A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era
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A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era

Kregel Publications / 2017 / Paperback

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Pearl Spence is finally getting used to life in Michigan. She's made her peace with the piles of snow that come with winter. She and Ray are making friends and figuring out how to fit in. Pearl has even discovered the library, a place she'd never heard of back in Dust Bowl Oklahoma. In fact, a chair in the stacks, surrounded by books, might be her new favorite place on earth - until she discovers swing dancing.

Now Opal Moon, the family's hired help and an expert in swing, is teaching Pearl the steps to this new style of dance. The sheer fun of the moves and music is a distraction from the fact that Mama is still missing, too caught up in her own grieving to spare a thought for her family.

When Mama unexpectedly returns, it isn't a happy occasion. Pearl must decide between forgiveness and bitterness--and when calamity strikes again, there are no easy answers. Finkbeiner's portrayal of both tragedy and everyday life in times of great change is charged with a raw beauty that will haunt the reader. Fans of the two prior Pearl Spence novels won't be disappointed!

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Kregel Publications
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 0825444829
ISBN-13: 9780825444821

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  1. Kathi Hanson
    Michigan
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Song we can all relate to....
    December 12, 2017
    Kathi Hanson
    Michigan
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Life doesn't always go the way we expect. We experience pain, disappointment, grief, loss, anger.... We often feel alone, far from home, wandering in a wilderness of broken dreams and lost possibilities. In her short life Pearl has walked through so much. So now, what does she choose? Anger or forgiveness? Resentment or peace? She faces choices and people that will present her with varying paths to follow.

    With her Grandmothers voice in her heart, and the companionship of some incredible people walking the path of life with her, Pearl moves forward, navigating the hurts, pains and biases of others to find her own courageous path.

    In this final installment of the trilogy Finkbeiner captures the essence of humanity's struggle with loss and pain and the search for redemption. She draws us in through the eyes of an incredible child into the conflicts we all encounter in life.

    From "A Cup of Dust", through "A Trail of Crumbs" and finally in "A Song of Home", walk the journey with Pearl, follow her to the desert and back and see what the journey home can look like.
  2. Annelr
    Brighton, MI
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    wonderfully written story of forgiveness and love
    December 4, 2017
    Annelr
    Brighton, MI
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    ho has captivated this reader's heart and will not easily be forgotten. The book could be read as a stand-alone novel but there is so much more to Pearl's story in the previous two books (A Cup of Dust and A Trail of Crumbs) that I encourage readers to begin at the beginning. In this final book of the series, the author tackles the gritty subjects of racism, depression, adultery, abandonment, and grief and does it well. The richness of the characters and their emotions is genuine and deeply moving, resonating within the reader. Aunt Carrie, compassionate and wise; Tom, Pearl's daddy, who loves his 'darlin' (I loved that affectionate nickname!) with a steadfast love; Ray, her special friend, and each of the other characters bring so much into the story. Readers will get caught up in the lives of these characters and their stories. The author has captured well the setting and era of A Song of Home as she has expertly written the distinctive dialogue and descriptive scenes of the book. Poignant and intense, this character-driven story takes the reader into the heart and soul of one sweet child and her journey to a place she knows is home. Don't miss the chance to fall in love with Pearl and her family--get the Pearl Spence series and read them.

    I received a complimentary copy of the book and was not required to write a review. The opinions are my own.
  3. Rebecca Maney
    Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Beautifully Penned!
    December 2, 2017
    Rebecca Maney
    Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    " . . . . she (Meemaw) would say to me, 'God ain't far off. Don't matter how you feel about it. He ain't far at all. . . . . . No matter where you're at, you got home with God right there'. "

    The trouble is, Pearl Spence hasn't felt at home for a good long while. Leaving Oklahoma after a personal tragedy during the Dust Bowl years has landed the Spence family in Michigan near an aunt and uncle; only to witness her mother's devastating desertion and leave Pearl wondering what kind of melody must be written in order to lure her mother back home.

    When the young woman managing the household teaches Pearl how to dance, music becomes a welcome relief, however fleeting. For when Pearl's mother unexpectedly returns, there is no happy reunion, only added layers of tension and heart ache for everyone involved, for Mary Spence has "just got a broken heart that won't mend".

