The books I’ve been reading for the past few years have brought me all over the world and during many times. I’ve traveled by book to France, Russia, China, Canada, England, and everywhere in between from thousands of years BCE to the relatively present.
My most recent book, Flight of the Sparrow by Amy Belding Brown brought me to the colonies of the new world in about 1675. The new world was still new even though it had been permanently settled in many places for about 55 years.
This book is one of my favorites even though I’m not a fan of US history and such. It’s just too modern for me. But, this predates US history, so I love it! It was fascinating learning about the colonization of America in the early days. I know a lot of bad things happened with the natives vs England but it’s hard to understand how complex it really was.
All I can say is that it was complex and a lot of bad things happened but a lot of good things happened too. There were bad people on both sides but overall we know one group belonged there and one absolutely did not. It wasn’t about who was wrong and who was right, though,
Flight of the Sparrow was about Mary Rowlandson who lived on the frontier of the Bay Colony in Lancaster Massachusetts. Frontier towns weren’t safe places in those days because there were some natives who were pretty pissed (rightfully) that their land was being grabbed and the English were downright evil (aren’t they still in a way?)
Needless to say, many frontier towns were burned to the ground and in this case, Mary was taken hostage by the marauding Indians. The natives were seen as lacking god and in a way as heathens who didn’t know the bible. Mary found out that wasn’t so bad afterall.
Mary, the main character lost some of her distant family in the raid, but she gained a new perspective on the ways of the natives. It turns out they were actually pretty amazing people who new a little about living life in a more kind and compassionate way than the English did. Surprised? I’m not.
The book is based off a real story written by Mary Rowlandson who was an actual person and was actually kidnapped. She wrote a real book about her captivity and it went on the become a real bestseller in the colonies. Many of the characters in the book were also real although the author took some creative liberties for the sake of the story.
Overall it was one of the best books I’ve read and I’m really happy to learn about the early colonies of Massachusetts and the natives who were there before also. I got a new perspective on early America and the cultural clash that occurred.
Unfortunately one culture had to win out at the expense of the other which is disappointing. Isn’t there room for them both without having to change everyone? Though it still happens today. Everyone’s trying to change everyone else and that won’t seem to ever end.
One quote I really loved in the book is this one:
Instead of examining themselves, the English falsely and foolishly believe that whatever they do is approved by God.Excerpt From: Flight of the Sparrow by Amy Belding Brown
This is something that still goes on today. People think they can speak for god and it isn’t only the English guilty of this. It occurs daily in the US. Evil in the name of god is a daily occurrence.
And another line of the book that was so impactful it hurts. It hurts that so much history is lost and the dominant win even if it’s not the best way.
They are a dying nation, their towns burned, their lands appropriated, their very bodies starved and crushed and sold. All in the name of God.Excerpt From: Flight of the Sparrow by Amy Belding Brown
Not much has changed that so much evil happens in the name of god. There are no good old days and anybody who thinks there are is naive and overlooking the evil that we’ve overcome even though so much still exists.
This is definitely a book to read, a book everyone should read.
Business Book Up Next
Now to a lighter note, I’m on to the next book, Emotional Agility by Susan David. This one is a business book and so far it’s entertaining but definitely more academic than some books I’ve read. That’s not a bad thing, though.
Even though it’s academic, it’s well-written and still relatively easy to follow. It’s about taking emotional intelligence a step further into emotional agility. Hopefully after reading Emotional Agility I will be enlightened and fulfilled with a new respect for humankind and our emotional capabilities.