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10 thoughts on “A Cup of Dust (Pearl Spence #1)

  1. says:

    I learned that kindness could break a heart just as sure as meanness The difference was kindness made that broken heart softer Meanness just made the heart want to be hard I absolutely LOVED this book and little spitfire Pearl She was tenacious, courageous, tender yet tough, innocence yet wise beyond what most adolescents are today due to the harsh climate and poverty of the dust bowl shrouded plains in western Oklahoma during the early thirties and the volatility that went with it Dust and dark married, creating a pillow to smother hard on our faces This is one of those books a rare and true gem that surprises with literary awe, for all the right reasons Prose is both powerful and beautiful, and quite polished for an indie A storyteller s story, told with resonating timbre, flowing meter, with bouts of sorrowful heartache, a bit of joyful warmhearted turns, and measures of spellbinding suspense Most of the time I just felt the yoke pushing on me low, weighing about as much as all the dust in Oklahoma Finkbeiner totally pulled me in and held me captive with that innocent, yet dust weary wise voice of Pearl s which bowled me over heart, mind, and soul Mama had told me that Beanie was slow Daddy called her simple Folks around town said she was an idiot I ve gotten in than one fight over a kid calling my sister a name like that Meemaw had said those folks didn t understand and that people sometimes got mean over what they didn t understand I wanted to reach through the pages and hold her hand, telling her It will be alright in the end Or so I hope it would be all right With a disabled sister who was want to wander, a grandmother aging by the minute, a hobo named Eddie on the prowl, that gave Pearl and me the heebie jeebies , jackrabbit roundups and cattle slaughters, it would be hard for anyone to believe anything would ever be alright again Men couldn t just cry like women did I didn t know why not, but that was the way of things Sometimes they used a cuss word and an angry fist as their way of pushing out the scared or hurt that was inside them Cussing was a man s way of crying Get a tissue for this one, you ll need it But not for reason s one might think The mystery surrounding Pearl is one that you ll figure out early on It s a doozie And I do believe that was the author s intention, cluing the reader in while leaving the characters in the dusty dark The surprising part was how much my heart ached, knowing what was what and not being able to jump into the book to alert Pearl and Beanine to what surely lay ahead Really, a brilliant work of writing when an author can do that Oh sweet little Pearl I adore you I look forward to reading in A Trail of Crumbs A Novel of the Great DepressionThank you to all the behind the scenes Goodreads peeps including data entry and programming geniuses who create and maintain so many wonderful recommendation venues on this website For it was through a book related recommendation I found this Five Star Indie gem It s not a perfectly polished book, compared to those produced by publishing giants, but it s a perfectly excellent indie of storytelling awesomeness.FIVE Storyteller, Indie Awesomeness, of Historical and Heartfelt Endearment STARS


  2. says:

