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Sparrow Migrations

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  879 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
An airplane plunges into an icy river and the world witnesses the dramatic rescue. Then, life after the Miracle on the Hudson landing puts three families on another crash course…with their own fragile humanity.

Airplane passenger Deborah DeWitt-Goldman knows her survival means one last chance to start the family she so badly desires—no matter the cost to her marriage. Preac
Paperback, 319 pages
Published June 23rd 2015 by Lake Union Publishing (first published March 13th 2013)
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This book used an interesting event to tie different characters together, the Miracle on the Hudson. These characters were either on the plane or close witnesses to the miracle landing. The emotional aftermath they go through changes the course of their lives. The characters include an autistic boy and his parents, a couple trying to conceive and a preacher’s wife and her family. Each character faces a different challenge and the writer sucks you into wanting to know how everyone is going to ...more
Larry Hoffer
Jun 11, 2015 Larry Hoffer rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I'd rate this 3.5 stars.

Full disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

One of the more harrowing and spectacular moments in recent history was on January 15, 2009, when a US Airways flight piloted by Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger struck a flock of geese shortly after takeoff, and Captain Sullenberger made an emergency landing in the Hudson River. All passengers and crew on the plane were saved. The images of the plane floating in
Jack Chaucer
Jun 13, 2013 Jack Chaucer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite simply, this is one of the best books I've ever read. I can see why it was a semifinalist for 2011 Amazon Best Breakthrough Novel. Cari takes a real and spectacular event, the "Miracle on the Hudson" plane crash, and goes way beyond the tabloid headlines of the moment to create a story that will stick with you for years to come. The jet may have just scratched the surface of the water, but Cari plunges us deeper -- into the lives of autistic 12-year-old Robby Palmer, who witnessed the ...more
Jen Winckler
Apr 10, 2014 Jen Winckler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had me engaged right from the start. It was easy to read, well written, and had multiple story lines that merged together at the end - in a non-obvious way. The characters were well developed and the subject matter was very "real life". Reminded me a little of the TV show "parenthood". I read it very quickly on a plane trip, and had to wipe my eyes several times. I recommend it for anyone!
Barbara Tsipouras
*Thanks to NetGalley I got an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

To take the crash of an airplane into the Hudson River as starting point to look into the lives and the very different problems of three families was a good idea. It took me in immediately.
These three families who are facing very different problems are loosely connected in the end. The autistic 12-year-old Robby with his parents, the unfertile couple in their forties trying to have a baby by IVF, and the lesbian pastor's wife li
Feb 08, 2014 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun book for birders who will appreciate the references to Sapsucker Woods and piping plovers.The autistic boy, Robby, is very well drawn along with the problems of the parents in dealing with him. Brett and Jackie are a bit over the top for me, but Deborah and Christopher do seem real. This is the story of 3 groups of people who were involved in the Miracle on the Hudson, when the plane landed in the Hudson River after a bird strike. Interesting story weaving the lives of these people ...more
Jason Schneeberger
This is without question one of the top 5 books I have read this year. This is an example of how you write a gripping and layered drama! I can't stress enough how much I loved this story and its idea that any event can be a harbinger of change in many ways, for many people. From the most subtle changes, to life altering transitions of awakening.

Based around the real life event of the "Miracle on the Hudson" plane crash in New York in 2009 SPARROW MIGRATIONS is fictional tale that is complex, mov
Dec 31, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I wanted to love this book; I think if it had been shorter, I may have. To me, it seemed like the intertwining plots were far more drawn out than they should have been. I thought the boy with autism was written incredibly well, but the other characters were boring and/or poorly developed, and it was hard for me to care what happened to them. (Maybe if I had even the smallest interest in birds???) This was a book I could have easily given up on. It had such potential but was just plain ...more
May 30, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michigan author Cari Noga wrote Sparrow Migrations as part of the 2010 National Novel Writing Month. The manuscript languished waiting for a publisher to accept it. Finally Noga self-published. The book was a semifinalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and is being published by Lake Union Publishing. I first heard about the book in a Detroit Free Press news article.

