Category Archives: Book Reviews

Audiobook Review: Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren

Title: Troubled Waters
Author: Susan May Warren
Print Publisher: Revell
Audio Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Cynthia Farrell
Published: January 2018
Series: Montana Rescue, Book 4
Genre: Contemporary romance, Christian fiction.
Length: 11 hrs, 4 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

With their past tearing them apart, it will take a storm to bring them together . . .

Billionaire Ian Shaw can have everything he wants–except a happy ending. Or at least that’s what it feels like with his fortune recently liquidated, his niece missing, and the woman he loves refusing to speak to him. Despite her love for Ian, Sierra Rose knows he has no room in his life for her as long as the mystery of his missing niece goes unsolved. Sierra has solved it, but a promise to the girl to keep her whereabouts secret has made it impossible to be around Ian.

When Sierra needs funds to repair the damaged PEAK chopper, Ian offers a fundraising junket for large donors on his yacht in the Caribbean. But the leisurely excursion turns into a nightmare when a rogue wave cripples the yacht and Ian and Sierra find themselves washed up on a strange, empty shore.

It will take guts for the PEAK team to rescue the duo. But it will take a miracle to rescue Ian and Sierra’s relationship.

My Thoughts on the Book:

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this story ever since I first started reading the Montana Rescue series with Wild Montana Skies and If Ever I Would Leave You. The first book and prequel to the series introduced Ian and Sierra, among other characters, and that’s when I first fell for their story. Then, their story continued on the back burner through books 2 and 3. An agonizing wait! But now, in book 4, we get to see their relationship develop more fully. Their characters are well developed over the course of this book with faith journeys and character development centering on issues of control vs trust. Pete and Jess also see their relationship develop further over the course of this book as well. Readers who enjoy action, adventure, and romance will find much to love throughout this series. And those already familiar with the series, can look forward to a short-term change of setting with action and adventure on the high seas this time around. Highly recommended.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

I’ve listened to several of the titles in this series in audio format, including this one, and enjoyed them greatly. Cynthia Farrell’s reading is consistently excellent from one book to another. Accents, vocal inflections, pacing, and emotional delivery all contribute to the overall effect, and I appreciate the consistency in the way the characters are portrayed from one book to another.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | About the Series | Audio Sample | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site

Audiobook Review: A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

Title: A Name Unknown
Author: Roseanna M. White
Print Publisher: Bethany House
Audio Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Liz Pearce
Published: July 2017
Series: Shadows Over England, Book 1
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 15 hours, 17 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

She’s Out to Steal His Name. Will He Steal Her Heart Instead?

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins who helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets–instead they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary is beginning to question whether she can continue in this life when she’s offered the challenge of a lifetime–determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. After all how does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

As Europe moves ever closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown–so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstep pretending to be a well-credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.

When danger and suspicion continue to mount, both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth–about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.

My Thoughts on the Book:

A Name Unknown is a delightfully fun read for those readers who like their historical romance with a touch of mystery, intrigue, and humor.

The characters are particularly fabulous. Rosemary for her compelling character arc and faith journey. Peter for his charming awkwardness combined with his thoughtfulness toward others, and an appealing quality I can’t quite pin down with words. I admired the way he “talked” so easily about his faith (in written form anyway), and I enjoyed watching the progression in Rosemary’s beliefs as they wrote back and forth. Their romance is sweet and includes some of my favorite tropes and character traits.

There’s a plot twist I didn’t see coming that was… intriguing. I’m tempted to re-read the whole thing just to convince my inner skeptic that all the pieces really do fit the twist. LOL! But I won’t give away any details. You’ll want to read this for yourself.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

I listened to the audio edition and absolutely loved it. Peter’s stuttering plays quite well in spoken form, and halfway through I had to track down a print copy to see if the author wrote it all out that way or if the narrator was ad-libbing. Sure enough, it’s there in written format too. I think it speaks to both the author’s and the narrator’s skill that Peter’s speech impediment comes across believably and sympathetically in the story, without becoming a barrier to the reader’s enjoyment. Narrator Liz Pearce expertly employs a wide range of voices in terms of accent, gender, age, and emotion, resulting in a lovely overall listening experience.

