Many Sparrows (2017) by Lori Benton is a stand-alone novel that recently released on August 29, 2017. This book comes in all forms including eBook, and is 389 pages in length. With a full-time job and a precocious five-year old, this novel took me five days to read. I received a free copy of Many Sparrows through the Litfuse Publicity Group. This has not influenced my opinions in this review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. I give this novel 5+ STARS. This story is an epic Historical Christian novel set in America in 1774.
About the Book
When settler Clare Inglesby is widowed on a mountain crossing and her young son, Jacob, captured by Shawnees, she’ll do everything in her power to get him back, including cross the Ohio River and march straight into the presence of her enemies deep in Indian country. Frontiersman and adopted Shawnee, Jeremiah Ring, promises to guide Clare through the wilderness and help her recover Jacob.
Once they reach the Shawnees and discover Jeremiah’s own Shawnee sister, Rain Crow, has taken custody of Jacob–renaming him Many Sparrows–keeping his promise becomes far more complicated, the consequences more wrenching, than Jeremiah could have foreseen.
About the Author
Lori Benton was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring and photographing the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of Burning Sky, recipient of three Christy Awards, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, Christy-nominee The Wood’s Edge, and A Flight of Arrows.
Find out more about Lori at http://loribenton.blogspot.com.
Many Sparrows may be one of the most intense and beautifully written stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading. This is a story that will haunt me for a long while. I had an English professor in college whose specialty is Native American studies. He is a card-carrying member of the Cherokee Nation, and he used to regale class with story after story about the Cherokee and the plight they experienced at the hands of White Man. I wrote my Master thesis on Native American children’s picture books and the damaging ways of White Man on their various cultures. All this to say, I thought I understood the damage done to the Native Americans. Now having read Many Sparrows, I can say I have, in a minute way, experienced some of their pain. What was done to Native Americans in the name of Progress was reprehensible. What was done to women, both Native and non-native alike, in the name of Progress was downright abuse. My former professor used to often say that America was built upon the backs of women, slaves, and Native Americans. After reading this novel, I can completely see my former professor’s point.
The characters in Many Sparrows are perfectly written. This novel follows the many staggering and death-defying adventures of Clare Inglesby and Jeremiah Ring. Clare is 26 years old and 8 months pregnant at the start of this story. What her husband forces her to do in that state — travel across terrible, treacherous terrain in an attempt to flee Virginia for a potential settlement in Kentucky — is downright stupefying. I have never been more angry with a fictional character than I was with Philip Inglesby. He is SO selfish and self-centered. His focus is never on his wife and four-year old son. Their protection, safety, and needs come second to him. He, of course makes a seriously stupid choice, which gets him killed, leaving Clare to fend for herself, her four year old, and her unborn baby without ANY help. Clare is one of the most amazing female characters I have ever read. She is strength personified! She is amazing. And, Jeremiah is a perfect leading man. He loves Jesus, is compassionate and kind, and is a selfless protector. The relationship that blossoms between Clare and Jeremiah is genuine, real, and so sweet.
I will refrain from commenting on anything about the plot of the novel because I really feel this book needs to be experienced without any hints from me. Suffice it to say, Clare suffers one of the worst things that could ever happen to a mother. I had to put this book down several times to go hug my child. I also had to pray several times during my reading of this book thanking God for protecting my child. If you have read my page on Laura Frantz’s novels, then you will know that I almost lost my daughter. But God, in His time and way, healed her. Reading this novel was hard for me. Losing a child in any way is a terrible trial. Almost losing a child is also a terrible ordeal. It does bad things to your mind and to your heart. I do not wish this upon any woman or man. The best take away from this novel is the theme of trusting God’s perfect plan. I am a control freak. If I can control everything then I can keep bad things from happening…is what my mind tells me, but I know it’s not true. I have always said that I believe my times are in God’s Hands, but I know many times I have not believed that in my heart. Like Clare in this novel, I have had to stop and consider just how much I truly trust in God. God knows what it is like to lose a child. He knows the pain and the suffering. God doesn’t allow anything unless He knows it can draw us closer to Him. Do you go to God when things get rough? Or do you yell and scream at Him in anger? If you are like me, then there have probably been times when you yelled and screamed. The first time I truly trusted God was during my ordeal with Bella. I wasn’t perfect. There were many days I yelled and screamed. But, I genuinely could not get control of the situation. If it weren’t for God, I never would have made it through, and boy am I glad I did. Now, I get to play and read and make dinner and give baths and enjoy every second of my kiddo’s beautiful life. No matter what is going on right now in your life, give it all over to God. He is waiting for you with open arms! Reading this novel reminded me of this, and for that I am truly grateful I read Many Sparrows.
Many Sparrows is amazing story, and Lori Benton is one talented writer. I pray God blesses her with many, many more future stories! This novel is intense, heart-wrenching, at times painful, and completely beautiful. I highly recommend this novel. You will not be disappointed in this story.
I am giving away ONE (1) paperback copy of Many Sparrows by Lori Benton. This giveaway begins today, 9-30-17 at 12:00 am and ends on Saturday, 10-7-17 at 12:00 am. Good Luck!
CONGRATS TO KAILEY BECHTEL! YOU ARE THE WINNER OF THE MANY SPARROWS GIVEAWAY. CHECK YOUR INBOX FOR AN EMAIL FROM ME. AND, THANK YOU ALL TO THOSE WHO COMPETED IN THIS GIVEAWAY!!!
***Please Note: Open to Continental U.S. mailing addresses only.*** Winner will be notified via email at the end of the giveaway, and will be announced here on this page.