I have great respect for an author who can help me enjoy something I used to tolerate, ok, avoid. I don't -- didn't -- used to gravitate toward historical fiction (or history for that matter), but this book unlocked a new appreciation for both. I forgot I was reading historical fiction and just got lost in the story. WELL done.
With each novel by Susie Finkbeiner, I fall more in love with her writing and her characters. I was glad to return to Pearl's story after reading A Cup of Dust. I feel as if I know her family and her home. As awful as the setting of the Great Depression is, I still want to visit; meeting these characters would make it worth the trial. Susie's books are never easy-to-read, full-of-warm-fuzzies types of books. She explores the nitty gritty of life and people. You're crying, you're angry, you're hurting. Then you're loving and cheering Pearl on. You have hope for her future. And I can't wait to find out what it holds.
Pearl Spence is a survivor; for she has survived more tragedy than most ten year old girls could even imagine, much less endure; and trying to see "how all things work together for the good of those who love God", according to her beloved Meemaw; is getting harder and harder for Pearl to believe. When the unthinkable occurs, she and her family are forced to relocate, leaving the dust blown town of Red River, Oklahoma far behind, while they struggle to embrace the friendly community of Bliss, Michigan as their new home.
The love of her family has always provided Pearl's tender heart with a measure of certainty; naturally, when grief exposes a deep fissure in that stability, Pearl is left wondering whether or not a "trail of crumbs" is enough to lead anyone back home.
Susie Finkbeiner has beautifully heightened her readers' expectations, for this second installment in her "Pearl Spence" series is just as lovely as the first, giving a poignant glimpse into the era now known as the "Great Depression".
Finkbeiner's characters struggle. They navigate difficult times. Answers do not come easily. Faith is tested.
Somehow Pearl holds onto fragile hope through support of loved ones and her faith. I love how the storyline follows how people navigate grief, hard times and transition differently, even within a family. Her voice is lovingly needful and encouraging.
A Trail of Crumbs continues the story of Pearl Spence and her family about four months after the events that took place in A Cup of Dust. Again we see life through young Pearl's life, a ten year old girl growing up in the time of the dust bowl, the Great Depression, a time of desperation for most people. I thoroughly enjoyed the first novel and looked forward to their continuing story.
Wow. There are some things that happen in this book that really took me by surprise. The author knows this time period and writes it as if this family is real and we are reading the diary of this young girl with all the fears and raw emotions she has. Pearl and her family have faced one tragedy after another and to some it has made them stronger and others it has made them weaker. The author writes about a difficult path and shows us timely lessons where grief can weaken us and make temptation all that stronger to turn away from. Again I appreciate the author's sensitivity to history and writes the facts in a way that feels very authentic.
I am not sure how I feel about how this story left off. I am anticipating the next in the continuing story of Pearl and her family- hopefully certain story lines will be resolved and I would like to see how Pearl turns out as a young woman after all she has been through. I also liked how Pearl had to remember what was True and what was a lie in regards to her and her family's love for her. I think all of us can take that to heart when we are faced with lies that want to sneak in versus the Truth we know deep down about our heavenly Father's love for us. Impressive story-telling.
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.