Five Star Review of Many Sparrows
by Lori Benton
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31 (KJV)
Come with me on a journey into the early American wilderness where the most basic need of mankind, survival, plays out moment by moment.
Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would…
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?
“Had it ever ended well when the world of red and white men collided?”
And collide they do! In the novel Many Sparrows, the reader journeys back to early America, even before the Revolutionary War, as the white man pressed forward into Native American lands. For a time peace seemed possible, but after the slaughter of a Indian named Logan’s family, he vows to murder every white man he comes across. This sets off a chain of events that will eventually lead to threats of war. Will those threats become a reality?
In the midst of this mounting tension, the young Inglesby family faces tension of their own.
“Perhaps this accident was a blessing in disguise. Philip would find no better path, or help. He’d already admitted to his misjudgment about the trail. He would return to them that evening and admit the full defeat, which wouldn’t be defeat in Claire’s estimation but triumph. She only wanted to retrace their steps before something worse befell them.”
But with morning light, hope and triumph are not to be. With her husband and son gone, Clare braces herself against her labor pains, bringing a baby girl into the world—a world suddenly as formidable and frightening as anything she could have imagined. Except for the helping hand of a stranger.
“You’ve got to keep steady now, Missus. Don’t let fear drive you beyond reason. I know it seems like nothing’s ever going to be right in your world again, but that’s a lie. I promise you, it’s a lie.”
Jeremiah Ring promises to help Clare recovering her kidnapped son, only to walk into a tangled mess of his own. But Clare is determined to find her missing son in spite of the dangers ahead.
“She would search under every stone, behind ever tree, inside every heathen hut she could force her way into. Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together or none of them would.”
But God has a lesson that Clare must learn. Can she wait on him? Trust in him? Clare tries over and over again to take matters into her own hands only to end in failure. Jeremiah encourages her to give her son to the Lord, to allow him to be in control, to work out his plan. But Clare cannot be still. Her faith wanes as God delays answering her prayer.
“She wanted to clench her fists and scream. To blame someone for this night’s failure. Only she didn’t understand what had gone wrong or who to blame? Mr. Cheramy? Rain Crow? Jeremiah? Nonhelema? Herself for daring to hope again? The Almighty—for letting any of this happen in the first place?”
Rich with heart and historic detail, Many Sparrows is an epic tale of love, faith, and courage to wait on God set against the back drop of Colonial America and Lord’s Dunmore’s War of 1774. I enjoyed reading this story. At times my heart raced in anticipation, at other times tears streamed down my cheeks at the pain these women bore. I whole-heartedly recommend this novel. It’s a journey worth taking! Be prepared to grow in Christ as we’re reminded often to let God be God. He values the life of a sparrow, are we not much better than they?
“Don’t go judging the Almighty by your own understanding. We’re rarely given eyes to see the whole of what He’s doing in our lives or through us. That’s why we’re called to walk by faith, not by sight.”
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.