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The Sparrow Sisters

(The Sparrow Sisters #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  3,648 ratings  ·  464 reviews
With echoes of the alchemy of Practical Magic, the lushness of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, and the darkly joyful wickedness of the Witches of East End, Ellen Herrick’s debut novel spins an enchanting love story about a place where magic whispers just beneath the surface and almost anything is possible, if you aren’t afraid to listen

The Sparrow sisters are as tightly woven int
Paperback, 365 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Marilyn Dahl Yes there is an excellent second book, The Forbidden Garden. I hope there will be a third book to complete this series.

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Average rating 3.69  · 
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Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
I picked up The Sparrow Sisters with some pretty lofty expectations and I suppose I kind of set myself up for failure there. Being that I’ve ran through Sarah Addison Allen’s library, I’m always looking for new magical realism stories but they seem few and far between. This being compared to SAA as well as Practical Magic had me switching this to all signs point to yes. Unfortunately this was nothing but a disappointment and the magical realism tidbits just didn’t do it for me.

There are two part
I think the publishers oversold a bit on this debut, THE SPARROW SISTERS. This attempt to join the likes of Practical Magic by Hoffman, the novels of Sarah Allen Addison and those other writers who manage this specialized realm of magical realism and poignant whimsy, is not quite managed smoothly by author Ellen Herrick.

Generally, I am easily pleased and accepting within this chick lit subgenre. In the case of THE SPARROW SISTERS, the plot and characters were TOO familiar upon first meeting, ea
Dale Harcombe
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a bit out of left field for me. I picked it up solely because I loved the cover and the title. The Sparrow sisters are Sorrel, Nettie and Patience. Patience is noted throughout Granite Point, where the sisters live, as a healer with her floral and herbal remedies. Into Granite Point comes Henry Carlyle, a returned war hero and doctor. This is a love story and a story of family and of small communities. It has a fairy tale quality about it. Like all fairy tales where good exists, evi ...more
Evelyn Medina
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There is just SO MUCH I love about this book! From the minute I started reading, it reminded me of Practical Magic. Maybe it was the small town, the "magical" plants and herbs or the the closeness of the sisters but I was immediately hooked. What I loved most about this book was the fact that the author was able to find a balance between the fantasy/magical aspect of the story but also making the characters seem real. It wasn't over the top at all. I felt something for every single character in ...more
I’ve been craving a witchy book and this was one of the recommendations I got while searching through audible.

The Sparrow Sisters is Ellen Herrick debut novel. More than a witchy story is contemporary magical realism with a witchy slant.

The story is very reminiscent of Practical Magic. A small town in coastal New England, where a family of peculiar women has lived in the town since its foundation, and where everyone in town “knows” they’re different but they just go along with it, accepting it
Mar 09, 2017 rated it liked it
As a lover of magical realism I was excited to find this new author. From page 1 it is apparent that Herrick is a fan of Alice Hoffman and Sarah Allen Addison, both favorites of mine. While the story and settings were lovely, I found it kind of flat. Where Hoffman takes you into the character to the point where you have to scream ENOUGH sometimes, Herrick didn't go far enough. I really didn't care about any of them. The story was light, and sweet, then took a dark turn. Herrick's writing is good ...more
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I suspect that The Sparrow Sisters is going to draw a lot of comparisons to both Practical Magic and Garden Spells, and I think that’s both fair and pretty apt. You’ll get Alice Hoffman’s New England setting and Sarah Addison Allen’s small town charm. The writing has the gravitas of Alice Hoffman, but also the approachability of Sarah Addison Allen. And, of course, the magical realism of both. The “magic” in The Sparrow Sisters is more of the natural ability or affinity variety, rather than spel ...more
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Two stars: A book that starts out strong, but loses the magic and whimsy with a sad turn.

The Sparrow Sisters come from a long line of Sparrow women who have made their home in Granite Point. The Sparrow family has always been known for the eccentricities and healing abilities. Patience, Sorrel and Nettie are mysterious and magical. Patience seems to be able to talk to the plants, and she knows how each and every plant can be used for healing. The sisters run a large nursery, bursting with plant
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Too plain? Too tepid? Too flat? Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I found nothing particularly worthwhile in this book.