    A Cup of Dust is easily one of my favorite reads of 2016 so far I m confident it will remain on my favorites list through year s end and beyond I found so many things to love about this coming of age story Susie strikes the perfect balance between the grim reality that the Spence family faced during the Dust Bowl, and the hope that they could still find within each other and a better future.The first person narration feels nearly perfect I was immediately captured by Pearl Spence s precocious and endearing voice She is young, yet possesses a maturity that surpasses her years Though the harshness of the Dust Bowl has forced Pearl to grow up in many ways, she is still a child, and her outlook matches that Pearl s narration brings freshness and balance to the harsh setting better than I could have imagined Her naivety and moments of deep insight and clarity blend together in such a skillful way.The historical details are vivid, and Pearl s memories of before the Dust Bowl bring the current state of affairs into sharp contrast The struggles of everyday life, whether it s keeping grit and dust out of your home, eyes and lungs, having enough food to eat, or feeling the constant worry of a sudden dust storm, are all described vividly The secondary characters are as equally compelling Pearl s parents and grandmother are the pillars that hold up the family, yet Pearl is the glue that keeps them all in place Their interactions together have such a realness and truthfulness to them I was deeply moved by this family s resiliency in the face of hard and dangerous times.The plot held my interest the entire time some of the chapters reminded me of vignettes, in that they were snap shots of Pearl s life and the life of her family Everything was revealed in a way that felt in keeping with the rest of the story, and I had a keen sense of how Pearl spent her days Though some might feel it was slow moving, I feel that the plot suited the story and the setting While the action builds slowly, when it does reach its crescendo, the emotion that goes with it is deep and riveting.The menacing nature of the antagonist never feels cartoonish or unrealistic It is truly one of those instances where it s a wolf in sheep s clothing, and Pearl is the only one that sees the wolf It s one of those moments that I had to pause for reflection, to really remember that everyone has a reason and rationale for the way they respond to life In Pearl s word, people have scars on their hearts, and it s the way one chooses to respond that makes all the difference Susie did an excellent job creating this malignant character, while allowing the reader to see the reasoning behind it.I haven t read any of Susie s books other than this one, but you can be sure that I will do so in the future Any continuation of the Spence family story would be bumped to the top of my to read list A Cup of Dust was a complete joy to read Susie did not write a feel good story, but rather created something heartbreaking and beautiful, and true The ending doesn t wrap things up neatly in a bow, but still left me with a profound hope The story gave me a sense of admiration and respect for those who lived through one of history s worst moments, and a deep appreciation for the real meaning of family and the unwavering, sacrificial love that goes with it A Cup of Dust is historical fiction at its finest, and I highly recommend it.


  3. says:

    Riveting An achingly beautiful tale told with a singularly fresh and original voice This sepia toned story swept me into the Dust Bowl and brought me face to face with both haunting trials and the resilient people who overcame them Absolutely mesmerizing Susie Finkbeiner is an author to watch


  4. says:

    This novel blew me away on so many levels I would go so far as to call it a modern classic Finkbeiner perfectly captures her ten year old narrator s voice so much so, it was very reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird Pearl Spence has that perfect blend of naivety mixed with flashes of deep insight, as evidenced by this quote That was when I learned that kindness could break a heart just as sure as meanness The difference was the kindness made that broken heart softer Meanness just made the heart want to be hard The Dust Bowl, a nearly forgotten period in American history, was brought to vivid life in this novel Yet the details were woven effortlessly into the story and it never felt even vaguely didactic as is often the case with historicals And the characters Mercy me I won t forget them I loved the grandma mom daughter dynamic, watching these strong women enduring than they ever dreamed As usual, Finkbeiner handles desperate situations with a light touch, bringing a refreshing hopefulness to the reader And yet she doesn t turn a blind eye to the harsh realities these people had to face.I have pondered how to review this book, knowing my words wouldn t be enough to capture the beautiful turns of phrase, the events that seemed so believable, and the characters who moved into my heart All I can say is that if you read no other book in 2015, read this one.


  5. says:

    Finbeiner weaves a heartfelt, page turning, coming of age tale set during the desperate times of the dust bowl in a small town in Oklahoma I could practically taste and feel the dust in my mouth while reading Her vivid descriptions put me in the place, and the mystery kept me guessing and turning the pages until the very end In her typical storytelling fashion, Finkbeiner isn t afraid to deal with the hard issues in life, yet she always does so with grace and hope A Cup of Dust is a riveting tale of faith, hope, and a reminder that your past does not define your future.


  6. says:

    It took me a while to fully appreciate this Dust Bowl novel In the beginning, it was clear what facts were going to surface about Pearl Pearl is an easy character to adore with her tomboy traits and soft heart The author paints a clear and bleak picture of life in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl The descriptions were wonderful Despite all of those positives, I just wasn t fully drawn to the story.I become fully engrossed in the novel at around 75% into it At that point, a bit mystery and action developed The ending of the novel was beautifully done.I recommend this novel for fans of historical fiction.


