A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner (review)

Having put off reading A Song of Home for so long I was worried about not rereading the first two Pearl Spence novels, but as soon as I started to read, there she was. I sank right in to Pearl’s narration and her life, once again enchanted by her personality and imagination, and once again having my reader’s heart broken into tiny pieces.

Through Pearl’s eleven year old eyes, author Susie Finkbeiner explores the racial tensions in 1936 Bliss, Michigan and whether a family broken by grief, hardship, and abandonment can ever be patched together again. In a story that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, Pearl’s simple faith and enduring spirit shine through.

Susie Finkbeiner’s Pearl Spence trilogy are among my favorite novels set during America’s Great Depression, with A Song of Home joining their number in great part due to the themes of forgiveness and redemption.

Highly recommended.

This review refers to a paperback copy, along with a digital galley that I voluntarily received via NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book

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 inspirational fiction that tugs at your heartstrings and makes you feel as if you’ve finally come home will love A Song of Home and the previous Pearl Spence books. 

Enjoy all the Pearl Spence Novels
1.A Cup of Dust
2. A Trail of Crumbs
3. A Song of Home

A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era by Susie Finkbeiner (Pearl Spence, #3) | Kregel, November 2017 | paperback, 320 pages