The combination of realistic romance and mysterious magic just didn't mix together well, in my opinion. I can see how the author was trying to sprinkle in charm and whimsical flavor, but it didn't catch my eye or capture my interest. One moment Patience seems to be a real witch aware of her powers over herbal remedies and healing touch, and the next moment the author pu
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
**Received as an ARC**

What an amazing, well developed story. I was sad to see it end, but I am glad that there may be a sequel. You can't help but fall in love with the characters and sitting of this book. Granite Point is a magical place with magical people.
Lian Dolan
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don't usually reach for books in the magical realism genre, but the title and cover caught my eye. And the novelist is a debut author who has waited a long time to see her first book in print and that appealed to me as a reader and late blooming novelist. I really enjoyed The Sparrow Sisters-- lots of great sister stuff, a touch of witchcraft, a pretty sexy romance and some fantastic gardening scenes. Yes, people, gardening scenes! A delightful, mystical story with a special setting and memora ...more
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an absolutely beautiful book!! Written with some fullness, the descriptions left you seeing and smelling the world Ms. Herrick created. I cried with both joy and sorrow while reading this book and stayed up late because once I passed a certain event in the book, I couldn't put it down. So perfect for a vacation read where you won't be interrupted if you get as enthralled as I did!
Oct 31, 2015 rated it did not like it
When I read the premise for this book I don't remember reading the references to Practical Magic or the Witches of East End. If I had this would have excited me more about reading this book. Now, that I have seen these references and experienced attempting to read this book, I am saddened. This is because this book was nothing like either of these references. I watched Practical Magic and found it charming, funny, and the sisters shared a great bond. Than there is the Witches of East End. I like ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a fan of Sarah Addison Allen and magical realism, I was thrilled to find a new author. The setting was beautifully described and filled with charm; Granite Point was vividly depicted by the author, as were the Sparrow Sisters. What made this book a 4 star read for me was a little loss of momentum. The beginning started off holding my interest quite well, and I wish that the entire book had captivated me as much. I am excited about the possibility of a follow-up on the Sisters. Overall, I real ...more
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was hooked on this book from page 1. I think Sorrel, Nettie and Patience are wonderful sisters who live in a fantastic town. Patience is the town healer and when a young man dies suspiciously she is arrested for murder. The "magic" around town starts dying with the fishermen catching nothing, the trees are dying and the gardens are not growing. Women decide they need to do something to save Patience and their town.
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Started out strong, and the main couple gave me lots of OTP feelings for another ship of mine. But then around the middle part it slowly fell apart and the author couldn't quite tie off all the strings she had going, not to mention some that weren't needed. The magical realism elements were a bit heavy handed, but then I tend to think of magical realism as being subtle and easy to take one way or the other.

So not a bad novel, just an underwhelming and clumsy one. Very obviously a debut.
Katie/Doing Dewey
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Summary: Although there were a few things I didn't like about this book, overall it was exactly what I look for in a cozy, magical realism read.

"The Sparrow sisters are as tightly woven into the seaside New England town of Granite Point as the wild sweet peas that climb the stone walls along the harbor. Patience Sparrow is the town healer and when a new doctor settles into Granite Point he brings with him a mystery so compelling that Patience is drawn to love him, even as she struggles to mend h
DJ Sakata
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: womens-fiction
Favorite Quotes:

“She knew that sometimes Patience’s rich interior life, a thing of bright colors, strong scents, and a good deal of swearing, burst forth. The smells that followed her were the most noticeable, and even the town had learned to interpret at least some of the scents that wrapped around the youngest sister.”

“Matty was the only one Patience shared her secrets with. He listened with rapt attention as if the names themselves held power. As Patience listed the various ailments her plant
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Granite Point is an old New England town, its roots stretching back to the earliest settlers. It's the kind of small town where if you weren't born there you will forever be an outsider. Family and tradition are valued above all else and there is no family more ancient or honored than the Sparrow Sisters. Their ancestors were founding fathers of the town but the three Sparrow sisters who live there now are the last of the family.

Sorrell is the eldest, a brunette. She and Nettie, a blonde, were
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Sparrow sisters - Sorrel, Nettie, and Patience - are just part of the story that is Granite Point. Albeit a very large part considering the girls' ancestors were one of the founding families of the town. History has it that one of the earliest Sparrow women was even accused of witchcraft.

Now, generations later, the sisters run a nursery that brings folks from both near and far thanks to their remarkable green thumbs. And Patience is a known healer, concocting tinctures, teas, and infusions
Nov 17, 2016 rated it liked it
This review and more can be found on the blog: http://greatreadsandtealeaves.blogspo...

"For a second he was almost frightened. Not by Patience exactly but by this place where sisters sensed each other in the dark, this town that believed a young woman could keep them well with nothing but her garden: an ordinary place where flowers bloomed long past the first frost and people sniffed the air to guess what Patience Sparrow might be feeling before they checked the weather."

