The Song of Sadie Sparrow
Growing up I was not a fan of visiting people in the nursing home. As a child, I thought they were scary places. They looked strange, the smells were not always nice, and everyone was really old. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties and we had to place my father in law in a home that my views changed.
In this book by Kitty Foth-Regner, The Song of Sadie Sparrow, the author creates this world within the walls of a nursing home. The tag line ‘It’s never too late to change your tune – is perfect. This is a story three women and their faith, or rather their differences in belief systems.
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.
In The Song of Sadie Sparrow, Kitty Foth-Regner has written what she knows. For a quarter century, she’s been closely associated with a nursing home near Milwaukee, both as the daughter of a resident and as a volunteer. A retired copywriter, she is the author of Heaven Without Her, an enthusiastically endorsed memoir tracing her intellectual and spiritual journey from feminist atheism to born-again Christianity. For more information on Kitty, visit her online at Everlasting Place.
It’s been said that life isn’t a race..it’s a journey. We all have a course that we are following based on our beliefs, backgrounds, challenges, and or privileges. Most of us barrel along through life just reacting to what life throws at us. It isn’t until we reach mid or later years that we stop and look around…often quite alarmed at where we ended up.
When my father in law became too ill for us to care for at home, we made the decision to place him in the nursing home that thankfully was in our back yard. I say thankfully, but honestly, it was really hard on him and us knowing that we were only a few yards apart. He didn’t want to be there, we didn’t want to have to leave him there…it was tough on all of us.
Well, except for one of our boys. Derek loved going to the nursing home. He would bolt over there anytime he could sneak away. He knew all the staff and residents by name! They called out to him if he was outside in the yard. It really made me take a look at the lives of the people that were living in my back yard.
Sadly, most were placed there and for all appearances..forgotten. Sure they would get a card on their birthday or maybe a visit around the holidays but for the most part.. they were alone.
This is where the book touched my heart. Like the residents in the nursing home with my father in law, the residents in the book were from all different walks of life. As the story unfolds, the friendship develops between three unlikely women. They have different backgrounds and beliefs; but they grow to appreciate each other as they work through their different positions on life, love, forgiveness.
As this book says of the cover..It’s Never too Late to Change Your Tune. Life is fleeting when compared to eternity. And you don’t have to stay on the same course that you are following. If you open your heart and allow yourself to really see others and yourself.
My thoughts returned to the days that we spent in the nursing home. It also convicted me in that there are several older family members that I haven’t spoken to or visited lately. It also convicted me that I need to be more vocal in sharing my faith to those around me.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. I didn’t agree with all the positions or views on the topics of faith, but the overall story line and the encouragement I drew from it was worth the read.
Don’t have a Kindle? Grab one for yourself. They are so nice to use for reading. I love my Kindle Fire and my little one uses the e-Reader version (just for reading without the added games and internet options).
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I received a complimentary digital or physical copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.