Call of the Song Sparrow is a novel both genuine and captivating in its storytelling as its delicate portrayal of the familial ties that bind parents, children and siblings is cast against the backdrop of a scandalous family secret.
The story centers around Ida Mabry and her thirty-nine-year-old illegitimate daughter, Tia, whom she abandoned at birth on the doorstep of her paternal grandparents' home in Oakland, California. Ida, who is white had Tia at 17; Tia, who is bi-racial and half black, was born in 1975 at a time when U.S. race relations were still rather tumultuous. The story begins in 2014 with Tia and Ida meeting for the first time in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ida has never divulged anything to her husband and two grown sons about Tia or her past and does not plan to do so even after establishing a relationship with her daughter, but when a series of unlikely events threaten to unsettle Ida's long-held secret, she is forced to lay everything on the line.