The novel follows the stories of three families whose lives were impacted by the 2009 "Mircale On the Hudson."
Jan 23, 2014 Martha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sparrow Migrations by Cari Noga caught my attention with Robby the autistic boy fascinated with the migrating Canada Geese he saw from the ferry boat just before a U.S. Airways jet was ditched in the Hudson River minutes after take-off from LaGuardia Airport. His hoodie, long hair, focus, and lack of communication and emotion seemed very characteristic of boys his age with autism. His parent's love and devotion also came across as very real and believable.
The bird theme throughout all 3 lives t
Linda Lange
Jul 21, 2016 Linda Lange rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book about a group of people whose lives came together when U.S. Airways Flight 1549 made its emergency landing in the Hudson River in 2009. I did have to suspend some disbelief. I found it hard to accept that the lives of Robby, Deborah, Brett and their families intersected to such a degree after the crash. But I found each character so appealing that I had to know what happened to them. I found myself actually sobbing when I learned the outcome for Robby, the autistic boy. I ...more
Oct 25, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it
Closer to 4.5 stars. I really enjoyed this one! It is a fictional account of the airplane crash on the Hudson River that imagines the lives of people who were involved in the crash, whether on the plane or on one of the ferries that were on the Hudson at the time. I really liked the way that the people's lives interconnected in some way or another. The event sparked a new curiosity in a boy with autism who became obsessed with Canada Geese and the bird strike that caused the crash. It was a ...more
Feb 08, 2014 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give this book 4.5 stars..... not quite a 5 star book, but more than a 4 star. It is about 3 families whose lives intersect after the "Miracle on the Hudson". One family was on the plane that made the emergency landing in the Hudson after the bird strike, one family and one other character from the 3rd family were on one of the ferries that rescued the passengers. I found the characters to be well written and believable. I came to care about each of them. Definitely worth taking ...more
Sylvia Walker
May 18, 2015 Sylvia Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, nature
What lovely writing! The book follows the lives of three characters, each of whom, with their families, is in an unhappy situation, and each of whom migrates on, towards their true selves. I especially liked the character of Robby, a 12-year-old boy who has autism. He discovers, and cares passionately about, birds, and through the birds begins to earn the acceptance of his father, a good person who is exhausted with caring for his son. All of the bird references are great fun if you are a ...more
Emily Crow
I almost never say this, but this was such a beautiful book. It's about an autistic boy who falls in love with birds. And a middle-aged couple whose marriage is strained by IVF treatments. And a pastor's wife who might need to leave her marriage in order to be true to herself. Collectively, it's a novel about how the limitations we face can be overcome with courage and persistence.

Also: the scenes with the piping plovers! Now I want to go to the Sleeping Bear Dunes and see them for myself.
Lorna  DH
Jun 25, 2015 Lorna DH rated it liked it
Recommended to Lorna by: Amber
The connections between the characters were more interesting than I thought they would be when I started reading. The religious aspects were a bit heavy-handed.

Robby needs his own book.
Elisabeth Bibbings
What an amazing book, written by the mother of an autistic child, bringing three different strands together from one beginning (a birdstrike on a plane) to one end. Along the way there are bird-lovers of many different kinds, and a boy learning about ornithology as an all-absorbing interest typical of the autistic spectrum. This new love brings him into contact with others and helps in his development, as they accept him as he is.
Could be read alongside "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the N
Jun 23, 2015 Kathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Sparrow Migrations is not a story about plane crash survivors. It is a fascinating account of three families surviving the life they are currently living and their journeys toward finally finding happiness, and one I recommend to readers who want a unique story steeped in realistic struggles with a light at the end.

Cari Noga has used a plane crash on the Hudson River, deemed the "Miracle on the Hudson," in an unconventional sense in her newest novel, Sparrow Migrations. The plane crash, itself,
Kelsi H
Sep 19, 2015 Kelsi H rated it liked it
Please read more of my reviews at!

Sparrow Migrations takes as its inspiration the “Miracle on the Hudson” plane crash, and analyzes its effects on three different families. It is a real event with fictitious consequences, but written with an authenticity that makes them seem possible. The affected people all see the crash as a sign – but they read that sign in different ways. They use the emotions of that day to justify their actions moving forward, which are o
Jun 22, 2013 Kaitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finish Time: 4 days. Very interesting book premise. Finished quickly as the I was engaged in the story lines and couldn’t wait to find out what happened.