  7. says:

    Beautiful story Loved the spunky heroine and the loving parents, who stand up to evil to claim her Too many pages keep me fearful over who would live who would die Satisfying ending A real hope in the midst of hardship story Great read


  8. says:

    A gorgeous coming of age story I love that nothing and no one is clear cut Susie Finkbeiner s writing is full without artifice, I could feel the weight of the dust right along with the characters A Cup of Dust is full of real life, but resplendent with the real meaning of family and ultimately, hard won hope.


  9. says:

    I I absolutely loved this book Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction and coming of age novels.


  10. says:

    Without a doubt, A Cup of Dust is one of the most captivating and impressive reality based novels I have read to date This is a story to be absorbed Pearl s journey is thought provoking and gripping, a heartrending and emotional journey through oppressive conditions caused by relentless, merciless dust The author has researched her topic thoroughly, and weaves a haunting tale of Pearl s youth and the atrocities that she witnessed and experienced The realities of the Oklahoma s Dust Bowl were oppressive and grievous.Detailed and pictorial depictions revealed the enormity of the conditions in that area, where the earth was depleted and the rains never came The dust ultimately took the lives of many, and caused others an unending fight for life Pearl and her family exemplify the strength of the human spirit through events I can t imagine Atrocities invaded Pearl s worst nightmares, as well as the barbarities that affected her youth and innocence Character portrayals are described in depth with a familiarity and sensitivity that is tangible I loved Pearl from the very beginning, and heard her voice throughout this extraordinarily touching novel.A Cup of Dust is written with passion and eloquence, mature attributes of this young author I will undoubtedly read it again It is a novel of epic proportion Thought provoking and intense, you ll want to slowly absorb Pearl s story I couldn t begin reading another book until my mind finished processing the intensity of this composition.FYI There is some violence depicted in this book that may offend some readers however, this is reality fiction and without those scenes the story would not be complete.Disclaimer I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review All expressed opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.


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A Cup of Dust (Pearl Spence #1) summary pdf A Cup of Dust (Pearl Spence #1) , summary chapter 2 A Cup of Dust (Pearl Spence #1) , sparknotes A Cup of Dust (Pearl Spence #1) , A Cup of Dust (Pearl Spence #1) cdfc266 Where You Come From Isn T Who You AreTen Year Old Pearl Spence Is A Daydreamer, Playing Make Believe To Escape Life In Oklahoma S Dust Bowl In The Spences Have Their Share Of Misfortune, But As The Sheriff S Family, They Ve Got Than Most In This Dry, Desolate Place They Re Who The Town Turns To When There S A Crisis Or A Need And During These Desperate Times, There Are Plenty Of Both, Even If Half The Town Stands Empty As People Have Packed Up And Moved OnPearl Is Proud Of Her Loving, Strong Family, Though She Often Wearies Of Tracking Down Her Mentally Impaired Older Sister Or Wrestling With Her Grandmother S Unshakable Belief In A God Who Pearl Just Isn T Sure She LikesThen A Mysterious Man Bent On Revenge Tramps Into Her Town Of Red River Eddie Is Dangerous And He Seems Fixated On Pearl When He Reveals Why He S Really There And Shares A Shocking Secret Involving The Whole Town, Dust Won T Be The Only Thing Darkening Pearl S WorldWhile The Tone Is Suspenseful And Often Poignant, The Subtle Humor Of Pearl S Voice Keeps A Cup Of Dust From Becoming Heavyhanded Finkbeiner Deftly Paints A Story Of A Family Unit Coming Together Despite Fractures Of Distress Threatening To Pull Them Apart

  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • A Cup of Dust (Pearl Spence #1)
  • Susie Finkbeiner
  • English
  • 03 June 2017
  • 9780825443886

About the Author: Susie Finkbeiner

Susie Finkbeiner is the author of All Manner of Things as well as the CBA bestselling Pearl Spence series.When she s not writing or traveling to speak at retreats or conferences, Susie enjoys lunch dates with her husband, reading with her kids, and drinking coffee with good friends.