Published: September 1st 2015
By: William Morrow
Genres: Adult-Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Chick-Lit, Contemporary, Magical Realism
My Rating: 4 Stars
Add To Goodreads 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.
I have been wanting to read this book since it released last year. I love magical realism, and this seemed like the perfect read for me. It had all the elements that I needed to hook me into the story – sisterhood, tight knit community, and an abundance of magical plants. I love how these people look out for each other, and are there to defend one of their own. Even when it seemed like all was lost, they put aside the negativity and stepped in when it so obviously felt like the end.
All that aside, let’s get to the heart of the story. I was more into these 3 sisters and the new doctor in town, than anything else. Patience, Nettie, and Sorrel are the last of the prominent Sparrow family of Granite Point. They have each other and their plants. They are the soul of Granite Point, and keeps the locals afloat. Got a back ache? Patience will whip up some herbs and cure you. She takes pride in her remedies, and feels that what she does is for the better. The sisters don’t take too kindly to doctors; they’d rather heal themselves with their herbs. When Doctor Henry Carlyle moves into town and takes over the local practice, everything changes.
He comes in making Patience doubt everything – herself, her family history, her sisters – EVERYTHING! That’s what I didn’t like about him. But, that comes with all doctors. They think that because they went to medical school, they don’t think that a sprinkle of herbs here and there can cure a cold or something. Excuse me, hot doc, but people have been practicing herbalism for centuries. Lots of cultures do it, and it works. Don’t believe me? If my Big Ma was still living she’d go in on him hard. LOL!
Aside from Henry doubting Patience’s ability to heal and scolding her, he is really drawn to her. She’s the youngest of the sisters, and it goes without saying that she’s attractive. He can’t get enough of her temper, and he wants to get to know her and her sisters. But then tragedy strikes, and Patience is to blame. The sisters went from beloved to disliked very quickly. From there, everything seemed to be going downhill for the community.
The Sparrow Sisters is a story that will stick with you long after you’ve read it. I love the buildup to the dark moments, because it made the story more real – if that makes sense. The fact that history repeats itself when skepticism is thrown throughout the town, had me on the edge of my seat. I loved the mysterious and magical feel of the whole story and I definitely recommend this one to fans of contemporary magic. And though the synopsis compares this to Practical Magic and The Witches of East End, that’s not entirely true. Yes, this has that magical feel, but those stories are more focused on witches. I guess it’s how you look at it. Still, great story that I would love to read more of in the future. Thank you Braine for putting this on my radar!