First Line Friday — A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner

29 Dec

This week’s First Line Friday’s theme is the New Year, so I decided to share the first book I will be reading in 2018, Susie Finkbeiner‘s newest release, A Song of Home. This book concludes Pearl Spence’s story and takes place in the mid 1930s. I have enjoyed all the of the books in this series, and just know that I will be glad and sad when I finish the last book.

Leave me a comment with the first line of the closest book to you, then head over to Hoarding Books to check out other bloggers’ first lines.


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! 

(From Amazon) Susie Finkbeiner is a story junkie. Always has been and always will be. It seems it’s a congenital condition, one she’s quite fond of.

After decades of reading everything she could get her hands on (except for See the Eel, a book assigned to her while in first grade, a book she declared was unfit for her book-snob eyes), Susie realized that she wanted to write stories of her own. She began with epics about horses and kittens (but never, ever eels).

It takes years to grow a writer and after decades of work, Susie realized (with much gnashing of teeth and tears) that she was a novelist. In order to learn how to write novels, she read eclectically and adventurously (she may never swim with sharks, but the lady will jump into nearly any story). After reading the work of Lisa Samson, Patti Hill, and Bonnie Grove she realized that there was room for a writer like her in Christian fiction.

Her first novels Paint Chips (2013) and My Mother’s Chamomile (2014) have contemporary settings. While she loved those stories and especially the characters, Susie felt the pull toward historical fiction.

When she read Into the Free by Julie Cantrell she knew she wanted to write historical stories with a side of spunk, grit, and vulnerability. Susie is also greatly inspired by the work of Jocelyn Green, Rachel McMillan, and Tracy Groot.

A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl (2015), Finkbeiner’s bestselling historical set in 1930s Oklahoma, has been compared to the work of John Steinbeck and Harper Lee (which flatters Susie’s socks off). Pearl’s story continues with A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression (2017) and A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era (2018).

What does she have planned after that? More stories, of course. She’s a junkie. She couldn’t quit if she wanted to.

20 Responses to “First Line Friday — A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner”

  1. susandyer1962 December 29, 2017 at 7:52 am #

    Happy Friday!

    My First Line Friday comes from a book I will be reading and reviewing soon, A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill by Jennifer Beckstrand.

    Elsie Stutzman forced a smile and took the last bite of asparagus potato raisin casserole on her plate. She swallowed decisively, and it slid down her throat like a cup of wet cement.

    Have a great weekend and stay warm!

    • rbclibrary December 29, 2017 at 8:22 am #

      Uh . . . yuck! Asparagus/potato/raisin? Thanks for sharing!

  2. Phyllis December 29, 2017 at 8:25 am #

    That sounds very touching.

    My first line comes from Courtney Walsh’s Hometown Girl:
    Beth Whitaker hated flowers.

    • rbclibrary December 29, 2017 at 8:28 am #

      I’ve heard great things about that novel. Thanks for sharing the first line!

  3. joyofreadingweb December 29, 2017 at 9:26 am #

    Happy Friday!
    Over on my blog today I’m sharing the first line from My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York by Amanda Barratt. It is scheduled to release on Jan. 1st! I’ll share with you here a book I’m currently reading – Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky
    “Isabella Grayson’s shoes sank into the plush red carpet of Broadlands’ south hall, and she released a soft sigh. What luxury!”

    Happy New Year!

    • rbclibrary December 29, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

      Aaah! Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

  4. lelandandbecky December 29, 2017 at 10:29 am #

    Susie Finkbeiner is a new author to me
    Happy Friday! My first line is from Would-be Mistletoe Wife by Christine Johnson.

    “Louise Smythe spotted her quarry and motioned her students to follow her across the sand dune.”

    This is a fun & interesting read about lighthouses and the Chicago Fire! Happy New Year!!!

    • rbclibrary December 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

      Sounds like a good book! Happy New Year!

  5. carylkane December 29, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

    I’ve not yet read Susie Finkbeiner’s books.


    “WHO ARE YOU?” I asked. – The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn

    Happy New Year!

    • rbclibrary December 29, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

      Hope you enjoy your book! Happy New Year!

  6. Anneliese Dalaba December 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm #

    The first line describes my day so far. 🙂 The book I’m featuring this week is A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer, who I always enjoy. This is part of an enjoyable Archer Brothers series.

    • rbclibrary December 29, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

      Witemeyer is a fun author! Happy New Year!

  7. allthebookblognamesaretaken December 29, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

    Happy New Year!

    • rbclibrary December 29, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

      Happy New Year to you!

  8. bettylouise31 December 29, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

    My first comes from a mystery, five woman join to form the Wise Detective Agency. Miles have invaded his lawn before tournament. It will be released January 1.

    • rbclibrary December 29, 2017 at 8:23 pm #

      Sounds interesting!

  9. hjsnyder28 December 29, 2017 at 3:52 pm #

    Happy New Year friend!

    • rbclibrary December 29, 2017 at 8:22 pm #

      And to you!

  10. bellesmoma16 December 29, 2017 at 10:40 pm #

    Happy Friday!!!

    I’m sharing the first line from Nicole Deese’s novel, A Season to Love, on my blog. I’m just starting chapter 23, so I will share the first line from this chapter here:

    “I dreamed of coffee: dark and rich and boldly brewed.”

    A great dream to me!!! Hope you have a great weekend, and a happy New Year. 😊

    • rbclibrary December 30, 2017 at 12:05 am #

      Not a fan of coffee, but that line sure sounds good!

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