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Flight of the Sparrow

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  8,827 ratings  ·  1,099 reviews
She suspects that she has changed too much to ever fit easily into English society again. The wilderness has now become her home. She can interpret the cries of birds. She has seen vistas that have stolen away her breath. She has learned to live in a new, free way.... 

Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1676. Even before Mary Rowlandson is captured by Indians on a winter day of viol
Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by NAL
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  8,827 ratings  ·  1,099 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story is a great reminder of how much the world has changed......and even how much has not changed.

Mary Rowlandson was a Puritan woman... in Massachusetts Bay colony, in 1676. It was a man's world. Women did not participate in town meetings and were excluded from decision making in the church. Mary was married to a preacher --a subordinate to her husband. If Mary questioned The authority of the established church she would risk terrible punishment such as public humiliation including a whi
"She throws the bird up into the air, but it drops to the snow, flaps its wings twice and flutters toward the cage. Mary stares down at it. The cage is the only home Row has known. With all the strength that she can muster, she kicks the cage away. The bird rises, turns west, then north, darts over the roof of the house, and is instantly gone."

And we are left with the impending transformation of Mary White Rowlandson. Perhaps it is not only Mary's metamorphosis, but admittedly, our own. This is
Diane S ☔
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
There is always something special about reading a novel based on the life of an actual person. This book is abut Mary Rowlandson, married to a preacher and living in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1676. She and her three children are captured by Indians, and kept for three months until she is ransomed. The Puritan society was a harsh, judgmental society, one to which I am so happy not to have belonged. The husband is the head of the household and all must submit. Children are not treated with m ...more
Cathrine ☯️
“I hope readers will come away with a sense of what it was like to live in Puritan culture and society…and an awareness of the complexity of English-Native relationships in the 1600s.”

I would say she succeeded. I am fairly well read on the subject of United States Native American culture/issues in the 1700-1800s concerning tribes from the plains over to the western coast, but was not so enlightened with this time period or area. I certainly did not know that tribal members were exported int
Stephanie Anze
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“How strange that venturing away from accepted wisdom was the very path by which she found herself.”

Mary Rowlandson is the wife of the Reverend and mother to four children in the Massachusetts Bay colony. While she lacks for nothing, her Puritan lifestyle is very strict and she has to to submit to her husband's lead and has no voice of her own. On a winter morning, Mary's town is attacked by Indians. Mary and her children are among those taken and forced to follow the tribe as it moves avoiding
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it

Living in a structured house, living in a wetu.

Having enough food, always hungry.

Not showing love to your children, cherishing your children.

Living a strict Puritan existence, living carefree.

Never experiencing the pleasure of nature, hearing every little part of nature.

All those statements show the differences Mary Rowlandson found when comparing her Puritan life to her life in Indian captivity.

Which way would you want to live?​

Mary Rowlandson and many others were captured by Indians and were f
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
1670's, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Mary Rowlandson is married to a Puritan minister and has three children. This is the story of the attack of their village by Indians and capture of her and her children. It is based on the true story of what she endured, not only her time with the Indians but also with her return to the English. All her life she was taught to hate Indians, fear God and submit to her husband in a religion where women have no rights, where grieving for a dead child is even frowned ...more
3.5 stars. An engaging book with some unignorable flaws.

