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“Deborah Raney’s A Nest of Sparrows is a moving testament to the power of love. If you are looking for a story about family, about restoration, about home–as well as a story that’s just plain engaging–this is it.”
–Ann Tatlock, award-winning author of All the Way Home
“What a tender and moving novel! A Nest of Sparrows is cute, funny, tragic and moving. Ultimately, it’s a story of love on all levels; the love between parents and children, the love between a man and a woman, and foremost between God and his children. I was drawn into the story of this book and left with the message.”
–Linda Hall, award-winning author of Steal Away and Chat Room
“We often read stories about a mother’s heart. Deborah Raney paints a vivid picture of a dad’s heart, better than any definition I’ve ever read. A Nest of Sparrows is a gripping portrayal of what family should be. An expertly crafted story with all the ingredients that make us laugh and cry——let go and let God.”
–Yvonne Lehman, author of 40 novels, including Coffee Rings
“This is a heartfelt story of one man’s struggle to keep the children he loves, and the faith that keeps him strong. Deborah Raney’s writing is always full of warmth and hope, and A Nest of Sparrows is no exception.”
–james scott bell, Christy Award winning author of Breach of Promise
“Wow–what an amazing, tender, touching story! A Nest of Sparrows grabs your heart from the get-go, delivering wonderful characters and an emotionally gripping story you’ll love. By far Raney’s best. Highly recommended! Do not miss this marvelous book.”
–Gayle Roper, author of Winter Winds, Autumn Dreams, Summer Shadows and Spring Rain
1. Talk about Wade Sullivan’s qualifications to take on the task of raising three small children after their mother’s death. Do you believe he was qualified? Do you think it made a difference that he was not related to the children? That he was a single man? That his job took him away from the children for many hours each day?
2. What mistakes did Wade make with the children? How do you think these might affect the children over a long period of time? What could Wade have done differently? Discuss I Peter 4:8, in light of Wade’s situation: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
3. Traumatic experiences from her childhood shaped Dee Thackery’s future in a positive way, even eventually directing her to a rewarding career. Can you look back on your own past and see how God used painful or tragic events to shape your personality and future for the good? If not, explore the reasons why? What makes the difference between a tragedy being used for good in one’s life, or being the cause of ongoing pain and bitterness?
4. How does the concept of Romans 8:28 (…all things work together for good to those who love God, who are the called according to His purpose.) apply to the events in Dee’s life? In Wade’s? Sophie’s? What about in Starr’s life? Can Romans 8:28 apply even when “all things” includes death?
5. Did you approve or disapprove of the way Dee and Wade handled the social services policy that forbade them to have social contact with each other? Were there other solutions to their dilemma that they could have used?
6. What is your opinion of the social workers’ code of ethics, which prohibits a social worker from having a relationship with a client?
7. How would you have felt if Dee had quit her job and forfeited her social work license in order to be with Wade? Do you think it would have been ethical for her to do so? Would it have compromised her own calling in life?
8. If you were the judge, and knew only the facts Judge Paxton knew in the story, how would you have ruled on this case? What experiences in your life helped you form that judgment? Are your reasons for such a judgment fair? Discuss the social services philosophy of family preservation, where the ultimate goal is to keep children with their biological parents or relatives whenever possible.
9. If you were in Wade’s shoes and feared or even suspected that children you loved were being abused, would you do anything differently than Wade did? Under what circumstances should a person break the law to protect the life or health of another person? Did Wade do enough? What might have been the ramifications had he been more aggressive in trying to get the children back?
10. Discuss Sophie’s role in this story. How did her struggles and secret sins affect Wade and the children? How did they affect Starr? Think about the private struggles and moral failures in your own life. How have they–or how might they–affect the lives of those you love or those you have contact with? How far does our responsibility and accountability to the other people in our lives extend?
Posted February 23, 2013
This is a truely wonderful book! There are parts that make you cry. I have not read a book by Deborah Raney that I have not loved, I only hope she keeps on writing. Usually you read books where mothers are fighting for their children, but here it is just the opposite. Please read this book--you will not be dissapointed!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 3, 2005
When Wade¿s fiancé dies and leaves three needy children, he knows he has no choice but to fight for custody. First, because their natural father is a violent, nasty man; and second, because Wade loves those kids like his own. Grab a tissue and settle in for one of the best love stories you¿ll ever read. No wonder this story has been nominated for a RITA award -- I highly recommend it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 17, 2005
Deb Raney's story has so many facets--it's drama, it's romance, it's suspense. Grab some tissues and settle in for a long, heartwarming read. I highly recommend this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 29, 2004
Deb Raney's books do not disappoint! Having read several, I dove into 'Nest of Sparrows' without trepidation. I was wise as this is a very enjoyable, balanced, tale of Wade, a young man left with three children of his departed fiance's. Gladly he accepts them, though life is harried and crazed at the beginning. Just when they are all settling in a surprise visitor comes knocking.....the children's biological father! What ensues takes the reader through gambits of emotions as conversations, similes, adjectives, adverbs are so well written the pursuer cannot help but be affected. The infusion of Hope is paramount, making this read uplifting even though the premise is very deep. 'Nest of Sparrows' combines all that is good about storytelling; reading this book is an experience you don't want to miss.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 31, 2004
Grab your Kleenex! It's very hard to grib my emotions so hard I cry. This book does that and more. Get ready to fall in love with this little family. Watching the heartbreak and joy and love this man has for these little ones is such a true picture of our Father's love for us. Deborah Raney takes us on an emotional journey we won't forget.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 29, 2004
Deborah Raney has done it again, even better this time, if that were possible! A Nest of Sparrows is a heart-wrenching story of loss, coupled with undying hope for the future. The characters are real, true to life people you might expect to meet in person. The story, while bathed in tragedy, is a realistic portrayal of what could happen in such a situation. Raney has a knack for asking impossible ¿what if¿ questions, and rising to the challenge of answering those questions in believable, yet sometimes surprising ways. A Nest of Sparrows is one of Raney¿s finest works to date. The writing is superb. Don¿t miss it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 23, 2004
Deborah Raney has delivered again! Nest of Sparrows is a riveting yet tender read that explores an issue that is so prevalent today. From page one she captures your heart and takes you on a wonderful, memorable journey through the struggle of one man for the children that he loves. Raney's writing is flawless and she deals with sensitive issues in an authentic and credible way.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 7, 2004
Excellent story. This book held my interest all the way through, as there was not a predictable end. I found it to be very realistic. The author's writings seemed to paint a picture that made me feel like I was seeing the interactions amongst the characters.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.