This post is part of the Litfuse Publicity blog tour for Many Sparrows.
~ About the Book ~
In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.
When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son…especially when her second child is moments away from being born.
Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release date: 29 August 2017
~ Review ~
I find myself at a loss for words when I have to review one of Lori Benton’s books. How do you do justice to a story that is at once exquisitely heartrending and powerfully inspiring in a few brief paragraphs? Impossible. And yet here I am, trying to do just that. It will probably require a number of repetitions of the word ‘exquisite’, so I apologise for that in advance, but it is the word that repeatedly comes to mind. Exquisite writing, exquisite pain, and yet exquisite beauty in and through that pain.
Clare’s story is every mother’s nightmare. Stranded in the middle of nowhere and trying to spare her young son the distress of seeing his mother in labour, she takes herself a short distance away while he sleeps, returning later to discover him gone. When Jeremiah Ring agrees to help her find her son, no physical hardship can turn her from her purpose, but when they find him, the emotional hardship she must endure is surely more than should be borne by any mother. Why should she have to live among these people who stole her child? To respect their way of life and traditions, or Rain Crow, the Shawnee woman who now claims Jacob as her adopted son? And for how long? And yet, to steal Jacob back would be an almost certain death sentence.
Jeremiah Ring had no idea how close Clare’s struggle would hit to home when he agreed to help her find her son. Himself an adopted brother of the Shawnee warrior Falling Hawk, he shares the grief that is driving his Native American brothers and sisters, but as a believer, he also knows that taking revenge on the colonists and stealing children isn’t going to satisfy that grief. As he finds himself caught between two women and two worlds, he holds to the promise that not a sparrow falls to the ground without God seeing, and yet he acknowledges that it doesn’t promise sparrows will never fall. “It comes down to this: crying out to the Lord and clinging to His promise that He [is] vigilant enough, present enough, loving enough, and good enough to deal with it all.”
This is a powerful and moving story of just what it means to be still and wait upon the Lord; to trust Him when His ways are beyond human understanding. It’s the kind of story that knits the truth into your very marrow—that our God is a God who has His eye on every sparrow, and that “He’s working all the while, before and behind and beside us“, even when we don’t see it. This little gem is going straight to the pool room.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of this review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
~ 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.