The book begins in January of 2009 when the “Miracle on the Hudson” happened in New York City. The book follows 3 sets of characters that were either aboard the flight or were on a ferry that witnessed it’s plunge into the Hudson River. The first is a set of parents Sam and Linda and their 12-year old autistic son, Robby. Robby becomes fascinate
Debbie Payne
Mar 09, 2016 Debbie Payne rated it really liked it
I received this book from a Goodreads Giveaway. This was a a book that had me interested from the beginning, and only it's slow start kept it from a five star rating. The book was well-written as it blended three families almost effortlessly through a significant life-changing event for all. It had a understated elegance about it that most first novelists don't have. As another reader stated, I think that the Robby, the autistic twelve-year old stood out with the best character development and I ...more
Sep 16, 2016 Jess rated it did not like it
Sorry cari. This book is bad... How many big issues can you squeeze in... Infertility gayness marriage-breakdown autism mothering teenage-angst and endangered-species. i couldn't relate to any of the characters, even with this wide net. Maybe cari should stick to magazine short stories.
Katey Schultz
Jun 23, 2016 Katey Schultz rated it liked it
[I had the honor of introducing this author after studying her work.]

Cari Noga Intro

We’re all here to listen to Cari’s alternative perspective on publishing dogma, and I have to say—this is one of the presentations I’ve been anticipating more than any other all week. No one quite has a story like Cari’s and perhaps that’s fitting, because after reading her novel Sparrow Migrations, I can’t say I’ve ever read a story quite like it, either.

What struck me most about Cari’s writing was her ability t
Jul 14, 2016 Z rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway in summer 2013.

I finally had the pleasure of reading it this past week. It is a very, very sweet book with a heartwarming message and very earthy undertones. The stories presented are characteristic of a deep, uniquely American melancholy over the status of certain insurmountable hurdles in life, but their final note of flavor resonates with a peaceful hope, and calm, sunny outlook, sort of like the mix between the nostalgia of the last day of summer
Aug 09, 2013 Becca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
*** I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. ***

This book was a quick read that I enjoyed. There are 3 intersecting stories, and the connections between characters interesting and somewhat unexpected - which added an element of surprise.

I didn't find Robby, the budding autistic ornithologist, as well-written or captivating as other similar characters in contemporary literature (I'm primarily thinking of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time's main character,
Mar 02, 2015 Heidi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
"Sparrow Migrations uses a well-liked form of intertwining different narratives. The story follows Robby, a boy with autism, Deborah and Christopher, a couple dealing with infertility, and Brett, a pastor’s wife who reveals her homosexuality and deals with the aftermath. A single event, the “Hudson River miracle”, begins each story and by the end all are neatly tied together, this time characters actually involved in one another’s lives.

Cari Noga addresses three current issues in American societ
Jun 30, 2016 Katy rated it it was amazing
I got this book for free - a perk of owning a Samsung phone (the Samsung Kindle app gives you a choice of one free book a month). I am really glad I did, it was a really good read and I couldn't put it down - very enjoyable.

The book follows, mainly, three families and an event that ties their fates together. It does so slowly, but in a way that keeps you interested - and the way it happens is flawless and very believable.

I was surprised at how well the character Robby was depicted. He is autisti
alison  young
Sep 12, 2016 alison young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent story

Introducing three families all unrelated initially but who overcome adversity of different forms to meet in an unexpected way. The insight into autism is moving and the author deserves acclaim for introducing the topic into an adult novel
McKenzie Richardson
I received a copy of this book through Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely love books with interrelated characters and this is by far one of the best I have read. The characters and their stories are diverse and interesting. This is an amazing work detailing human relationships of all kinds.

I also loved the portrayal of Robby. This is one of the best fictional depictions of Autism Spectrum Disorders that I have read. I love how Noga is able to present Robby's experiences in a
Oct 03, 2013 Cnph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the intertwining of the character's paths and lives sometimes stretched credibility, the story was engrossing and the characters were drawn very well. It was a pleasure to read a novel where one could actually care about and like the characters! Their situations were described with much sensitivity and it was clear the author either knew or did considerable research on the subjects and issues with which they were dealing. The pace of the book was great as the story continued to propel ...more
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Writer, reader, mom
Bicyclist and wine lover
Sometimes four at once.

Newspapers are where I began my writing career more than 20 years ago.
After 10 years in a newsroom I started freelancing, writing for magazines, online publications, my local NPR affiliate and writing my first book, Road Biking Michigan, published in 2005. From 2007-2009 I wrote a blog, “Michigan Grapevine,” and self-syndicated a c
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“this crash proved anything, it was that the future was promised to no one. This day, this moment, right now, was all that mattered.” 0 likes
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