A ★★★★ Book Review of All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner | A story of family, war and America in the 1960's.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell at Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.

An endearing story of family, war and the heart of an American girl in 1960’s Michigan.

This beautiful, well written story draws readers in as they experience life and family through the eyes of Annie Jacobsen, an eighteen year old girl with a single mom, two brothers and a father who abandoned the family years ago. Truly the heart of this story is about family, war, hope and the coming of age. An emotional, yet comforting read for a lazy summer afternoon.

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.. -Synopsis from All Manner of Things

"Some books are meant to be read. All Manner of Things is meant to be lived in."--Jocelyn Green, Christy Award-winning author of Between Two Shores

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★ |   All Manner of Things drew me in from the first few pages. The characters were so very relatable, coming to life for me as I found myself comparing them to members of my own family, or even myself. As the story wove through the fibers of this family and the ways in which they dealt with Frank’s abandonment, return and Mike’s going to war, the story stirred my heart and soul.

This book is very well written, touching on a wide variety of circumstances that families often find themself dealing with such as an elderly grandparent with dementia, single motherhood, PTSD, duty, fear, faith, first love, racism and death. Finkbeiner masterfully crafts a story that is heartwarming, tender and touching. I enjoyed that All Manner of Things was from Annie’s point of view as she experiences coming into adulthood and watching her family change, grow and strengthen. The inserts of letters and reel-to-reel recordings is a stroke of genius on the author’s part as I found myself enjoying those the most. I haven’t read very many stories in this time era, 1960’s American during the Vietnam war, and I enjoyed it. Parts of the book reminded me episodes of the popular fiction tv show, This is Us on NBC.

The novel wraps up with an emotional ending that truly drew me to tears, even if it was predictable. My recommendation is to give All Manner of Things a read. I’m certain you’ll find the Jacobsons walk right into your heart and home, surrounding you with feelings that we as a human race all face similar situations and that even in the midst of that, our faith and our family are the two most important things we have.

Behind the clouds the sun is shining. If only we have the eyes to see it.
— Susie Finkbeiner - All Manner of Things


Author Susie Finkbeiner | Image courtesy of Baker Publishing Group, Photo Credit: Bree Rose Photos

Author Susie Finkbeiner | Image courtesy of Baker Publishing Group, Photo Credit: Bree Rose Photos

Susie Finkbeiner is the CBA bestselling author of A Cup of Dust, A Trail of Crumbs, and A Song of Home. She serves on the Breathe Christian Writers Conference planning committee, volunteers her time at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and speaks at retreats and women's events across the state. Susie and her husband have three children and live in West Michigan. Find her online at https://susiefinkbeiner.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Lastly, pick up your own copy of All Manner of Things or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below!