Thank you to Recorded Books for providing a complimentary copy of the audiobook for review purposes.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | About the Series | Audio Sample | Author’s Site

Book Review: No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

Title: No One Ever Asked
Author: Katie Ganshert
Publisher: WaterBrook
Published: April 2018
Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district–and in their lives.

When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray–the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser–faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones–the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge’s top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she’s stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as “this” or “that”, when such complexity exists in each person?

My Thoughts:

Katie Ganshert is among my favorite authors, so I’ve been looking forward to reading this novel since I first heard about it. And it did not disappoint.

No One Ever Asked addresses challenging and timely societal issues, but not in a heavy-handed way. Rather, we meet three main characters at a pivotal time for their community and for them personally. We see their stories unfold from their own perspectives, and each is challenged at her core in a way that is unique to her own situation.

Camille, Anaya, and Jen are each well-developed flawed but sympathetic characters who face difficulties, make mistakes, and learn something new about themselves and their neighbors along the way.

This is the sort of book that makes you think about things you may have taken for granted, in a whole new light and consider questions you may not have thought much about before. Highly recommended for book discussion groups, as well as anyone who enjoys a thought-provoking, character-driven story.

Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary advance reader copy of the book through the Blogging for Books program.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site

Book Review: Under a Cloudless Sky by Chris Fabry

Title: Under a Cloudless Sky
Author: Chris Fabry
Publisher: Tyndale House
Published: January 2018
Genre: Historical Christian fiction

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

A charming and engrossing novel for fans of Southern fiction and the recent hit memoir Hillbilly Elegy about a lush and storied coal-mining town—and the good people who live there—in danger of being destroyed for the sake of profit. Will the truth about the town’s past be its final undoing or its saving grace?

1933. In the mining town of Beulah Mountain, West Virginia, two young girls form an unbreakable bond against the lush Appalachian landscape, coal dust and old hymns filling their lungs and hearts. Despite the polarizing forces of their fathers—one a mine owner, one a disgruntled miner —Ruby and Bean thrive under the tender care of Bean’s mama, blissfully unaware of the rising conflict in town and the coming tragedy that will tear them apart forever.

2004. Hollis Beasley is taking his last stand. Neighbors up and down the hollow have sold their land to Coleman Coal and Energy, but Hollis is determined to hold on to his family legacy on Beulah Mountain. Standing in his way is Buddy Coleman, an upstart mining executive who hopes to revitalize the dying town by increasing coal production and opening the Company Store Museum. He’ll pay homage to the past—even the massacre of 1933—while positioning the company for growth at all costs.

What surprises them all is how their stories will intersect with a feisty octogenarian living hundreds of miles away. When Ruby Handley Freeman’s grown children threaten her independence, she takes a stand of her own and disappears, propelling her on a journey to face a decades-old secret that will change everything for her and those she meets.

My Thoughts:

This novel’s gritty historical detail, unexpected plot twists, and literary leanings set it apart as something special within its genre. The coal mining town and its people come vividly to life on the page, as do the spunky octogenarian Ruby and her family. The split time structure works well, flowing logically and smoothly from 1933 to 2004 and back again, without losing the reader along the way.

“I think people see their story here. The pain and brokenness. And it helps them make sense of their own. They soak in the horror and the beauty of it.”

That quote from Chapter 52 is referring to the history of the mining town’s Company Store as shared in a local museum, but I think it could just as appropriately be applied to this work of fiction itself. As with many beautifully written stories, this one uses the specific details of one particular location and cast of characters to address the general human condition in a way that’s broadly relatable.

A great choice for book discussion groups and anyone who enjoys a thought provoking story with some unexpected twists and turns along the way.

Thank you to Tyndale House for providing a complimentary advance reader copy of the book for review purposes.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site

Audiobook Review: Twisted Innocence by Terri Blackstock

Title: Twisted Innocence
Author: Terri Blackstock
Publisher: Zondervan
Narrator: Nan Gurley
Published: February 2015
Series: Moonlighters, Book 3
Genre: Suspense, Christian Fiction
Length: 7 hours, 28 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

Holly Cramer’s past choices have finally caught up to her, but she never expected them to endanger her baby.

Though Holly’s stumbled through most of her adult life as a party girl, she longs to live a more stable life for her daughter. Then police show up to question her about the whereabouts of Creed Kershaw, Lily’s father. She has kept his identity a secret from friends and family—she never even told him about the pregnancy. Now he’s a person of interest in a drug-related murder case.

