First Line Friday — Stories That Bind Us

29 May

Happy Friday everyone! I am very excited to introduce you to Susie Finkbeiner‘s newest novel, Stories That Bind Us. Susie’s books have captured my imagination with their descriptive settings and relatable characters, and I cannot wait to read this one! It releases next Tuesday, so head over to your favorite bookstore site and pre-order.


Here is the first line:

My Norman had never understood why I liked to hang laundry on the line when I had a perfectly good dryer inside.ย 


Betty Sweet never expected to be a widow at 40. With so much life still in front of her, she tries to figure out what’s next. She couldn’t have imagined what God had in mind. When her estranged sister is committed to a sanitarium, Betty finds herself taking on the care of a 5-year-old nephew she never knew she had.

In 1960s LaFontaine, 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.

Award-winning author Susie Finkbeiner offers fans a novel that invites us to rediscover the power of story to open the doors of our hearts.

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.


For more fabulous first lines, head over to Hoarding Books.


10 Responses to “First Line Friday — Stories That Bind Us”

  1. Kirby preppybookprincess May 29, 2020 at 10:39 am #

    Happy Friday!

    Susie Finkbeiner is so talented, and that opening line makes it sound like this is going to be another fantastic read by her.

    On my blog this week, I’m sharing the first line from Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish by Bethany Turner:

    “That’s it for today friends.”

    Hope you have a great weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. bellesmoma16 May 29, 2020 at 1:58 pm #

    Hello! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Today on my blog I’m sharing the first line from If I Were You by Lynn Austin. I’m currently on chapter 11, so I’ll share from there.
    “USA 1950
    Eve barely slept.”
    Hope you have a great weekend filled with awesome reading time. ๐Ÿ™‚โค๐Ÿ“š

  3. MrsDMVH May 29, 2020 at 2:15 pm #

    This book just looks like such a good story. Happy Friday!!

  4. Jen@GracetoGrow May 29, 2020 at 3:07 pm #

    I just got this one in the mail, can’t wait to start it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Today on my blog, I’m sharing from The Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren. I’m currently reading Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay – here’s the first line: “It finally happened. Spring arrived in Winsome, Illinois.”

    Have a great weekend, and happy reading!

    • rbclibrary June 1, 2020 at 6:20 am #

      Ooh! Enjoy Reayโ€™s book.

  5. lelandandbecky May 29, 2020 at 4:16 pm #

    Happy Friday! My first line is from “Doesn’t She Look Natural?” by Angela Hunt:

    “A grieving woman, I’ve decided, is like a creme brulee: she begins in a liquid state, endures a period of searing heat, and eventually develops a scablike crust.”

    • rbclibrary June 1, 2020 at 6:19 am #

      I read that years ago โ€” loved it!

  6. Kelly-Ann Deffenbaugh May 29, 2020 at 7:23 pm #

    On my blog I shared the first line from Forever Home by Amy Grochowski
    “A sensible Amish woman aspired to marry, as Lydia Miller was reminded daily.”

    Have a lovely weekend!

  7. BeautyInTheBinding (@BeautyInTheBind) May 29, 2020 at 9:38 pm #

    Happy Friday! I’m looking forward to reading this one! Today, I’m sharing the first line from Stay With Me by Becky Wade: “The hallway floor jolts downward beneath my feet, throwing me off balance.” Have a great weekend!

    • rbclibrary June 1, 2020 at 6:18 am #

      I canโ€™t wait to read that one as well.

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