Friday, July 21, 2017

Review: Flight of the Sparrow

This was a well written and very interesting novel about the ordeal of the historical Mary Rowlandson, who was captured by Native Americans and held captive for nearly 3 months before she was ransomed back to her husband.

Overall, I thought it was a fascinating story and subject matter, told in third person present tense, but my main complaint was that I found it hard to believe Mary would want to stay with the Native Americans after only being with them for 3 months. To be fair, her transformation didn't feel abrupt or rushed in the narrative of the book, but when I realized everything that had happened while she was with the Native Americans happened within 3 months, it didn't feel like enough time had passed for her to change so greatly, unless maybe she was suffering from Stockholm Syndrome (and it didn't seem like that was the author's intention). Particularly because Mary admits that she only had one friend in the entire Native American camp, why would you want to stay in a community where you don't exactly have friends? I understand she ironically enjoyed freedoms as a slave to the Native Americans that she felt couldn't in Puritan society, but also important to psychological health is friendship, and a human connection, which she admitted herself she only found with one person. If you only have one friend in a whole community, wouldn't you feel more like an outcast? Why would you want to stay in such a place? I also understand that she learned to adapt to their culture to survive, and that allowed her to learn and grow as a person, but adapting to a place doesn't necessarily mean that's where you want to remain. Not after only 3 months, anyway.

Regardless, it was a good story and I was constantly wanting to know what would happen next. I myself have ancestors who were attacked and taken hostage by Native Americans, so it allowed me some insight into what they might have experienced.

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