Blog Reviews

Historical Novel Society Editor's Choice: "In this amazingly written and deeply researched book, Amy Belding Brown delivers 17th-century Massachusetts to the reader with a prose that springs from the page and wraps you in wonder. Flight of the Sparrow showcases the author’s imagination bound by her dedication to historical fact. Her writing engages with a passion and longing as Rowlandson struggles with a life she desires living in the woods with the Indians or reverting to a subservient Puritan wife and mother. As Mary tells her husband, 'The truth is..that my time in the wilderness has changed me. Forever.' And so will you be. This is a book for both readers of literary fiction as well as those who love a well-researched work of historical fiction."


​Library Journal Starred Review:  "Brown's second novel (after Mr. Emerson's Wife) examines how the early English settlers made their way to the New World, built their communities, and related to the established Native American culture. The author retells the real-life story of Mary Rowlandson (1637–1711), a resident of an outpost town in 1600s Massachusetts, who was taken in an Indian raid and eventually restored to English society. After her capture, Mary becomes a slave to a powerful female Indian leader and witnesses savage cruelty as well as kindness. She also enjoys a new freedom she never experienced in her old life. When she is finally returned to her minister husband, Mary is conflicted by the prejudice her community bears against the native peoples even as they are defeated by the English armies and forced into small, guarded encampments. VERDICT Brown has written an engaging and enjoyable novel based on solid research. Students of history may be put off by the trappings of a romance in the story line but will value the authentic representation of early Colonial America and the more sympathetic portrait of Native Americans that is lacking in James Alexander Thom's similar Follow the River."—Cheryl Bryan, Orleans, MALibrary Journal Booksmack! LJXpress Prepub School Library Journal Horn Book Guide Horn Book Magazine Junior Library Guild

“Brown retells the actual events surrounding Mary Rowlandson’s abduction to expose the difficult role of women in colonial Puritan society, explore Mary’s quest for freedom and offer a fuller understanding of her faith.  She eloquently allows Mary’s story to unfold, while ransporting the reader into the rigid world of the Puritans and juxtaposing that with the more natural life of the Native Americans.  Brown’s story is as much inspirational as it is historical, and more intriguing because it is true.” –RT Book Reviews  

"A mesmerizing tale of survival and awakening. Flight of the Sparrow breathes life into Mary Rowlandson's captivity narrative.  The deftly depicted cross cultural friendship reminded me of Caleb's Crossing and the fast-paced story kept me turning pages.  Belding Brown has crafted a fine-limned portrait of a remarkable and resourceful woman." - Donna Thorland, author of The Turncoat and The Rebel Pirate.

"Flight of the Sparrow is a fresh, engaging chronicle of the human heart that breathes life into a vital but oft-neglected chapter of our history.  Amy Belding Brown has turned an authentic drama of Indian captivity into a compelling, emotionally gripping tale that is at once wrenching and soulful."  - Eliot Pattison, author of the Mystery of Colonial America series.

Flight of the Sparrow Reviews

​​Amy Belding Brown