I'm a fan of magical re
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Sparrow Sisters is a book far removed from the books I usually choose to read. It’s full of all of the things I really don’t like in stories; modern settings, boy meets girl/girl doesn’t like boy/yet love is in the air romance, and that new term in storytelling, magical realism. And yet I was enthralled. The titular sisters are all single and live in Granite Point a New England town with a long history. Their ancestors were among the founders of the town. Now the three of them live in their ...more
Chance Dagger
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read an advance copy of this novel and enjoyed it immensely. The author has created the charming and charmed town of Granite Point on the Massachusetts coast and peopled it with a vivid cast of characters, all of whom are under the gravitational pull of the three Sparrow Sisters — Nettie, Sorrel, and Impatiens, whom the townsfolk call Patience.

Patience is anything but; she has little time for critics and is a strong, single woman who is content to work in the family nursery and dispense her h
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, womens, 2015
The Sparrow sisters’ family was among the founders of the small New England town of Granite Point and even though they keep to themselves, they are an integral part of their community. The three adult sisters live together in the family home and run a nursery, providing the town with fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and, thanks to Patience’s special talents, home remedies. There is a bit of magic, a love story, a tragedy, and a courtroom drama, but mostly this is a charming story of small tow ...more
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In the genre of magical realism, like Sarah Addison Allen, the Sparrow Sisters captured my attention as soon as the book started, "all stories are true. Some of them actually happened". Patience, Sorrel and Nettie are the sisters who run a nursery in Granite Point. Using homeopathic type remedies, Patience heals many of the town's ills. The new doctor in town, Henry Carlysle, becomes involved with Patience and the story takes off from there.
Apr 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance-chic-lit
The Sparrow sisters are a fixture in Granite Point. The family helped found the town and the sisters and their nursery have a way of making everything and everyone feel better. When Henry Carlyle moves to town and takes over the medical practice, he learns that the sisters, especially Patience have a way of healing. Patience just seems to know how to make people better, blending her herbs and flowers into remedies that cure most everything.

But, when young Matty Short dies and his father accuses
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5-4- Three sisters with naturopathic healing, gardening,romance, tragedy and a bit of magic all tossed together.The tale starts out light and mysterious but grows dark. When tragedy strikes, do your friends stand with you or against you? Definitely, a reinvention of the Salem Witch trials in this small New England town. It was not perfect and possibly clumsy in parts as some of the other reviewers have stated but I enjoyed it enough to start on Sorrel's story in the next book. There was enough ...more
Tasha Seegmiller
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The way that the relationship between sisters is depicted, the feeling of the house and the sister's garden, how the characters interact with each other are just a few of the reasons I loved this book. There is magic here, woven into the characters and plot as if it's a perfectly natural presence. The plot was engaging, the emotions real, and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey Herrick took me on.
Adrien Fisher
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
For fans of Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, or Sarah Addison Allen. I picked it up because it was on a cozy fall reads list, disappointing since it all takes place over one summer. But a good magical realism read. Be aware the last third is a courtroom drama.
Gayle Mccormick
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
really? magic and romance and they all lived happily ever after.... yeah right!
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Ellen Herrick lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a small seaside town very much like Granite Point. She spent nearly ten years in the book publishing business as a publicist before moving to to England where she raised three children and traveled like crazy. After sixteen years in London, it was the ocean that called her home.

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The Sparrow Sisters (2 books)
  • The Forbidden Garden

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“Roses climbed the shed, entwined with dark purple clematis, leaves as glossy as satin. There were no thorns. Patience's cupboard was overflowing with remedies, and the little barn was often crowded with seekers. The half acre of meadow was wild with cosmos and lupine, coreopsis, and sweet William. Basil, thyme, coriander, and broad leaf parsley grew in billowing clouds of green; the smell so fresh your mouth watered and you began to plan the next meal. Cucumbers spilled out of the raised beds, fighting for space with the peas and beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and bright yellow peppers.
The cart was righted out by the road and was soon bowed under glass jars and tin pails of sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, and salvia. Pears, apples, and out-of-season apricots sat in balsa wood baskets in the shade, and watermelons, some with pink flesh, some with yellow, all sweet and seedless, lined the willow fence.”
“The Sparrow Sisters' roses still bloomed on New Year's Day, their scent rich and warm even when snow weighted their petals closed. When customers came down the rutted road to the small eighteenth-century barn where the sisters worked, they marveled at the jasmine that twined through the split-rail fence, the perfume so intense they could feel it in their mouths. As they paid for their purchases, they wondered (vaguely, it must be said, for the people of Granite Point knew not to think too hard about the Sisters) how it was that clematis and honeysuckle climbed the barn in November and the morning glories bloomed all day. The fruit trees were so fecund that the peaches hung on the low branches, surrounded by more blossoms, apples and pears ripened in June and stayed sweet and fresh into December. Their Italian fig trees were heavy with purple teardrop fruit only weeks after they were planted. If you wanted a tomato so ripe the juice seemed to move beneath the skin, you needed only to pick up a punnet at the Nursery.” 2 likes
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