What an interesting book! I read this in just a few days, which for other people is like saying I read it in one sitting. One night I even stayed up an hour and a half past bedtime because I could not put down When Sparrows Fall.
Jack is contacted out of the blue by his nephew, Timothy. Timothy's mother, Miranda, has fallen from a cliff and left Jack as guardian of her children. Jack is the half-brother to Miranda's deceased husband. While she recovers in the hospital, Jack meets Timothy for the first time in many years, and the five siblings, too. Jack is shocked at the sheltered life this family leads...all in the name of faith. Jack is shocked at some of the things they don't have or know...microwave, movies, fiction books, jeans, t-shirts...in this homeschool family.
Miranda is part of a church who is tight-knit and caring, but ruled closely by Pastor Mason. He has ordered his entire congregation to move out-of-state. Miranda sees this as an opportunity to break ties with the tyrant. Miranda is also scared. She has a secret that only Pastor Mason knows, and this secret keeps her from disturbing Pastor Mason.
This book intrigued me. Miranda is part of a church where God doesn't rule, but the pastor does. Legalism all the way. However, Jack is also a Christian, but his views are liberal. Honestly, I found myself relating to Miranda more than Jack. (I do know that I am a conservative Christian by some standards, so maybe that shouldn't surprise me.)
Despite theology differences, Jack and Miranda fall for each other, but there is still a secret out there. When Jack learns the secret, it doesn't solve the problems of Miranda because she is still hiding more.
This was an interesting read, especially because of the controlling legalism. I struggled with Jack's liberal views. There were many, many instances of this, but one of the first was the fact that he was shocked that twelve year old Timothy had never read To Kill a Mockingbird. Really? I may love the book, but I think the content is much too mature to be considered appropriate for a twelve year old to read. (Am I wrong about this? Are some public schools asking their 12 year olds to read this?) Later, Timothy does read the book, but without guidance from an adult...ugh. Jack also struggles with grace. He basically knows of the concept but doesn't accept the grace and forgiveness given through Christ's death for himself.
As I said, this was interesting and really held my attention. It made me think a bit about taking correct and godly beliefs too far and twisting them to become ungodly and turning something good and allowing it to become sin in our lives. It also made me think of the fear factor as motivation to keep a secret not worth keeping.
I really enjoyed reading the ARC I had the chance to read...and am writing the review just for fun. The book is my own copy, and was not given to me for review purposes. The best!
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