An Episode of Sparrows is the story of how an encounter with two children growing up in post-war London brings meaning to the life of an elderly (before her time) spinster, Olivia, who lives with a domineering sister.
One of the children, Lovejoy, is a girl, who has been virtually abandoned by her dancer mother, the other a boy, Tip Malone, from a family, which though very loving, is too large for the parents to be able to keep a close eye on him.
The book reveals the unexpected consequences of the growing friendship between the children, and what comes from their attempt to create a little garden in the grounds of a blitzed church.
There are many other amusing and poignant characters in the book - from a chef struggling against poverty and a bad situation to create a perfect restaurant, and a young and well to do couple, whom the children meet.
This story is typical of Rumer Godden's output in its sympathy for all the characters, many touches of gentle humour, and portrayal of the misunderstandings and problems that can arise when the worlds of adults and children collide.