29 July 2014

Today's Read & Giveaway: Flight of the Sparrow by Amy Belding Brown

Flight of the Sparrow by Amy Belding BrownImagine it's the 1670s and you, an English woman, are helping carve out a piece of civilization in the American colonies. Now imagine that after you witness the brutal murder of your neighbors, you are captured by Indians and find yourself alone and enslaved in the harsh New England wilderness. Could you conquer your fear and keep your faith in God long enough to survive? That's the true story of Mary Rowlandson, who lived to tell her tale to the world.

Later, Mary will trace the first signs of the Lord's displeasure back to a hot July morning in 1672 when she pauses on her way to the barn to watch the sun rise burnt orange over the meetinghouse. She feels a momentary sinking in her bowels as it flashes like fire through a damp haze, putting her in mind of the terrors of hell. She has never been adept at reading omens.
Flight of the Sparrow by Amy Belding Brown (Penguin USA / NAL, 2014, p. 1)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: New England, 1670s
  • What I know of the historic Mary Rowlandson: Rowlandson was born in England and settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. During King Philip's War, she was captured and sold into slavery and lived for almost a year among the Indians under both physical and psychological duress. Near starving and grieving her losses, she fought to keep her fear in check and survive in the hopes of being reunited with her children. Although she began to see the Native Americans as people, she never truly thought of them as anything but savage heathens. Several years after she was restored to her husband, she wrote her story, which became the first best-seller of the New World.
  • What I know of the novel: I haven't yet read the book, but my understanding is that the first half tells the story of life in the colony, the massacre, and Rowlandson's months in captivity. The second part of the story imagines how Rowlandson struggled to fit back into the Puritan community. She faced two principal issues: First, her neighbors now considered her damaged goods. Second, after living in the wilderness, she began to feel uncomfortable under the constraints of her church.
  • Genre: historical fiction
  • Why I want to read it: I've read Rowlandson's original narrative, and I'm curious about how Brown has filled in the gaps and details of the story. I'm especially interested in how Brown imagines Rowlandson's life after she reentered society.

Thanks to the nice people at NAL, I am pleased to offer one of my readers a copy of Flight of the Sparrow. Because the publishers will be mailing the book, this giveaway is open to only those with a U.S. mailing address. All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is to fill out the following form. I'll pick a winner on August 8 using a random number generator. Once the winner has been confirmed, I'll erase all personal data from my computer. Good luck!


Karen and Gerard 7/29/14, 6:48 AM  

Sounds like I might like this one. I put in for the giveaway, thanks!

rhapsodyinbooks 7/29/14, 7:51 AM  

Seems like a theme growing in popularity these days. This one sounds good though!

bermudaonion 7/29/14, 7:57 AM  

I don't like historical fiction set during that time period so this probably isn't for me. My mom does, though, so I entered your great contest for her. If that's not okay, delete the entry.

Beth F 7/29/14, 8:03 AM  

@Bermundaonion: Of course that's fine!

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 7/29/14, 8:46 AM  

Wow - this one sounds intense! Very interesting premise, though...

Love Africa Book Club 7/29/14, 8:50 AM  

Sounds mysterious. I wonder why she thinks the Lord is displeased.

Here's mine Teaser Tuesday


Daryl 7/29/14, 9:28 AM  

normally i love historical fiction but i think i remember reading about her when i was in college during a history class …

Beth Hoffman 7/29/14, 9:38 AM  

This story sounds fascinating and the cover is gorgeous!

Tea 7/29/14, 10:00 AM  

It definitely wasn't an easy time to live. Women had to really be strong. Another book cover with a bird on it, it's pretty.

Literary Feline 7/29/14, 10:29 AM  

What a beautiful cover! This sounds like it could be very good. I would keep reading.

Laurel-Rain Snow 7/29/14, 10:36 AM  

This one does sound good! I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but I'll be devouring one on my list this week.

Enjoy! And thanks for sharing. Also...thanks for visiting my blog.

Sandra Nachlinger 7/29/14, 10:51 AM  

Sounds like a good book, especially since it's based on a true story -- so long as it isn't preachy! I'll definitely enter to win a copy.
My Tuesday post features THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE.

Heather 7/29/14, 10:56 AM  

Sounds good, though intensely emotional. Enjoy! My teaser

Anonymous,  7/29/14, 11:20 AM  

I hadn't heard of this before but now I am very excited to read it. I love that era in American history, and being a true story makes it great. Thanks for highlighting it and offering the chance.

sherry fundin 7/29/14, 1:47 PM  

I don't know about this one, but thanks for sharing.

Nise' 7/29/14, 1:48 PM  

As a lover of American history, I will keep my eye out for this one.

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms 7/29/14, 2:23 PM  

This sounds awesome! And I'm truly not sure if I'd survive...
Thanks for sharing, Beth.

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

Unknown 7/29/14, 4:56 PM  

Very intense. sounds interesting.

Mine this week is a drama about a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder (and there may be a bit of romance in there too…)


kayerj 7/29/14, 5:54 PM  

this one sounds really good. I hope you enjoy it. Kelley at the road goes ever ever on

grammajudyb 7/29/14, 7:41 PM  

I would like this one. I read One Thousand White Women which is similar in content except the women went willingly. One Thousand White Women is based on a true event that was proposed by President U.S. Grant to the Cheyenne Indians. It never really happened, but the author supposes that it did. Thanks for sharing this one, and thanks too for the giveaway.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 7/29/14, 8:22 PM  

Like the cover, but don't think I'd enjoy the story.

Alice Audrey 7/29/14, 10:14 PM  

You'd think an omen like that would be hard to miss. Then again, it could all be in her head.

(Diane) bookchickdi 7/30/14, 8:29 AM  

I had almost forgotten about this story. I like the combination of history with fiction, it seems to enrich the story for me.

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