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Posted August 16, 2013
Anne Sumner is ambitious in her desire to help those who are less fortunate than most. She has taken on a mission in remote Mexico to assist meager communities help themselves and though she is crossed by her family (in more ways than one) – she pushes forward against great odds and Corporate America to ensure that good prevails over evil. This is a story that includes mystery, romance and just the right amount of humor to hold your interest throughout. You will find yourself burning the late night oil in order to finish this well written tale. The authors have collaborated and composed a stirring story that will have you literally cheering for the good guys.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 25, 2013
Definitely a book worthy of multiple reads. A very dramatic story with lots of action, strong characters, and a solid mystery. The authors clearly did their homework on the subject matter. I didn't think it would be one of those books you couldn't put down but it totally surprised me once I got into it and I was up till 1am because I had to finish it! The ending I thought was a tear-jerker but now I know there's going to be a sequel I can dry some of those tears and look forward to Ann Sumner kicking some more corporate butt!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2011
Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite
Anne Sumner is one of Anglin Sumner's three children. Angel, the oldest, is cold and calculating like Anglin and works with him in his billion dollar corporation where corruption and exploitation thrive. Anne's computer wiz brother Fred works with Anglin as well, but he is an alcoholic. Anne herself has thrown herself into
missionary work in Mexico, in the villages where her father's underpaid workers dwell. She lives among the people, physically rebuilding their village and even creating a nearby lake where she swims at night. Anglin Sumner has pilots on his payroll who spray the fields he owns in Mexico but suddenly some of the workers in those fields become violently ill, to die eventually. Anne is furious with the way her father's corporation pays its stricken Mexican workers a meager settlement. Then after one of her nightly swims in her lake, Anne herself becomes violently ill and is diagnosed with a fatal lung disease. With the help of Jim Orr, one of her father's pilots, she discovers that Sumner Corporation has added an uncertified chemical to the spray used on Mexican crop-growing fields that makes the spray lethal. It was a container of that lethal chemical combination that was dropped at night in Anne's beloved lake. Can she bring her father's illegal, unethical operation to its knees before she becomes too sick to fight?
"Sparrow Alone on the Housetop" is a serious story that will upset the reader who wants to read only "feel-good" stories. It is brilliantly written with a plot that moves carefully and conclusively to the story's end where Anne may or may not live. The characters are well-developed and quite believable in this era of corporate greed. The reader might wish that Jim Orr has more of a romance with Anne, but romance is not what this story is about. "Sparrow Alone on the Housetop" is highly recommended for readers concerned with world events that affect everyone.
Posted September 28, 2011
Sparrow Alone on the Rooftop is an action-packed mystery drama set in present-day rural Mexico and Houston's centers of commercial power. It is in the interaction of these two very different worlds that the story arises -- a tale of greed versus courage. Though not overtly religious, this book has a Christian slant, dealing with good and evil in it own terms, as well as exploring environmental issues. It is, however, in the determination and faith of the protagonist, Anne Sumner, missionary and daughter of an unscrupulous and tyrannical business magnate, that the true message of the novel lies. Sparrow is the story of a woman who will not be swayed from truth and duty. Indeed, she is perhaps too driven. Every hero must have her flaws, after all, and Anne comes off as very human at times. She, and most of the other characters in this book, is well drawn and believable. Anne's village in Mexico is in trouble. A strange sickness begins to claim victims, including the young woman herself. Ill and with no resources other than her own convictions and the aid of a bush pilot of questionable motives and allegiances, she works to unravel the cause of the epidemic. There is a mystery story here, and a romance story. Moreover, there is a story that rings true on all levels. Real people, real problems, even real horses! Sparrow Alone on the Rooftop has a strong, somewhat spare narrative tone, quite readable and enjoyable. It has the drive of a good, well-paced screenplay. I was quite honestly impressed. The authors know what they want to say and get it across to their audience -- that is the ultimate criteria on which all art must be judged. Needless to say (but I will anyway), I recommend this book. It's not the perfect novel by any means. It is not a 'big' novel, in either length or intent, nor an ambitious attempt to wrest away the crowns of Hemingway or Faulkner. But it does deserve to be read and will not disappoint.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 26, 2011
