The Song of Sadie Sparrow
For many, a nursing home is the despised last stop before heading out into the Great Beyond. Not so for the heroines of The Song of Sadie Sparrow—three very different women whose lives intersect in a warm and endlessly engaging facility called The Hickories. Sadie Sparrow, Meg Vogel and Elise Chapelle represent different generations. They have experienced different sorrows and entertain different hopes. They even adhere to different worldviews, from devoutly Christian to unapologetically atheist. Yet over the course of a single year, they forge unlikely bonds that impact each other’s lives in the here and now—and perhaps for all eternity. A beautifully written story of friendship set against the backdrop of life’s twilight years, The Song of Sadie Sparrow explores contrasting views of purpose and pardon, life and afterlife—and faith’s role in shaping those views, now and forevermore.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.25 out of 10
Plot: While the story flows at an even pace and the characters are distinct and likable, the religious overtones here are heavy-handed and excessive. The author could easily scale this back and still maintain the integrity of the work and original intent. Otherwise, the plot is engaging and holds reader interest.
Prose: Foth-Regner is a gifted writer whose prose flows smoothly. She creates a compelling, beautifully written story with subtle nuances.
Originality: This is a touching, well-told story that feels original and fresh.
Character Development: Foth-Regner creates memorable characters. The reader sympathizes with them in their struggles and roots for them to find fulfillment and contentment.
Blurb: A thoughtful and touching story about the life lessons being taught all around us, if only we dare to pay attention.
Date Submitted: May 22, 2018
Three women of different ages and spirituality come together at the Hickories retirement facility in this touching novel from Foth-Regner (Heaven Without Her). Eighty-six year-old Sadie Sparrow is beginning a new stage of life as she enters a nursing home. As are Meg Vogel, a 58-year-old widow starting a new career working as a caregiver at the Hickories, and Elise Chapelle, who is facing the loss of the beloved grandfather she has cared for and is starting to contemplate her single life as she approaches 30. As patients and caretakers, the three women meet and begin to learn from each other in unexpected ways. Downtrodden Meg enjoys working at the center and is reinvigorated by the lively, wise Sadie. Atheist Elise reconsiders her faith as she receives Sadie’s end-of-life wisdom. Told from many perspectives and stuffed with tangential stories, the novel’s pace resembles that of a nursing home—slow and somewhat disorienting for the visitor. But for some readers, the eccentricity of the plotting will add to the charm. Foth-Regner often slips into weighty discussions of Christian scripture that resemble Sunday sermons. Christian readers, especially those familiar with nursing homes, will enjoy this emotional, winding novel, but those looking for faster pacing or more plot will be disappointed by the lack of narrative movement. (BookLife)