A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl
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Kregel Publications / 2015 / Paperback
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A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl

Kregel Publications / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

Where you come from isn't who you are.

Ten-year-old Pearl Spence is a daydreamer, playing make-believe to escape life in Oklahoma's Dust Bowl in 1935. The Spences have their share of misfortune, but as the sheriff's family, they've got more than most in this dry, desolate place. They're who the town turns to when there's a crisis or a need--and during these desperate times, there are plenty of both, even if half the town stands empty as people have packed up and moved on.

Pearl is proud of her loving, strong family, though she often wearies of tracking down her mentally impaired older sister or wrestling with her grandmother's unshakable belief in a God who Pearl just isn't sure she likes.

Then a mysterious man bent on revenge tramps into her town of Red River. Eddie is dangerous and he seems fixated on Pearl. When he reveals why he's really there and shares a shocking secret involving the whole town, dust won't be the only thing darkening Pearl's world.

While the tone is suspenseful and often poignant, the subtle humor of Pearl's voice keeps A Cup of Dust from becoming heavyhanded. Finkbeiner deftly paints a story of a family unit coming together despite fractures of distress threatening to pull them apart.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Kregel Publications
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0825443881
ISBN-13: 9780825443886

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Product Reviews

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  1. Rebecca Maney
    Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Outstanding Display of Historical Fiction!
    April 27, 2017
    Rebecca Maney
    Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "Someday you might learn that life isn't what you always thought it was. You'll learn how hard truth can hurt."

    The folks in Red River, Oklahoma were barely surviving what we now refer to as the "Dust Bowl" years. Pearl Spence and her family were no exception, except that her father's small salary as the town sheriff put food on their table, and thanks to her mother's generosity, also put food on the table of many others in the dying town.

    Living with her parents, her grandmother, and her mentally challenged sister, Pearl sees the world through a cloud of dust that continually swirls, but eventually settles. It's when a blue-eyed, wretched, hobo of a man comes to town that everything changes. He knows Pearl's name and asks her strange questions like, " . . .Does it ever feel like you're somewhere you don't belong?" And, "Do you ever get the feeling that you ain't who you always thought you were?"

    " A Cup of Dust" is a story filled a tempest of triumphs and defeats, tempered with stout determination and compassion, creatively displayed in the life story of a ten year old little girl, Pearl Spence, who loves fiercely and is loved unconditionally.
  2. Mrs ARS
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Impressive
    April 14, 2017
    Mrs ARS
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A Cup of Dust is not really my normal read. I am much more of a romance reader so reading through the eyes of a ten year old girl was different for me. However, it was a read that captured my full attention and pulled me into the pages of the book. In the middle of the dust bowl, Pearl lives with her Daddy, the sheriff, her Mama, older sister Beanie (who has some mental disabilities), and her Meemaw. As Pearl lives her life with her family, we see how the town has been decimated with all the dust; the way of life that was as it was, and how people tended to mind their own business even as abuses took place and refused to take charity as it shamed them. I appreciated how the author incorporated fascinating facts during that time and I still find it amazing how those peopled lived with all the dirt and dust storms.

    I quickly became very fond of this family and as certain mysteries are revealed to Pearl, I liked watching her childlike comparisons of what a true family is. Daddy and Mama are characters that I enjoyed reading about especially their love and generosity that they showed to all of their neighbors throughout the novel. I valued that the author stayed true to the thinking and prejudices of the day making the story more authentic.

    The childlike faith that Pearl had in Jesus was especially poignant as well as her love of fairy tales. This was an intelligent and thoughtful read and I look forward to reading more by author Finkbeiner.

    I received a copy of this book for free through Bookfun, Inc. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
  3. Rachel
    Gender: Female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Not my Favorite read
    July 23, 2016
    Rachel
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I had so many different feelings while reading it. I was very interested when I first started reading but I found myself getting a little bit bored about half way through the book. I think this was due to the fact that I had figured out the "secret" in the book and was mainly reading to find out if I was right. I really feel like the book could have been quite a bit shorter and still got the authors point across.

    The book is written from the point of view of a 10 year old little girl. Making it seem very simple and hard to read at times. I loved the setting of the story. The characters of Millard and Grandma were my favorite. I did like the way the book ended. The caracters did seem very real. I myself couldn't imagine havng to live during the dust bowl.

    While this book wasn't my favorite I would still say if you like this era or subject then give this book a try.

    I received this book from TBCN and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. a positive review was not required.
  4. jacquiR
    Illinois
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Cup of Dust
    July 4, 2016
    jacquiR
    Illinois
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A Cup of Dust is an engaging tale by Susie Finkbeiner. Through the eyes of a sweet, ten-year-old girl, Pearl, the reader experiences the harsh life of the Dust Bowl in the 30s in Oklahoma. Her fathers job as town sheriff allows her to know the very real struggles and hardship of people there. Poverty and hopelessness bring out the worst, and sometimes the best, in those trying to survive.

    Pearl is secure and safe in her family and life until the day a mysterious stranger arrives and brings confusion and pain into their midst. From their first encounter this stranger knows her name and hints at things he knows about her. Scared and intimidated by him, Pearl at first keeps this from her family, especially when those close to her seem to show sympathy to him.

    I recommend this poignant story that shows a dark and difficult time in our countrys history. I received this book through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
  5. Mauri
    Kansas
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Cup of Dust
    May 18, 2016
    Mauri
    Kansas
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is a rather dark book. A book set during the dust bowl days (mid 1930's) in Oklahoma isn't very cheery. However, A Cup of Dust is very well written. Told by a ten year old child, Pearl, we learn of the struggles of living in a town in the midst of a serious drought and dust storms. Issues from the past play a large part of the story of Pearl's family. Even in the midst of this terrible hardship and the danger Pearl and her family faced, it was evident that God loved them, would take care of them, and that she was very much loved by her family. This isn't a light read, but it is an important one. I recommend it.
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