Wednesday, November 11, 2015
A Cup of Dust
I think as an adult I appreciate history more now that when I was in school. Perhaps it's because I realize that the things that happened in our past are not simply stories in a history book but truly impacted the lives of the people who had to endure them. Yet when we look back into our history books, very little was written about the Dust Bowl. We know how it came to be but not really how it impacted all those families who had to sit back and hope that things would change somehow and their lives would pick back up again if they got rain.
Susie Finkbeiner under the inspiration of such stories written by John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, took her research a bit further to really understand the implications of living during that time, just on the heels of the Great Depression and just before the second World War in Oklahoma in her novel A Cup of Dust. This is not for the light-hearted. It really takes the story of ten-year-old Pearl Spence and showcases how life looked from her perspective. Knowing that her family was better off than most since her father was the town's sheriff, her mother always made sure to help those out whenever she could, from baking bread to unexpectedly paying off the bills at the grocery store of those just barely making ends meet.
Living with her older sister Violet Jean, but everyone simply called her Beanie, as she was born a bit mentally challenged from being denied oxygen during her birth. Pearl's job is to keep track of Beanie who has a tendency to wander off without telling anyone. Her grandmother, Meemaw is her hope and inspiration and keeps the families faith going against the odds. The one thing they can never manage to do is keep their home free from dust. It is everywhere and at odd times of the day or night, dust storms could kick up and plunge the skies into darkness. Most people have moved on to better opportunities out west but the Spence family believes God will save them soon. It isn't until a hobo departs a train one day with the knowledge of knowing Pearl, that the family will be plunged into a darkness greater than any dust storm could create.
I received A Cup of Dust by Susie Finkbeiner compliments of Kregel Publications for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation, aside from a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. There is parts of this novel that are a bit graphic and disturbing that might bother sensitive readers, but I would encourage you to hold out to the end to see how it all plays out. I almost put it down at that point, but pushed on to see how it might turn out in the end. Life is like that at times, sometimes wishing we could simply close our eyes and wish it was different, but I applaud the author for carrying it through so we can understand the motivation behind one character's action and how it impacted Pearl. For me I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion. A reader's discussion guide is included at the conclusion of this novel.
For more information about A Cup of Dust, Susie Finkbeiner or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
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To read more reviews about A Cup of Dust, please visit Kregel Publication's Website.