This story is a fictionalized account of Mary Rowlandson's life, particularly her experience as a captive of a Native American tribe for almost 3 months. I picked this book because I wanted to read a fiction book about Native Americans, and it's nearly impossible to find any that aren't cheesy romance novels (blech!). And although this one dances dangerously close to being a romance, it ultimately stays grounded in serious historical fictio
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is a work of historical fiction based on the captivity narrative of Mary Rowlandson. (Note: I have read the original work. It was assigned and discussed in several of my undergrad classes.) I must put a major emphasis on it being FICTION. I found that this work takes huge liberties with the character of Mary. Although it is true, only basic facts are known about her life beyond what we are presented with in her narrative, this novel's version of who she may have been just seems to really be ...more
Mika Ryan
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent read and a well-researched history of the relationship between the English settlers and the Native Indians.
Patsy Gantt
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
TEN STARS to Amy Belding Brown's Flight of the Sparrow. Couldn't put it down. For the past several years I have felt that every book tells the same old sad stories just cast with characters of different names/descriptions. You would think the "old south" has nothing but poor little rich debutantes rebelling against their planned marriages. If I see another "secrets revealed" book where the heroine finds her great grandmother's lost love letters in a trunk in the attic or hidden behind a floor bo ...more
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
A captivating story of the Puritan culture in 17th century colonial America. Mary Rowlandson is married to a strict and uncompromising Puritan minister. Her life revolves around serving her husband, raising her children and keeping her home. Yet, Mary has felt constricted and confined by the Puritan standards. Mary and her children are captured by Native Americans when their homes and village are brutally attacked. In her time of captivity, Mary experiences cruelty, but also is at times shown ki ...more
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Elizabeth by: pam e.
Solid read based on the true story of a Puritan woman who was taken into captivity by the Native Americans in the late 1600s. She is later returned to her family and finds that she has changed in ways that make it difficult to live her previous life of piety and submission. Her questioning of the conventionality of the time leads to problems for her in her marriage and within her community. The novel mostly focuses on her internal struggle and frustration of trying to fit back into "civilized" l ...more
Jocelyn Green
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This stark and poignant look at early relations between English settlers and native Americans will appeal to fans of Lori Benton, Laura Frantz, and J.M. Hochstetler. I absolutely loved the nuances and complexities Amy Belding Brown carefully wove together in each of the main characters. My reading of this was likely enhanced by my earlier reading of the nonfiction book, Unredeemed Captive by John Demos, which I highly recommend as well. But even if you don't read Demos, if you have any interest ...more
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.

I had forgotten what it was like to be consumed by a great work of historical fiction. Flight of the Sparrow is everything historical fiction should be. I felt transported to seventeenth century Massachusetts and learned so much about the Puritan way of life as well as the Native American way of life. This time period is such a little known era in colonial American history and I don't recall King Phillip's War being taught in my history c
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Based on the true story of Mary Rowlandson an English immigrant living in Massachusetts who was captured by Indians in the 1600’s. Mary who was the wife of a strict Puritan Minister later wrote about her experiences in a book which exists today, though it was highly edited by the church to dispel Mary’s true feelings which were that she learned to appreciate the freedom to enjoy nature and the kindness she was allowed while with the tribe.
“She suspects that she has changed too much to ever fit
Sharon Huether
In 1676 Mary Rowlandson a Puritan and a wife of a minister is captured by Indians along with her three children. The Indians burned her home and took Mary and her children into the wilderness.
They were cold, hungry and the tasks before them were hard and grueling.

With all the difficult times also came gentleness and caring . Mary observed how the Indian women cared for their children, only admonishing them in love and not a switch or strap as she had witness in her own home.

Mary was returned to
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
My husband will sometimes ask me if I would like to live back in the 1800’s or 1700’s or earlier – especially having the knowledge we have today. I always tell him no – the past wasn’t a kind place for women. And it certainly wasn’t a kind place for Mary Rowlandson, a Puritan wife in 1676, married to a minister. Her husband ruled their household and if she disagreed, he could have her put in stocks in the town center. Mary was stubborn and often disobeyed her husband but made sure he didn’t find ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars - Incredible. I really loved it.

‘Tis why I travel by night, for I know you English regard darkness as your enemy. Is it not why you whitewash the insides of your houses? Why you endlessly dip candles and press oil for your lamps? Why you are forever talking about light?

A thought-provoking read that has you looking at different ways cultures treat one another and varied expectations and societal pressures. It also contrasts how differently thinking has changed since the 17th century, es
Marie Z. Johansen
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was offered the opportunity to review this book by a wonderful publisher's representative. She had not been sure that I would like "Flight Of The Sparrow" since she had read (and how cool is that she actually looked and read!) my preferences, and had noticed that I tend to 'specialize' in European historical fiction from the 10th through 19th centuries. I am SO glad that she contacted me since is a true gem of a book! I would have been unfortunate had I missed this chance to read it!