Sparrow Alone on the Housetop is an exciting novel filled with a little bit of everything; adventure, romance, mystery and even an appropriate spiritual message. I found my interest was captured from the start, and I didn't want to put it down. The characters were assigned very believable personalities, with human flaws and quirks that the reader could relate to on a genuine level. The storyline as well, portrays believable circumstances and problems, and addresses issues that are relevant to modern times. The author does a good job transitioning from the slightly uncivilized nature of a simple life of a Mexican Village to its complete opposite in a high society, power and money driven world, bringing these two together in a climactic conclusion. The heroine, Ann Sumner, despite a mysterious and worsening medical condition, dedicates all her strength and energy into helping the people she has come to know and love, by fighting her most fierce adversary - her own father. She manages to maneuver her way between these two worlds and little by little, put together the pieces to a mystery that she isn't always sure she wants to know the answers to. I highly recommend this novel. It appeals on a variety of levels, and maintains the reader's interest throughout, leaving you salivating for a sequel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 17, 2011
"She ran toward the cavorting plane, positive something terrible would happen in the next few seconds, but it still took her totally by surprise when it did. She plunged into the large hole of Ruben's stump. Her foot went down deep beside the taproot, and her chin hit hard on the ground. A ton of loose dirt slid into the hole along with her, filling her shirt and shorts and even her mouth. When she tried to climb out, her left foot wedged under the root, and she couldn't make any progress except to bring more dirt into the hole. She wiped the dirt from her eyes in time to ascertain the plane had landed safely after all, and she was the only casualty. "A-Are you okay?" the pilot shouted and ran toward her. She suffered the most humiliating moment of her life when he stepped halfway into the hole to render aid. "I'm fine. I can get out."" So goes the ignominious introduction of Anne Sumner to Jim Orr. Their relationship will take them back and forth between the United States and Mexico on a mission to solve the mystery of strange illnesses in the small towns where Anne has been working as a missionary. Jim is a pilot for her father's company. He transports the payroll for the large company and does some crop dusting for them. Several of the villagers who work in the fields start becoming ill with a mysterious flu-like disease. When Anne is struck down by this same disease and is rushed to a hospital in Houston, the questions begin. Why won't the doctor give her any information about what might be wrong with her? Why did her father put her to work in her old job in public relations? Why did only she and a couple of others get sick in their little village, but many in a neighboring village were struck down? The answers to these and other questions lead her to the horrible truth. She begins to unravel the mystery through talking with many of the villagers who had become ill and by getting a second opinion about her own illness. What she uncovers is the inner machinations of her father and her sister to cover up the true reason for the mysterious illness, as well as other questionable events. She does not know who she can trust - her new friend, Jim, her cold sister, Angeline, her brother Fred - but she certainly cannot trust her father. Anne's faith is tested, even as Jim's grows. With his help, she begins to regain her conviction and trust in the right people. Together they untangle the web of deceit that has overtaken the whole Sumner Company and the small towns in Mexico. This book, written by the mother and daughter team of Jean James and Mary James, tells an exciting story about death, intrigue and romance that the reader will enjoy. The very interesting final confrontation between Anne and her father leaves the reader wondering. Jean James was active in many outdoor pursuits before becoming a full-time writer. She collected live mammals and reptiles for international distribution, collected live venomous snakes for antivenom production, and worked on sundry wilderness construction projects. She's married to WW2 veteran, William James, and they have six children. Mary James has spent half her life writing and the other half making music. From age five she has written songs and performed as a touring singer/musician. Today, she spends most of her time on the road but is always anxious to come home to her photographer husband and troublemaking horse.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.