Determined to keep him out of their lives and turn him over to police, Holly uses her private investigating skills to search for him. But her bravado backfires when he turns the tables and takes her and the baby hostage. As desperate hours tick by, Holly realizes his connection to Leonard Miller—the man who has gunned down several members of her family. Creed claims he’s innocent and that Miller is after him too. His gentleness with Lily moves her, but she can’t trust a man who has held her at gunpoint . . . even if he reminds her so much of herself.

Dangers old and new threaten Holly and her baby, and lives are demanded as sacrifices for love. Through a complex web of mistakes and regret, redemption is the one hope Holly has left to hold on to.

My Thoughts on the Book:

I read and reviewed the first two titles (Truth Stained Lies and Distortion) in this series a long while ago, and somehow never got around to finishing the series until recently. When I stumbled onto this one available as an audiobook on Hoopla through my local library, I figured it was time to finish what I’d started. And yes, I’m glad that I did.

This novel wraps up many loose ends from the first two books, and takes the perspective of a character who wasn’t always seen in the best light in the earlier books, and turns her life around. Wow. Some very meaningful themes throughout the book, including a strong redemptive storyline.

While Creed, the hero, doesn’t start out as a terribly appealing character, the author does a good job changing our perceptions of him over the course of the book and making him sympathetic to Holly and to the reader, until by the end, we’re rooting for them and their relationship.

Overall, a good conclusion to the series. And the author’s note at the end is well worth reading too.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

This series started with one narrator, and switched to another midstream. Generally a risky move, since each narrator will have a different interpretation of the same characters and their voices, which can make for a jarring difference from one book to the next. Fortunately, both narrators did an excellent job with their respective books, so I can’t really complain. Especially since it’s been so long since I read the first two titles in the series.

Nan Gurley did a great job of giving voice and emotion to the characters in this story. I thoroughly enjoyed the listening experience and would highly recommend it.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library via Hoopla. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.

Quick Links: About the Book | About the Series | Audio Sample | Author’s Site

Audiobook Review: The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

Title: The Masterpiece
Author: Francine Rivers
Print Publisher: Tyndale House
Audio Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Susan Bennett
Published: February 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christian Fiction.
Length: 15 hours, 54 minutes. Unabridged

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.

A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want—money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist—an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.

Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship—and both their lives—forever.

My Thoughts on the Book:

There’s something special about this book. The story has some thematic and structural similarities to the author’s classic bestseller, Redeeming Love, but dare I say it? I like The Masterpiece even better. Maybe it’s my partiality for contemporary stories? Maybe it reflects the author’s growth over her career? Whatever the reason, this story and these characters have found a place among my all-time favorites.

Roman and Grace each have heartbreaking backstories, which are smoothly integrated into the flow of the present-day story in such a way as to maximize their impact. I cried in the car on my way to work, while listening to this audiobook. (Thankfully, I was able to pull myself together in time for work, but that’s another story!)

Their character arcs introduce gritty bits of reality into the story and require a lot of healing and growth over the course of the book, but their journeys along the way present a beautiful image of God’s love and redemption. The gospel message is discussed in the story, but its introduction felt natural to the plot, and I’m glad the author didn’t shy away from addressing the subject.

The romantic storyline is complicated by the hero and heroine’s backgrounds and by Roman’s initially brooding attitude. I enjoyed seeing the gradual development of the hero and heroine’s relationships with each other and with other characters in the story, and how all those relationships interacted in bringing about a satisfying conclusion to the story. Overall, a sweet romance interwoven with meaningful character development throughout. I highly recommend this title for fans of the genre.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

Susan Bennett gives a professional performance throughout this audiobook. The pacing, inflections, and enunciation in her reading make it easy and pleasant to follow her through the story. Character voices and emotions are subtly distinguished, making it easy to follow who’s speaking, without any of the voices sounding awkward or unnatural. I highly recommend the audio edition.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed listening to the book.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | Audio Sample | Author’s Site | About the Narrator

Audiobook Review: If I Live by Terri Blackstock

Title: If I Live
Author: Terri Blackstock
Publisher: Zondervan
Narrator: Kate Rudd
Published: March 2018
Series: If I Run, Book 3
Genre: Suspense, Christian Fiction
Length: 7 hours, 20 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

THE HUNT IS ALMOST OVER. Casey Cox is still on the run after being indicted for murder. The hunt that began with her bloody footprints escalates, and she’s running out of places to hide. Her face is all over the news, and her disguises are no longer enough. It’s only a matter of time before someone recognizes her.

