, leaving Miranda with six children to care for, her church family is there to help her, but unfortunately for Miranda the church leader Mason, is just as controlling as her husband.He actually claims that God spoke to him and told him that his congregation needs to sell their homes and move to a new town with him. Miranda is determined she wont follow him, but Mason threatens her with a secret from her past.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
When Miranda has an accident, Jack is called to be the guardian of the children while she is in the hospital. Jack takes a leave of absence from his job as a professor in Chattanooga never realizing just what he is getting into. While the six home schooled children are very smart, they have led a very sheltered life, one without t.v. fiction, and rarely leave the house. Jack decides to give them a taste of "normal life 101. As Jack shakes up the children's lives, Miranda also longs to change. Will she be able to break the hold that Mason has over her?
The author makes it easy to see how an insecure nineteen year old Miranda could have wound up in the situation she was in.As the reader learns Miranda's story we see her as a devoted mother who didn't really share the same beliefs as her husband,but didn't want to rock the boat. She is a wonderful mother who longs to let her children have a normal life but because of Mason's threats is afraid that DFCS might come in and take her children. The children in the story were adorable, with distinct personalities that you couldn't help but love. As Jack's history is slowly revealed we find that he has things from his past that haunt him, something that he has blamed himself for. I loved the secondary character of Yvonne, I could easily envision her becoming a grandmotherly figure to the children.
The way the author portrayed the characters made them seem very real,showing us their insecurities and flaws. It was interesting to watch Miranda grow into a woman that was determined to get her life back.Jack and Miranda both experience spiritual growth throughout the story, and Jack finally has a family The feelings seemed totally accurate for what the characters were going thru. I also found that the author was fair and balanced because while she showed us how controlling and manipulative Mason's church was, she allows us to experience a church and minister that isn't so repressive and controlling.
I really enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more from this author.
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.