Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner August 13, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:40 pm
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In 1975, three thousand children were airlifted out of Saigon to be adopted into Western homes. When one of those children announces her plans to return to Vietnam to find her birth mother, her loving adopted family is suddenly thrown back to the events surrounding her unconventional arrival in their lives.

Mindy’s father grapples with the tension between holding on tightly and letting his daughter spread her wings. Her mother undergoes the emotional roller coaster inherent in the adoption of a child from a war-torn country, discovering the joy hidden amid the difficulties. And Mindy and her sister struggle to find the strength to accept each other as they both discover who they truly are.

Told through three distinct voices in three compelling timelines, The Nature of Small Birds is a hopeful story that explores the meaning of family far beyond genetic code.

My thoughts:

This is a very interesting book. It really doesn’t have a lot of tension or drive but I think because of Susie’s excellent writing style and her unique voice I was pulled into this story and wanted to keep reading.

I loved Sonny’s POV because it was in 1988. So many memories came rushing back to for me as I grew up in the 80s and all the things that were normal for us that my kids now would laugh at.

Even 2013 (Bruce’s POV) was interesting because that is fresh in my memory. The year Frozen came out and the bitterly cold winter we had in Michigan (which is where this book takes place).

The whole Babylift program is very intriguing and hard to believe this actually happened.

If you haven’t read a book by Susie yet I highly recommend you read her work, it is excellent.

Visit Susie here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through the publisher. All opinions are my own.


Stories That Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner July 21, 2020

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:14 pm
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Rediscover the power of story to open the doors of our hearts

Betty Sweet never expected to be a widow at forty. With so much life still in front of her, she tries to figure out what’s next, never imagining what God had in mind.

When her estranged sister returns to town, Betty finds herself taking on the care of a five-year-old nephew she never knew she had. In 1960s small-town Michigan, they make an odd pair. Betty with her pink button nose and bouffant hair. Hugo with his light brown skin and large brown eyes. But more powerful than what makes them different is what they share: the heartache of an empty space in their lives. Slowly, they will learn to trust one another as they discover common ground and healing through the magic of storytelling.

My thoughts:

Susie knows how to write a beautiful story. Her books are so unique. The time period isn’t one most authors write in, the 1960s. The other things I love about her books is that they are set in Michigan. Her last series was set in my hometown. This one I had never heard of the town and didn’t find it so I am thinking it is fictional but based on a small town in Michigan. But the surrounding areas, Detroit, Lansing and Jackson are all very real.

The heartache that Betty has walked through, yet she never let it bring her down. She saw her sister as a fighter, but she is as well. The Sweet family is one I would love to spend time with. What a blessing that Betty got to be part of that family.

Hugo pulled at my heart and made me want to cry. I can only imagine what a small child would go through when you have a mother who is unstable.

Overall, Susie has knocked another one out of the park.

Visit Susie here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own. 



All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner August 8, 2019

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:23 pm
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After Annie Jacobson’s brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he mails her the address of their long-estranged father. If anything should happen to him in Vietnam, Mike says, Annie must let their father know.

In Mike’s absence, their father returns to face tragedy at home, adding an extra measure of complication to an already tense time. Letter by letter, the Jacobsons must find a way to pull together as a family, regardless of past hurts. In the tumult of this time, Annie and her family will grapple with the tension of holding both hope and grief in the same hand, even as they learn to turn to the One who binds the wounds of the brokenhearted.

My thoughts:

There are a lot of things I love about Susie’s books. One is the fact that they take place in Michigan (my state), another is the fact that her last series actually took place in my home town (under a slightly different name) and this book makes mention of that town and several others that I am familiar with, like Lansing and Grand Rapids. I also love they way she paints the picture of the town we are in, I believe the town in which the story takes place is very important to the characters as well in Susie’s writing. In addition, her voice is so unique and her plots engaging.