    This beloved story is bulging with every component of a great book; compelling characters placed gently within the kind of devastating circumstances that will make your heart throb and your spirit sing!

  4. Nancee
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Unforgettable!
    November 30, 2017
    Nancee
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Still tormented by her mother's desertion and failure to return, Pearl clings to her father and Uncle Gus and Aunt Carrie. Her dearest friend, Ray, is both brother and soul mate, a youngster whose own pain is raw and disheartening. Opal Moon, hired helper and caregiver, is discovered to be a swing dancer! Pearl is enchanted and begs Opal to give her lessons, creating a reason to blossom, a diversion from her haunting reality.

    Pearl has become a part of my life. Her grit, determination and gentle spirit are endearing, and my heart aches for this young girl whose childhood is filled with chaos, torment and disappointment. This author possesses a rare gift, creative insight into the souls of her characters. This gift, unwrapped, penetrates the hearts of those who read her compositions. Steeped in rich detail, accurate historical facts, and tenderness for her characters creates a very real portrait of humanity. Leaving the reader enraptured, these stories are unforgettable.

    Although this series has ended, Pearl's story continues in the hearts of those of us who know and love her. My life has been changed by Pearl and the many other characters I've grown to love in this series. I'm smitten with each of the Pearl Spence stories, and the transition from one installment to the next is seamless. This book could be a stand alone, but there is so much more to Pearl's young life that I would be remiss in not encouraging you to read all three books. I hope you love them as much as I do!

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book as a gift, and there were no expectations for me to write a positive review. All expressed opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
  5. Beth
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent Ending to Pearl's Story!
    November 29, 2017
    Beth
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Vivid, heart-mending, like coming home after a long journey. I closed A Song of Home with a beautiful blend of emotions. I have a full heart because of story well-told, more than a hint of sadness that this Pearl's last story, and yet a deep contentment at how events unfolded for her. I know that there is no way that I can possibly do Pearl justice in this review, but Ill do my best. I stretched out this book for as long as I could, but the farther I got, the faster I seemed to read. I hated to put it down, yet despaired as the heft of the book moved from right to left, until I came to that last page. Pearl is one of the most delightful characters I've ever met; her character is strong and compelling. The first-person narrative is authentic, giving me the feeling that I'm listening to a grown up Pearl telling the story of her childhood. There are things she responds to in a mature way, but at the same time, her youth is still evident in her thoughts and emotions.

    Pearl and her family have been through a great deal, escaping the Dust Bowl and moving on after a terrible loss. Though the events in this story could perhaps be labeled as quieter in nature, they are no less important and impactful on Pearls life. More time is devoted to Pearl's character development, as well as focusing on real family issues that people face every day. Add to that the tension and prejudices of the time, and you get a story full of emotion and heart. The setting of Bliss, Michigan, gives a perfect backdrop to the story. Its a town made of real people, those noble and kind, and those not so kind. Then there are those who are just trying to make up for their past mistakes, in a place where memory runs deep. I loved that this story delves more into Blisss history, especially as it pertains to past events that shaped Aunt Carrie into the person she becomes in Pearls life. I think what I loved most about this story is the promise of reconciliation between Pearl and her mother. As in real life, reconciliation is sometimes hard-won, but always, always, worth it. Though Finkbeiner doesnt shy away from the hard things, there is always a persistent measure of hope in the trial.

    In my heart and mind, Pearl lives on, helping in the library, then maybe even gets a job there in high school, then she grows up to be a writer and marries her best friend, Ray. The best kinds of characters are the ones that live on in my heart and mind, and Pearl will certainly do that. I feel like Im saying goodbye to Pearl in the same way that she has to say goodbye to friends she loves knowing that her story has ended well and will end well wherever she ends up in life, knowing that I can surely see her again by picking up one of her stories, and it will be just like visiting an old, dear, friend.

    Do start with the first book in the series, A Cup of Dust. There is such a nuanced feeling to the story because Ive known Pearl from the beginning, and I think thats only as strong as it is because of having read her story as a whole. Not only is this one of my favorite historical fiction series, its one of my favorite series in general. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy strong characterization and coming of age stories.
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