When Annie Jacobson's brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he mails her a piece of paper with 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. As they work toward healing and pray fervently for Mike's safety overseas, 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 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.
All Manner of Things is an intimate portrayal of a Michigan family during the Vietnam War. The family has to cope with Mike’s decision to enlist in the war. The story is told from Annie’s perspective—she’s the sister who left behind and now has to help her family cope with the tragedies and complications that occur during Mike’s absence.
Annie is an engaging storyteller. Though she’s telling her story, she does so without drama or fanfare allowing the reader space to form their opinions and feelings.
Know God—The characters relationship with God is evident throughout the book as they turn to Him to help them through their struggles. We are reminded that though we may not feel God, He’s always there offering us comfort. Or, displaying His majesty so we can remember that He is God.
Know yourself—After Mike left, Annie had to acknowledge a major character flaw and try her best to grow in that area. She reminds us that personal growth may not always be easy but it’s necessary.
Run your race—Like Annie and each member of her family, God has set a path before us and we have to make a conscious decision to pursue those things which lead us towards our destiny.
I enjoyed reading All Manner of Things. I felt like a member of the family as I walked along with Annie, Mike and their family. I received an advanced reader copy as part of the Revell Book Bloggers program. Have you read All Manner of Things? What did you think?
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
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.