I love having the opportunity to share the work of powerful voices in fiction and non-fiction.
The last chapter of Pearl Spence’s story releases today, from author Susie Finkbeiner. Pearl navigates childhood through the Dust Bowl, The Great Depression, and now as a pre-teen the Swing Era. Susie is a master at writing vivid characters and Pearl is actually based on her own Grandma!
Hard times have the power to change people”
Pearl knows hard times deep down in her soul. She knows abandonment, poverty, and prejudice. What I appreciate most about Susie as an author is her ability to write what is real and hard. Her stories don’t find perfect beauty or happy endings. Yet, they always hold fast to hope.
In her Aunt Carrie and her best friend Ray, the town librarian and Opal, Pearl finds home.
When hard times befall us, we ask ourselves the same question.
What is home?
What is steady in hard times?
Home is who holds us in love and us them in return.
Over here at About Proximity, we navigate hard places where we desperately need God’s justice.
In the same way, Susie navigates hard through her fictional characters, place in time, and the gift of story. We are thankful for her voice and all the ways she challenges us.
I love Susie Finkbeiner’s writing, because her stories don’t portray life to be glossy perfection.
The endings do not tie life up with a fancy bow.
Her characters struggle. They navigate difficult times. Answers do not come easily. Faith is tested.
Somehow her words continue to hold fragile hope.
Seemed to me the God who hung the stars and spread the waters over the earth could do something so small as that.”
We live in a time that could be looked back upon as a trying period. I think we can learn so much from the voice of Pearl.
Hers was a song of hope.”
A Trail of Crumbs is the sequel to A Cup of Dust. Narrator Pearl Spence, knows enough loss to fill a lifetime. Her family has lived through the Dust Bowl and now navigates The Great Depression. In the midst of loss they leave Oklahoma for Michigan. As they establish a new home, everything Pearl knew shifts and settles uncertainly.
The storyline follows all the members of her family and how they face grief, transition and change differently.
Learn more about her work and previous books at susiefinkbeiner.com. The third book in the series A Song of Home releases February 2018 and takes place during the Swing Era.
If you love book recommendations, follow Susie’s ever-growing bookshelf on Instagram.
Leave a comment to win a copy of A Trail of Crumbs.
Have you heard of blackout poetry? You can see some great examples here, along with the book by Austin Kleon. Learn more about the newspaper blackout project here. Give it a try… you might find it addicting. I think I do.
This was my first try:
impossibly. a thousand feet. bone tired. my soul rusting. dark times.
startlingly beautiful. from afar. deep. sacred place.
It didn’t surprise me that an article stripped down to these words emerged. I’ve been wrestling with all kinds of tangled emotions in the last months. Soul rusting times can led to sacred places in your journey. Sometimes I just don’t want to hear that, like the Sunday morning I walked out of church and all the way home. I didn’t want to sing praise songs, when I was angry at God. You know what, he walked right home with me. He doesn’t leave us, even in our struggle. What he does in us is startlingly beautiful, even if we won’t know the depth of it all until heaven. You are there God, loving us.
I would love to introduce you to someone who understands this. Susie Finkbeiner is a novelist from West Michigan. She blogs regularly here. I think you will find her beautiful, thoughtful, wise and funny. Also real.
Why I love her as a writer is she is not afraid to tackle messy and difficult.
Her lastest novel is A Cup of Dust, which takes place during the Dust Bowl. Pearl Spence, though only ten, is resilient in the midst of a trying and dark time. No matter where we come from, we can be assured that we are loved. You will be challenged by her voice and spirit. (best of all, Susie is currently working on a sequel to A Cup of Dust.)
Comment here to win a signed copy of the book! How are you reminded of God loving you, even during times full of the dust of doubt?