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Sparrow Migrations

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,080 Ratings  ·  111 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, 332 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 sol ...more
Larry H
Jun 09, 2015 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
Apr 14, 2013 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 resu ...more
Jen Winckler
Jan 14, 2014 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!
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorites of 2017. I'm glad this came up on my radar. There were 3 distinct stories but they all Intersected. Lovely.
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 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
Feb 20, 2015 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 underwhelm ...more
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
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 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
Jan 21, 2014 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 thoug ...more
Kristen Barringer
Mar 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book reads like a made-for-TV movie on the Lifetime channel. Starts off with the Miracle on the Hudson, passengers on the wing, then goes back to tell their stories. A woman who wants a baby, a couple with marital problems, a woman questioning her sexuality, and a young boy on the Autism Spectrum. And surprise, all the stories are intertwined!
There were a few quick scenes that I found educational, mainly about the young boy. I found it interesting to learn how he perceived the world. The t
Feb 06, 2014 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 t ...more
Sylvia Walker
May 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature, fiction
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 birder ...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 23, 2015 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.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book

This is the story of three families’ lives, all affected by one event - Sully’s plane landing in the Hudson River. Their stories are separate but all converge. They’re all told with delicate detail, each character brought to life. I enjoyed listening to half of this and then reading the rest. The author’s ability to weave these stories together kept the pages turning.

*one oopsie on page 9 on IVF technical terms. Otherwise, fairly spot on when discussing infertility.
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story about an autistic boy

This was a pretty good story. It's about family living with an autistic child and a relationship that was on the dockside to dishonesty. And how ornithology brought everyone together.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book

I cannot recommend this book enough. Many characters that intertwine through the book. Robbie, an autistic child is my fav character. The author caught his thoughts perfectly. I don't rate many books 5 stars but this one earned it for me
Janis Paquette
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great first novel by Cari Noga. Clearly she has a deep understanding of autism's quirks and foibles. The book grabs you early on and won't let you go til the end!
Melissa Truelove
An amazing book!

This book showed the lives of so many in situations that occur everyday. Showing the various sides of autism was a great choice as well.
Alsyon C Nagy
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. Lots of moving parts to keep you interested all the way through the book.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, shelfslam2017
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Interesting novel that tied a lot of different story lines together and touched on the human side of relevant but tough topics.
Jun 22, 2015 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 05, 2015 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 18, 2013 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
Jul 11, 2015 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
Katey Schultz
May 08, 2016 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
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Autism Families a...: Free Kindle version through 6/9/13 3 21 Jun 06, 2013 03:47PM  
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I write resilience stories about contemporary, unconventional families. My second novel, The Orphan Daughter, will be out May 8, 2018. It explores whether prickly Jane McArdle will do better at motherhood her second time around, after her orphaned niece Lucy Ortiz moves from New York City to Jane's Michigan farm. It's set where I've lived for 20 years, Traverse City, Michigan, which made it a lot ...more
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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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