Title: Flight of the Sparrow
Author: Amy Belding Brown
Publisher: NAL Trade
Publish Date: July 1, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1676.
Even before Mary Rowlandson is captured by Indians on a winter day of
violence and terror, she sometimes found herself in conflict with her
rigid Puritan community. Now, her home destroyed, her children lost to
her, she has been sold into the service of a powerful woman tribal
leader, made a pawn in the on-going bloody struggle between English
settlers and native people. Battling cold, hunger, and exhaustion, Mary
witnesses harrowing brutality but also unexpected kindness. To her
confused surprise, she is drawn to her captors’ open and straightforward
way of life, a feeling further complicated by her attraction to a
generous, protective English-speaking native known as James Printer. All
her life, Mary has been taught to fear God, submit to her husband, and
abhor Indians. Now, having lived on the other side of the forest, she
begins to question the edicts that have guided her, torn between the
life she knew and the wisdom the natives have shown her.
Based on the compelling true narrative of Mary Rowlandson, Flight of the Sparrow
is an evocative tale that transports the reader to a little-known time
in early America and explores the real meaning of freedom, faith, and
My Two Cents:
In Amy Belding Brown's "Flight of the Sparrow," Mary Rowlandson was captured by Indians. At first she is very afraid but eventually she learns a lot from her captors and is forced to walk the line between the white man and the Indians. What makes this book so amazing is that it is based on a true story. Brown draws heavily on a lot of historical fact in order to create a narrative for Mary.
One of the most interesting parts about this book is how Mary comes to terms with both understanding her life as a white woman in the Massachusetts Bay colony and the ways of the Indians. We see how Mary lives her life as a family woman and the colony. She enjoys her life and is very scared when she is captured by Indians. When she returns though, she finds that she never really understood the Indians in the first place and finds herself supporting some of their ideas and the ways that they live, which makes her an outsider within the colonist group. This is definitely a story about knowing oneself and knowing what is the most important things in one's life. She finds that she may not have been as free in the colony as she was during her time with the Indians.
I love historical fiction; however, I especially love when historical fiction is based on an actual historical figure. I think that it really helps you to understand some of the personalities of times past. You can tell that Brown put a lot of care into gathering details of Mary's life in order to put together the story. And some points you can see how Brown is almost stymied by some of the information that she gathers, which makes the narrative stiff in some parts. However, overall the book is very nicely written and really gives you insight into how people live during that time.