Black Mountain author Mary Cecilia Jackson launches debut novel, 'Sparrow'

Special to Black Mountain News

Debut author Mary Cecilia Jackson, an honor recipient of the Sue Alexander Award and a young-adult finalist in the Writers’ League of Texas manuscript contest, delivers a powerful punch in "Sparrow."

Mary Cecilia Jackson

The novel, published by Tor Teen, will be released March 17. Jackson launches her book tour at 6 p.m. that day at Malaprop's Bookstore in Asheville.

This poignant YA novel spotlights the ripple effects of violence among friends and family, and “honors the strength needed to rebuild after trauma." (Booklist Reviews)

Though Savannah Rose —Sparrow to her friends and family — is a gifted ballerina, her real talent is keeping secrets. Schooled in silence by her long-dead mother, Sparrow has always believed that her lifelong creed — “I’m not the kind of girl who tells” — will make her just like everyone else: Normal. Happy. Safe.

But in the aftermath of a brutal assault by her seemingly perfect boyfriend Tristan, Sparrow must find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past in order to move into the future.


Told through the alternating perspectives of Sparrow and her best friend Lucas, this is far more than a novel about abuse — it is a story that examines the behavior of those closest to us in hard times, the long journey to self-love, and is ultimately a story overflowing with hope.

Jackson is a strong voice in a quiet conversation, and "Sparrow" is a much-needed catalyst for driving dialogue forward.

Jackson has worked as a middle school teacher, an adjunct instructor of college freshmen, a technical writer and editor, a speechwriter, a museum docent, and a development officer for central Virginia’s PBS and NPR stations. She lives with her architect husband, William, in Western North Carolina and Hawaii. She can be found at