The 2014 One Book One Valley choice is Flight of the Sparrow: A Novel of Early America by Vermont author, Amy Belding Brown The books are available to borrow at thirteen Mount Washington area libraries, Granite State College, and Kennett High School. Consider purchasing a copy at White Birch Books for the author to sign because Amy Belding Brown is coming to the valley for a live presentation on Thursday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Lutheran Church of the Nativity on Main Street in North Conway. Whether you borrow or buy, be sure to pick up an oversize bookmark with a complete schedule of all One Book One Valley discussions of the book as well as related programs offered by the participating organizations. Or visit the project’s website at Thanks to grants from the NH Humanities Council, the Pequawket Foundation and the Ham Foundation, all programs are free and open to the public. Last year more than 500 people participated, so get a copy and join this popular regional reading program. One Book One Valley – a community reads.

Below is Amazon’s description of Flight of the Sparrow, A historical novel based on the 17th century life of Mary Rowlandson

“An authentic drama of Indian captivity…A compelling, emotionally gripping tale.”—Eliot Pattison, author of the Mystery of Colonial America series

Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1676. Even before Mary Rowlandson was captured by Indians on a winter day of violence and terror, she sometimes found herself in conflict with her rigid Puritan community. Now, her home destroyed, her children lost to her, she has been sold into the service of a powerful woman tribal leader, made a pawn in the ongoing bloody struggle between English settlers and native people. Battling cold, hunger, and exhaustion, Mary witnesses harrowing brutality but also unexpected kindness. To her confused surprise, she is drawn to her captors’ open and straightforward way of life, a feeling further complicated by her attraction to a generous, protective English-speaking native known as James Printer. All her life, Mary has been taught to fear God, submit to her husband, and abhor Indians. Now, having lived on the other side of the forest, she begins to question the edicts that have guided her, torn between the life she knew and the wisdom the natives have shown her.

“She suspects that she has changed too much to ever fit easily into English society again. The wilderness has now become her home. She can interpret the cries of birds. She has seen vistas that have stolen away her breath. She has learned to live in a new, free way….”

On Monday, September 29 at 6:30pm, Conway Public Library hosts an adjunct program relating to the themes brought up in Flight of the Sparrow. This year’s NHHC humanist on the project, Jo Radner, will present “Braving the Middle Ground,” a program that focuses on the relationships between Native Americans and the Colonists.
On Thursday, October 30 at 7:00pm at the Lutheran Church of the Nativity in North Conway Village, the culminating program of One Book One Valley is a live presentation by Amy Belding Brown.
On Wednesday, November 12th, at 7 pm at Cook Memorial Library in Tamworth, a second NHHC program, David Stewart-Smith discusses how French and English exploration resulted in strong Native American tribal alliances in southeastern Maine, coastal and central New Hampshire, and the north shore of Massachusetts. These relationships became known as the Pennacook alliance, when Passaconaway, the chief of the Pennacook, rose to power and placed his family in the mainstream of colonial interaction. The program concludes with King Philip’s War and events just prior to 1700.
Click here for more information about One Book One Valley and this year’s selection. For a full schedule of 2014 One Book One Valley events, please click here. Thanks to the NH Humanities Council, and the Pequawket and Ham Foundations, all programs are free and open to the public.

One Book One Valley Choice for 2014