She an author who when I see her name I don’t read the back cover I just click yes to review. I know I won’t be disappointed and I wasn’t 🙂

There is a lot going on with Annie and her life and family. So many tensions and worries but Annie pushes through and grows stronger throughout the book.

There are also racial tensions at this time. You would think in Michigan it wouldn’t be a big deal, but even as I grew up my dad had some very old ideas about race that I don’t agree with, but that was how he was raised here in Michigan even.

This book easily captured my attention and I didn’t want to stop reading so I could see what would happen next and how everything would work out.

Visit Susie here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me. All opinions are my own. 


A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner January 12, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:52 pm
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Pearl Spence has finally settled into a routine in Bliss, Michigan, far from her home in Red River, Oklahoma. Like all the other kids, she goes to school each day, plays in the woods, and does her chores. But there’s one big difference: Mama is still gone, and doesn’t seem to have a thought for the family she’s left behind.

Escaping from her worries is another part of Pearl’s new routine, whether that’s running to Aunt Carrie’s farm, listening to the radio with Ray, or losing herself in a book. In fact, a chair in the stacks, surrounded by books, might be her favorite place on earth–until she discovers swing dancing. The music transports Pearl to a whole other world.

When Mama unexpectedly returns, it isn’t the happy occasion Pearl had imagined. Mama is distant and Pearl can’t figure out how to please her. And the horrible way she treats Daddy is more than Pearl can bear. Seems life would be better if Mama would just stay away.

Finkbeiner’s portrayal of both tragedy and everyday life in times of great change is charged with a raw beauty that will haunt readers. Fans of the two prior Pearl Spence novels won’t be disappointed!

My thoughts:

Yeah. I really liked this one.

Susie has a very unique voice and I love it. The way she takes everyday things and turns them into something beautiful is truly artistic.

I did not read the first book in this series, but I did read the second and now this one. I loved picking back up with Pearl and the changes she was going through, her struggles with loving Mama, yet not liking what she did or even who she was at time. There is a surprise in there that I didn’t see coming either. Things I could relate to in repairing a marriage that has been torn apart.

I did find out the setting of this book is based on the town in which I live and grew up. I couldn’t help trying to picture my little town so many years ago. Thinking Pearl lived here when my grandparents where young adults. Obviously, this story is fiction but it was nice to imagine.

This book is truly a piece of art and the words paint a beautiful, heartbreaking picture.

Visit Susie here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to my by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 


A Trail of Bread Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner April 10, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:34 pm
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Pearl Spence has been through more in her young life than most folks could handle. But through it all, her family has been by her side. They may not be perfect, but they love her and they all love each other, come what may. That’s one thing Pearl no longer questions.

But then a devastating tragedy throws the whole family into a tailspin–and signals the beginning of the end of her secure life.

Now the Spences are fleeing their Oklahoma wasteland for an unknown life in Depression-era Michigan. Pearl isn’t sure she’ll ever see home or happiness again. Will any trail of crumbs be powerful enough to guide her back to the dependable life she once knew?

The strong narrative voice of Finkbeiner’s young protagonist from A Cup of Dust returns in this gritty yet hopeful sequel.

My thoughts:

I haven’t read anything by Susie before and now I would really like to read her other books.

This book is the second, and as stated I didn’t read the first book. This in no way hindered my enjoyment of A Trail of Bread Crumbs.  The way Susie worked in what had happened in the previous book was so seamless I didn’t even really realize I was getting caught up.

She captures Pearl’s voice so well. Even though we are in the mind of a ten-year-old you don’t feel the immaturity that might come with that age, yet it was very age appropriate in tone and perspective.

So much heartache in this book yet here is always a glimmer of hope.

I loved hearing the description and hope they would find in Michigan. Living in Michigan I sometimes forget how beautiful it is. The most amazing thing was the name of the town Pearl moved to. The name is VERY close to the name of the town I live in. I wondered if there was any connection or not. So cool.

A beautiful story that will hold you captive.

Visit Susie here. 

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.