When Sparrows Fall: A Novel by Meg Moseley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was one of those books that was almost impossible to put down. I read it in record time, even for me, because the subject matter was so engrossing.
When Sparrows Fall: A Novel is a vivid illustration of what happens when pastors and husbands/fathers cross the line from Biblical leadership to tyranny.
I've seen several instances of this in real life, and it never fails to sadden and sometimes anger me. As a Christian, I know that there is abundant life and freedom in Christ. It's frustrating to know that some people weigh the Christian life down with oppressive, burdensome man-made standards, many of which are never even mentioned in Scripture and have little to do with true holiness.
Either author Meg Moseley has firsthand experience of this, or she's done her homework well, because the depiction of Miranda Handford and her family rings true.
Miranda is a young widow with six children whose pastor suddenly decides he wants his entire congregation to re-locate with him to another city and state. No ifs, ands or buts.
Miranda, while largely submissive and compliant, does have a small rebellious streak, and it kicks in here. Her late husband (a man even more rigid and controlling than the pastor, if that's possible) had stressed that he didn't want her to give up their house and land, which had always been in the family.
Besides, she just doesn't want to leave her home, and doesn't understand why she should have to do so.
The pastor is insistent, though. He wants Miranda to join the rest of the congregation in selling their homes and uprooting--and it's obvious he has something to hang over her head as a threat.
Then a serious accident happens that brings Miranda's brother-in-law into the family's lives. Her husband had never wanted anything to do with him, but he's the one she turns to in this crisis.
I won't tell you any more, because I don't want to give too much away, but it keeps you turning the pages as the story unfolds and Miranda's family will never be the same.
Meg Moseley is respectful of people with strict convictions, and never belittles or negates true Christian faith.
But the men who allow egotism, arrogance, entitlement and sheer pride to turn them into despotic control freaks don't get a pass in this book.
And they shouldn't.
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