"When Sparrows Fall" by Meg Moseley
Miranda Hanford is a young widow, trying to raise her 6 small children quietly in the home her husband provided for them. But when her dominant, controlling pastor announces that he is moving to another state and that the whole church must move with him, Miranda knows she will not go. Already labeled a trouble maker and "pariah" by the pastor, Miranda wonders how she will make a stand without having the pastor use "secrets" that were revealed to him in counselling years back against her to make her move. As Miranda tries to seek God and what He would have her do, she has an accident that lands her in the hospital. Having just named her brother-in-law, whom she had only met once, as legal guardian over her children, he receives a call from her son asking for him to come until Miranda is well. No one is more surprised than Jack Hanford as he had no relationship with his brother at all. Leaving immediately to help the family, he is confronted by the extreme sheltering of the children and the controlling religious views that his brother had. As Miranda is recovering, she not only has to still try to figure out what to do with the move, but now she also has Jack challenging how she has raised her family to contend with.
This is the debut novel for this author and it is a good debut. The story of Miranda finding herself after years of being told what to do and having no choices really drew me in. My heart ached for her predicament of wanting to seek God's will and yet trying to reconcile it with the harshness and controlling factor of her husband's and church's beliefs and her feeling of having her hands tied because she was afraid of the consequences. It was easy to cheer her on as she tried to find freedom for her and her children, yet to stay within the parameters of what she felt was God's will. I really enjoyed the relationship that Jack built with the children as the story went on. Though I felt he overstepped his bounds on many an occasion in regards to his interference, given his frustration with the hard control of the pastor over his congregation, his suspicions with the motives behind the congregational move, and his desire to see the children with some freedom, that interference was understandable. I thought the story flowed along well and I finished it within a few days. The characters where well written and the conversations seemed real given their motivations and brokeness. A good story that makes you think about the lines between the freedom we have in Christ and blind and complete obedience to another person.
Thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah for providing a copy for review. All opinions are my own.