Book Review: Sparrow Migrations by Cari Noga

Sparrow Migrations (Click on book for description)
By Cari Noga
Downloaded free on 6/9/13

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 fascinated and fixated on the geese that caused/may have caused the plane to descend (as he watched from a ferry in the Hudson) and his story line follows this new interest and the journey it takes him and his family.  The second story line is Brett (female).  Brett was in NYC having a secret affair on her pastor husband, Richard, and daughter Amanda back at home in Scranton.  She was discovered aboard a ferry that picked up the survivors of the plane crash and that becomes her defining moment as she makes some changes in her life.  And last there is Christopher and Deborah, a couple aboard the plane, in their 40’s, dealing with infertility.  Deborah sees the crash as a defining moment and that combined with some shocking news from her sister and not being on the same page as her husband, sets the scene for their story line.

All three stories were jam packed with their own twists and turns, ups and downs, and each in and of itself would have made for a great story, but I enjoyed the bouncing back and forth.  My favorite was probably following Robby.  As I finished the book I noticed that the author has an autistic child, and as Robby is autistic in the book, I’m guessing many of his characteristics and actions may have been pulled either from familiarity with autism or from personal experience.   The author did a great job at describing how the parents felt and how they internalized (and externalized) their emotions, confusion, wanting to understand, and just how they dealt with Robby, not your average, yet extremely gifted 12-year old.  She also did a great job at getting inside his head to explain his thought process and emotions (or lack thereof).  Very well done and very interesting to be a part of his journey and those he had met and inspired along the way.

The other two story lines were also very developed and you feel for Deborah and Brett as they face their own challenges and come out stronger in the end.  It was far from a “happy” story, but it was a great story (well 3) that as the book progressed you could see coming together that led up to a very satisfying ending for all.

Worth my time, worth yours too!

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