Consider the Sparrow: A story of Love by Bessie Mathias ISBN 1-88477893-3, perfect bound 332 pages. Published by Old Mountain Press. To order send check or money order for $7.95 plus $3.00 P&H to Helen M. Miles,  Five Miles Farm, 24190 Breezy Point Road, Onancock, VA 23417.  E-mail: k_miles at

This book was the long-held dream of my deceased mother, Bessie Mathias. As the Editor and her daughter, I would like to dedicate this story of love to my parents, Bessie and Allison Mathias. I hope that you can see in the story how my parents, as Anthony and Jennifer, exemplified for me the timeless values portrayed in this tale of their lives and courtship.
Hellen Mathias Miles

     Consider the Sparrow: A Story of Love is a novel by Bessie Mathias, who, shortly before she died in 1976, finished writing the story of her life. Her daughter, Helen Mathias Miles, inherited the manuscript and has fulfilled her motherís dream of publishing her lifeís story. The story is based on the real lives of Bessie Mathiasís family, who lived near a small town in Cataraugus County in upstate New York. It takes place at the end of the nineteenth century when sins and virtues were clear, and hardships taken as a matter of course. The main characters in Part I are Wayne and Daphne (the authorís parents) who fall in love and experience the joys and trials of life on a farm in the 1890's. Nora, who has long secretly cared for Wayne, realizes her dream has been shattered as Wayne has chosen Daphne. Yet, her hopes are rekindled when, after the birth of her third child, Daphne succumbs to a fever. Part I ends as Wayne is faced with having to abandon this third child, Jessie (the author), to the care of a neighboring farm family, to leave with Nora and his other two children to find work in another part of the state. 
 Part II describes the trials and coming of age of orphan Jessie, renamed Jennifer,  as she overcomes a crippling attack of polio and the wrath of a harsh and resentful adoptive mother, to blossom into a spirited and lovely young woman. She is touched by grace throughout her life as she, with the love of her adoptive father, PaJay, and aid from a secret benefactor, discovers her lost family and meets Anthony, also an orphan and the man of her dreams. 
     Consider the Sparrow tells of a time when life, though harsh, was marked by small joys, simple pleasures, and well-defined virtues. This story perhaps reflects the authorís remembrance of a time and place in ways that soften reality, and as such, may appear to some as idealized. Yet, it is told with such innocence and love, that it cannot be easily dismissed, nor readily forgotten.

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