Sunday, December 21, 2008

Review: The Strength of a Sparrow by Tim "Dr. Hope" Anders

This work of fiction is based on the love story of Bouvette Sherwood and Father Hughie Hewitt, parents of the author. She is a much younger, successful Broadway producer and actress and he, well, he is an alcoholic priest. Not exactly a match made in heaven. According to the Monsignor of Hewitt‘s parish, it is an abomination against heaven and he does everything in his power to bring it to an end, including hiring a private detective for several years to record the activities of one woman and a priest. The sole motivation being he wants to be made a Bishop and Hewitt’s activities would be most embarrassing to the church if discovered. If all of this is really based in truth, it is an incredible tale of Monsignor Smith’s dispicable actions against Father Hughie and his beloved, seemingly without a care as to the consequences.When Father Hughie finds out, he retaliates with a few threats of his own. Father Hughie is said to be a wonderful man who loved his vocation but he also loved Bouvette. This is where the soulful torment should have entered the story.

Tim Anders is the author of several children’s books but has been so captivated by his mother’s story, that he finally decided to put it on paper. The “facts” come from what his mother told him in many conversations during his youth. It’s a little stretch of the imagination that she actually described the steamy sex scenes. I guess no one will know if some of these remembrances are fully factual or fanciful. It would be most interesting to know if the church’s actions were true but in the light of recent revelations, it very well could be possible. Who knows for sure?

Although Anders has a fluid style of writing with, at times, some wonderfully descriptive phrases, some of this struck me as akin to a melodrama. It did come across that Anders has his own personal bias. I feel that the characters could have been a little more fleshed out. More details as to Father Hughie’s innermost thoughts and feelings during the time he and Bouvette were separated would have made for a better reading experience. It is a fast and easy read but somehow just misses the mark to being a really good book. Rating: 3 ***

1 comment:

  1. I don't remember hearing about this one before. Great review and very insightful. It does sound like an interesting story.


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