Dylan Roberts, the investigator who once hunted her, is now her only hope. Terrifying attempts on Dylan’s life could force Casey out of hiding. The clock is ticking on both their lives, but exposing the real killers is more complicated than they knew. Amassing the evidence to convict their enemies draws Dylan and Casey together, but their relationship has consequences. Will one life have to be sacrificed to protect the other?

With If I Live, Terri Blackstock takes us on one more heart-stopping chase in the sensational conclusion to the If I Run series.

My Thoughts on the Book:

This is the third and final book in a series I’ve been eagerly following since the first title, If I Run was published. The hero and heroine continue to be complex, loveable, and believably portrayed. And the villain reveals himself to be even more the kind of dangerous psychopath readers will love to hate. Suspenseful, thought-provoking, and romantic in turns, this installment thoroughly lives up to the storyline’s potential, and brings Casey’s nightmarish circumstances to a satisfying conclusion. After finishing all three titles in the series, I would say I highly recommend them all. Just be sure to read them in order, as they build upon each other to create a larger unifying story arc, beyond the smaller arcs of the individual stories.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

Kate Rudd, the narrator from the second book in this series returns to read this third installment, and does a great job of it. The reading sounds friendly and personable, while incorporating appropriate levels of urgency throughout. And the dialogue is spoken in voices well tailored to the characters speaking. I highly recommend the audio edition to those readers who appreciate a good audiobook.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library via Hoopla. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | About the Series | Audio Sample | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site

Audiobook Review: Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

PhotoWithTessaAfsharLast week was a busy week for me, including a road trip with coworkers to Philadelphia in the midst of unseasonably snowy weather to attend this year’s Public Library Association conference. It was a fabulous experience, including interesting continuing education sessions, excellent speakers, and the chance to browse a wonderland of booths set up by publishers and library related vendors. I picked up a half dozen advance reader copies of titles from some of my favorite authors and publishers, but the most pleasant surprise of the trip was discovering that author Tessa Afshar would be signing books at the Tyndale House booth! Of course, I had to meet her and tell her how much I love her books. Including this one, that I’d previously read, but had not yet posted my review. :)

Title: Bread of Angels
Author: Tessa Afshar
Print Publisher: Tyndale House
Audio Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Rendah Heywood
Published: June/July 2017
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Length: 9 hours, 30 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.

But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant’s daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.

With only her father’s secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances—along with her father’s precious dye—help her become one of the city’s preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can’t outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.

My Thoughts on the Book:

One of the things I love about reading well written Biblical fiction is the cultural perspective and context it can give on its time period and surroundings. This novel does that for the early church in Philippi. I loved witnessing the purple dyeing process in vivid detail, and learning relevant bits and pieces about taxes, citizenship, law, and doing business in the Roman Empire. Some fascinating stuff in the context of a compelling story. The book features Lydia as a strong and principled female character, fighting for success in a male dominated world. Great start already, right?

I will forewarn you, there is some preaching in this book. But I think that’s to be expected in a story based around Acts 16, which features a visit by the Apostle Paul. And, quite frankly, I found it refreshing to find a clear presentation of the gospel in a work of Christian fiction. So often, I think authors are afraid of being deemed “preachy” and shy away too much from addressing important topics. Not so here, and I think the story is all the better for it.

This story’s not a romance, per se, but I did appreciate the romantic bits thrown in. Sort of the icing on the cake. I also enjoyed a cameo appearance by characters from the author’s earlier book, Land of Silence, another lovely read worth checking out if you haven’t already. Overall, Bread of Angels is a fascinating historical tale, built around a Biblical framework, that I feel is well worth reading.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

The narrator of this audiobook, Rendah Heywood, employs a very pleasant reading voice, with a mild accent that works quite well with this story. Given that the story is primarily told from Lydia’s viewpoint, there’s not a whole lot of distinction required between character voices, and yet, the narrator does distinguish clearly enough that there’s never any confusion regarding who’s who. I am quite happy to have selected the audio edition, and would recommend it to others.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book. And I have since received a signed copy of the print edition from the publisher and author, much to my delight.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | Audio Sample | Author’s Site

Audiobook Review: A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

Title: A Matter of Trust
Author: Susan May Warren
Print Publisher: Revell
Audio Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Cynthia Farrell
Published: July 2017
Series: Montana Rescue, Book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christian Fiction
Length: 10 hours, 22 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

It’s those we love who have the power to hurt us most . . .

