Monday, April 10, 2017
A Trail of Crumbs
"He got that bread and broke it all to bits. As he and Gretel followed behind their father into the dark woods, he dropped pieces of it behind them, leaving a trail of crumbs so they could find their way back home." "They never went home," Beanie said. "Once you go, you can't never get back." (pg12).
Pearl Spence has had a tough life up to this point in her life. Having survived the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma, she wonders if there is such a place in the world that offers anything green anywhere. However when another unexpected dust storm rolls into the town of Red River, this one will devastate the Spence family in ways they couldn't see coming. This time it would claim the life of her sister Beanie whose only goal in life was to be a part of Pearl's world and she stood back and watch as the dust storm consumed her without being able to do anything to stop it.
It was at that moment that the Spence family knew they had to leave while they could. Most of the town was filled with the places people used to live in before and now there were only a handful of families that remained, most of them unable to leave because they couldn't afford it or had no where to go. Pearl's family takes her Uncle Gus and Aunt Carrie up on the offer to move to Michigan at the height of the depression, but for her family it feels like a dream come true to see greenery in a land again and to raise your own food in gardens. However it was a complete change for Pearl's mama who seemed to have physically left Oklahoma but not mentally.
Pearl struggles to fit in where society has already laid claim to who fits in and who doesn't. She watches as her friend Ray makes friends while she is almost considered an outcast. She tries to act tough despite all she has been through, but it's not enough to make friends. She even finds more in common with the boys than with those her own age and her Momma is bound and determined to ensure Pearl acts like a lady, even if she doesn't want to.
I received A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner compliments of Kregel Publications. This novel follows on the heels of her first novel A Cup of Dust where we first meet Pearl and her family. It picks up exactly where the other one left off and we still see the struggles Pearl has to face with dealing with a kidnapping by a crazy man who dragged her off into the cellar. Now she is trying to find a sense of normal in a world that is anything but. When her sister dies, Pearl has only her Momma to connect with, but it seems even she is disconnected from trying to find a new start for the family which again leaves Pearl to fend for herself with only her dad and Ray as crumbs that lead her home. I give this novel a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion and would have liked to have seen more about the Great Depression written into this book, much like the Dust Bowl still makes an impression in not only the first novel but also in this one. For me, it was kinda misleading since the cover states it is a novel of the Great Depression, but you don't really felt like anyone was dealing with it in the novel.
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To read more reviews on A Trail of Crumbs, please visit Kregel Publications website.