"Flight of
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
I didn't know a great deal about the puritans prior to reading this book. I can't say I still know a great deal, but having a small glimpse into that period of history perhaps provides some understanding of contemporary US cultural identity, as opposed to the culture in a country (for example) settled by convicts.

My reason for reading this wasn't necessarily due to interest in the puritans, but rather the interest in the abduction storyline. Sadly Mary's abduction and subsequent time with the Ni
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
Mary Rowlandson an English woman, mother, wife, married to her pastor husband when she is kidnapped by Indians when her town is raided. Mary feels disdain towards her captors in the witnessing of family and friends viciously slaughtered during the raid.

Mary's faith keeps her going during her uncertain days in captivity. Despite her animosity and fear she takes notice of the kind gestures and goodwill her captors grant her. Mary begins to take solace in the Indian way of life and questions her '
For me, this was a good read, but nothing made it special. About half way through the book I discovered that each character is real and each historical event happened. However, the author created her own story inspired from Mary Rowlandson's captivity.

I appreciated the main character's development throughout the novel, but felt that I did not get the proper amount of time to see with the character to fully understand her. Personally, I felt that too little time was spent on her time as a slave i
Connie Sadowinski
First, I love the cover and the vintage looking pages of this book! Secondly, I enjoyed reading this historical novel that was based on real people and true events. Although sometimes graphic, Flight of the Sparrow was deeply moving; I couldn’t help but feel for the characters. Amy knows how to keep her readers turning pages. This one will be added to my favourites shelf. If you like historical fiction, you may like this book.
This captivating story is based on a true narrative of Mary Rowlandson. Her family flees England in 1639, when she is two years old, “part of the Great Migration of Puritans to New England, seeking relief from the apostasy of King Charles.” Her family settles in Salem and later moves to Lancaster.

She gets married to a minister at the age of twenty. She learns to submit her will to her husband and to accept his corrections. “He reminds her that a woman must be subject to her husband in all thing
Carole P. Roman
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Extraordinary story about the early Puritan settlers that colonized the Northeast coast. This insightful book is the tale of Mary, a minister's wife who's courage and reason is tested when she and her children are captured by marauding Native Americans. This is not a one dimensional book. Mary is a sensitive, but moral woman. She helps congregants other shun, defying her husband behind his back. She is torn, struggling with the double standard and the lack of Christian charity. Her entire world ...more
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-own
What an amazing work of historical fiction! I think it will always haunt me. Brown has taken real seventeenth century people living in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and woven an unforgettable story around them. Mary and her three surviving children are taken captive after the brutal destruction of her village and forced into slavery by her captors before being ransomed over three months later. Her experiences living among the Nipmuc people changed her forever and were fascinating to read about. H ...more
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the captivity part. We can find kindness where we least expect it. Thank God we live in an age where we are not enslaved by Puritanical views.
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This story had me hooked from the first page. Highly recommend if you are into historical fiction.
Gretchen Alice
Jun 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
Look, I'm not super interested in a story about a white woman learning that Native Americans are not terrible, no matter how "historical" it is.
(Gonna be a real fun book club discussion tonight. liz lemon eye roll.gif)
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Amy Belding Brown, a graduate of Bates College, received her Master of Fine Arts degree in January 2002, from Vermont College of Norwich University, where she worked closely with Bret Lott and Victoria Redel. After living and working in central Massachusetts for nearly twenty years, she returned to her native Vermont in 2011, where she continues to write poetry and fiction. She is the author of Fl ...more

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Contemporary young adult literature has often led the way in depicting the real-life issues facing teens from all backgrounds. To delve into ho...
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“How strange that venturing away from accepted wisdom was the very path by which she found herself” 1 likes
“Our soul, as bird, escapéd is out of the fowler’s snare: the snare asunder broken is; and we delivered are. —Psalm 124, Verse 7
The Bay Psalm Book,* 1640”
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