by J. Kathleen Cheney
This is a great little book. It says something about Cheney’s skill as a writer that I chose to something new of hers when I was very upset about something in real life, so I was looking for a story to take me away from all that.
Kathleen Cheney always delivers an engrossing story and I had it in the queue to read for review, so… I chose The Sparrow in Hiding as an escape.
It did not disappoint.
The cover led me to believe “the sparrow” might be a young woman, but it was a young man’s alias, and he was the one hiding on Irina’s family’s country estate in old Russia. She lived there in the summers with her weary and forgetful father, a trusted retainer, a gardener, and a few of the local village residents to do the infrequent chores.
And Irina had a secret. Her long-gone mother was the spirit of a tree, and she could sense the spirits of the trees around her: especially the one that had been her mother. Sometimes she could even understand what they said to her. As an artist, she’d often roam the woods, sketching them and the wildlife of the forest.
There was a new worker on the estate, a young man named Sparrow who worked in the once empty aviary, which was now alive with birds under his care. Despite his lowly background, Irina slowly falls for Sparrow, and there is a mystery about him. He seems to have an affinity for birds the way she does with trees. Why? And who is he, really?
As it is revealed the mystery conjures up the best elements of a fairytale wrapped in a sweet romance with all the danger and intrigue one could wish for.
This one is worth reading, people. And, as always, reading something by J. Kathleen Cheney soothed my soul.