Sorrel, Nettie, and Patience, the last of the Sparrow line, are quite well respected in their little town of Granite Point. Together the three run a nursery that supplies plants and arrangements for folks near and far, and Patience sells holistic and natural remedies made from the herbs and flowers of her medic garden.
For newcomer and doctor Henry Carlyle, Patience’s potions defy most everything he believes in. Sure plants are the basis for many medicines, but Patience has no formal training and, to his mind, can’t possibly be a reliable substitute for a licensed medical practitioner. Of course that’s before Henry meets Patience and gets to know her. The doctor soon falls head over heels for the healer and even begins to see the merit of her work.
But then Patience is blamed for the death of a young local boy. Suddenly, the townspeople who have relied on her help begin to turn against her and even as her most staunch supporters rally to her side, it may not be enough to help the Sparrows or Granite Point get through this tough time.
The Sparrow sisters are enchanting characters. Three sisters who were orphaned early on and ultimately never married – not that there isn’t time for that – they’ve relied on one another to get themselves through hard times in the past and are determined to do so once again. But this time they’re facing something that could ruin everything they’ve built in Granite Point.
The Sparrow history is so tightly woven into that of the town itself that it’s not just the nursery or the sisters’ reputations that are at risk. The town also suffers because of Patience’s fear and sorrow. And it’s not the first time in Granite Point or Sparrow family history that such a thing has happened.
Ellen Herrick’s debut is a mesmerizing and gorgeous read. With its lush and vibrant detail, strong sisterly bonds, romance, and just a hint of magical realism it brings to mind the works of Sarah Jio and Sarah Addison Allen, making The Sparrow Sisters the perfect read for fans of both authors. And while this tale stands on its own, there’s more than just a hint of possible additional Sparrow sisters’ tales – something I certainly hope we get to see in the very near future.
9/15 Becky LeJeune
THE SPARROW SISTERS by Ellen Herrick. William Morrow Paperbacks (September 1, 2015). ISBN 978-0062386342. 384p.