Title: The Sparrow Sisters
Author: Ellen Herrick
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Magical Realism/Fantasy
With echoes of the alchemy of Practical Magic, the lushness of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, and the darkly joyful wickedness of the Witches of East End, Ellen Herrick’s debut novel spins an enchanting love story about a place where magic whispers just beneath the surface and almost anything is possible, if you aren’t afraid to listen.
The Sparrow Sisters are as tightly woven into the seaside New England town of Granite Point as the wild sweet peas that climb the stone walls along the harbor. Sorrel, Nettie and Patience are as colorful as the beach plums on the dunes and as mysterious as the fog that rolls into town at dusk.
Patience is the town healer and when a new doctor settles into Granite Point he brings with him a mystery so compelling that Patience is drawn to love him, even as she struggles to mend him. But when Patience Sparrow’s herbs and tinctures are believed to be implicated in a local tragedy, Granite Point is consumed by a long-buried fear—and its three hundred year old history resurfaces as a modern day witch-hunt threatens. The plants and flowers, fruit trees and high hedges begin to wither and die, and the entire town begins to fail; fishermen return to the harbor empty-handed, and blight descends on the old elms that line the lanes.
It seems as if Patience and her town are lost until the women of Granite Point band together to save the Sparrow. As they gather, drawing strength from each other, will they be able to turn the tide and return life to Granite Point?
The Sparrow Sisters is a beautiful, haunting, and thoroughly mesmerizing novel that will capture your imagination.
Purchase the Sparrow Sisters
The Amazon.com links used in this post are directed to the paperback copy of The Sparrow Sisters. This is an unusual case where the paperback is less expensive than the Kindle copy, FYI!
BFF K’s Review
The Sparrow Sisters is an absolutely lovely book and the perfect pick for your fall book club meeting! I was captivated by the beautiful imagery and remarkable sense of place created by Ellen Herrick in this book. At first Granite Pointe is such an idyllic little seaside town. The residents and their surroundings are seen through the eyes of several of the characters. You learn about the quirks and nuances of Granite Pointe and its’ inhabitants. At the center of the community are the Sparrow Sisters and their nursery.
The mystical presence surrounding the Sparrows is woven through the first parts of the book and you’re left believing in the magic of who they are and what they can do through the plants that they grow in their nursery. The synopsis of the book hints at a pending tragedy and the build up creates a delicious sense of angst and suspense. There were a couple of times I was so nervous, I hesitated to turn the page or press play on Audible for fear of what might be coming.
Sorrel, Nettie and Patience are intertwined with the town and you soon realize that the success or failure of one is equal to the other. When Dr. Henry Carlyle arrives in Granite Pointe, he is immediately drawn into a passionate and life altering relationship with Patience Sparrow. When the tragedy strikes, the relationships of EVERYONE in Granite Pointe are tested and strained. I was so intrigued by the way that town turned on one of their own and the strife created from the discontent. It was too easy, almost unsettling, the way the witch hunt unfolded with the Sisters and Henry at the center. But, the devotion that the Sparrow sisters have to one another and their close-knit circle of friends/family is heartwarming. It’s critical for the women of Granite Pointe to take a stand and the Girl Power is fully awesome!
I had hoped for a little more magic and mystery, but the exceptional characters and relationships made up for any lack of alchemy. Herrick has created a delightful world full of beautiful passages and quirky characters. I enjoyed the entire book, both audio and written. The Sparrow Sisters has an immensely satisfying ending, but still leaves an opening to revisit these endearing characters. I’m looking forward to discovering what’s in store for Sorrel and checking in with all of the Sisters.
This book was reviewed using a combination of audiobook and Advance Reader Copy. The audiobook was purchased by the reviewer, the ARC was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Ellen Herrick was a publishing executive in New York until she moved to London for a brief stint; she returned nearly twenty years later with three grown children (her own, it must be said). She now divides her time between Cambridge, Massachusetts and a small Cape Cod town very much like Granite Point.
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