The Sparrow

This book isn’t for everyone. 

In fact, Coffeeyarn‘s Hubband warned her that I’d never speak to her again if she sent me this book and its sequel.    I can see why he’d think that; I hrmphed and grumped for days after she sent me My Sister’s Keeper.  (I hate sad endings.)

Before I get started, this book is filled with lots of Catholic and some Jewish characters and themes.  The main character is a Jesuit priest, as are several of the characters.  Rape, prostitution and more are mentioned often, so if Christianity and depravity are off-putting, you might want to skip even this review.

What I don’t think Hubband could have known is that I grew up Catholic, pondered becoming a nun, and attended an all-women’s Catholic college.  Some of the conflicts and conversations were insightful, and others struck rather close to home.

Running, running to Mom... we don't care about books!

I think the reason I was able to finish this book and call it one of the best I’ve ever read is because I knew it wasn’t warm and fuzzy, and the ending actually had more compassion and hope than much of the rest of the book.  I’ve already jumped into the sequel, and laughed out loud when the same main character dismissed the Pope as a job applicant who showed up without an appointment!

Finally, I’m back to reading heavier literature and loving it.   I don’t think you have to be open to “religious” literature to find this story compelling; if you’ve ever known REAL despair, if you’ve ever wondered why life is so unfair, if you’ve ever made a conscious choice to hold your head high and push on, you’ll appreciate this finely crafted tale.

What are you reading these days?

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15 comments on “The Sparrow

  1. Sue says:

    Did you once post about a book by Barbara Delinsky? I picked up a short novel at the library called Family Tree by the aforementioned and was surprised t find that she wrote a lot about knitting. Then I had a slight memory of someone mentioning her books on a blog.

    Anyway I enjoyed the book, even though I guessed the ending long before the end.

  2. Grace says:

    still keeping it light, finished Knit for Love last week, was going to start Maggie Sefton’s latest today but had breakfast with hubby instead, and my friend the waitress really needed a venting session so we sat and listened to her. Her unsettledness also involved inflammatory words, if only we all had caution signs or warning labels before we speak. Words do powerful damage.

    Enjoy your book Hugs Me

  3. Argh…now I want to read it/them! And you know my TBR stack/list is huge, right? I’m in mid Count of Monte Cristo…so, yes, currently out of fluffy reading land, too.

  4. gmarie says:

    Well I aspire to all those things, but still don’t think I could read this. I don’t particularly care for heavy reading much.

    Love the girls – as always!! g

  5. AlisonH says:

    The blog of a friend…

  6. Barbara says:

    Love those Sock It Bags! I went to the Etsy shop. Was really tempted until I walked in my closet and saw too many bags!
    Just finished Caught (very good) and am about to start The Mapping of Love and Death.

    The kids look joyful! What were you holding?? 😉

  7. Marjie says:

    What would a Chan post be without a picture of the girls? This is a funny picture indeed. And I read whatever’s around, whenever I have time. I just reread The 39 Steps after seeing the Masterpiece Theatre version of the same.

  8. Blond Duck says:

    I hate sad endings. That’s why I read children’s books.

  9. Bridget says:

    You are the second person I know who recently read this book, and has made me want to read it. So I guess I’ll see if it’s at our local library – thanks!

  10. Bubblesknits says:

    I’m reading “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman. You talked about it in one of your blog posts and got me curious. Love, love, love it. 🙂

  11. Walden says:

    Sounds like an interesting book. Maybe I’ll convince the boy to go to the bookstore when we go grocery shopping.

    LOVE the picture of the girls. Couldn’t help but smile 🙂

  12. Kathy says:

    Sounds like a book I need to add to the list.

  13. Nichole says:

    Cute pic of the girls!

    Do you have an interest in a copy of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott?

  14. Julie says:

    I am reading “The Red Leather Diary” by Lily Koppel and the Holy Bible.

  15. […] The Sparrow also had some depravity that was VERY hard to read, but somehow, it seemed more essential to the […]

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