Champion backcountry snowboarder Gage Watson has left the limelight behind after the death of one of his fans. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, he’s remade his life as a ski patrol in Montana’s rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team. But he can’t seem to find his footing–or forget the woman who betrayed him.

Senator and former attorney Ella Blair spends much of her time in the public eye as one of the youngest senators in the country. But she has a secret–one that cost Gage his career. More than anything, she wants to atone for her betrayal of him in the courtroom and find a way to help him put his career back on track.

When Ella’s brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park’s most dangerous peaks, Gage and his team are called in for the rescue. But Gage isn’t so sure he wants to help the woman who destroyed his life. More, when she insists on joining the search, he’ll have to keep her safe while finding her reckless brother–a recipe for disaster when a snowstorm hits the mountain.

My Thoughts on the Book:

This is Book 3 in the Montana Rescue series, a series which I’m enjoying a great deal. I particularly love how each book gives backstory and layered dimension, not just to the hero and heroine of that story, but also to secondary characters who will be making more prominent appearances in future stories. For this reason, this is definitely a series you’ll want to read in order, even if you could probably read any individual title as a standalone without confusion. Check out my review of Wild Montana Skies and its prequel novella If Ever I Would Leave You for a starting point.

In A Matter of Trust, Ella and Gage have a past history that makes them seem unlikely candidates for romance. And yet, the development and progression of their relationship as they work together in a dangerous and difficult situation, feels quite natural. And the lessons about trust they learn and apply to their lives in the process give their story deeper meaning than just a fun romance. Speaking of fun… the snowboarding theme is fun too. I haven’t been skiing in years, and have never been snowboarding, but I enjoyed the vivid and scenic descriptions throughout Ella and Gage’s adventure. Meanwhile, Ty meets Brette, Pete and Jess have some misunderstandings cleared up and secrets revealed, and Ian and Sierra share some important story moments. Precursors of things to come? Let’s just say I can’t wait for the next amazing read in this series.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

I enjoyed Cynthia Farrell’s narration in Rescue Me (Book 2 of this series), so I was happy to hear more from this narrator in this title. The character voices and accents are excellent, and the story is told with feeling. The pacing and enunciation is also well done. I’m looking forward to another excellent performance in Troubled Waters the next audiobook in this series.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | About the Series | Audio Sample | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site

Book Review: A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner

Title: A Trail of Crumbs
Author: Susie Finkbeiner
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Published: March 2017
Series: Pearl Spence, Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

“I believed it would have been a sin to stay inside when God had sent us such fine weather. According to Pastor Ezra Anderson, sin was the reason we’d got in the dusty mess we were in. The way I saw it, that day was God’s way of letting us know He wasn’t mad at us anymore. Just maybe He’d seen fit to forgive us.”

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 the end of her beautiful day signals the beginning of the end of her secure life.

Now her family is fleeing their Oklahoma wasteland. Pearl isn’t sure she’ll ever see home or happiness again. Are there any crumbs 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, sure to please her many fans.

My Thoughts:

Pearl Spence is an adorable young heroine with a distinctive voice, and a fascinating story to tell. Her tale began in A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl, and continues with A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression. She’s a little older and wiser in this book, but with the same healthy dose of spunk and unexpected insights.

Pearl’s situation improves in some ways over the course of this novel, but at the same time, she’s put through the emotional wringer on several fronts. I feel for her and want more for this character. That’s why I can’t wait to continue reading her tale in A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era.

Once again, author Susie Finkbeiner has incorporated vivid historical details, and both primary and secondary characters with character to spare. Highly recommended to fans of historical fiction and coming of age stories with a literary flair.

I purchased the electronic edition of this book, and was not expected to write a review, but I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

Quick Links: About the Book | About the Series | Author’s Site