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July 3, 2021

The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"Turns out that the nature of small birds is to fly.  It's no different for our children." (p114)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Nature of Small Birds
July 2021; Revell; 978-0800740061
ebook, print (368 pages); women's fiction
I have been a fan of Susie Finkbeiner since I read her first book and have read everything that she's written since.  She has a beautiful way of telling stories about families and writes characters that you feel like you know.  Her new book is a quiet book about a family that faces their problems over the years and continues to love each other no matter what happens.  This novel is told in three timelines by three main characters and it was very easy to handle the jumps in the timelines and in the POV.

1975 - This timeline is told mainly by Linda, the mother of the family.  She and Bruce have one daughter, Sonny, but want more children.  With the background of the Vietnam war ending and the goal to get as many children out of the country as possible (called Operation Babylift), Linda and Bruce decide to adopt a little girl from Vietnam.  Bruce's mother is livid because her oldest son had died fighting in the war.  When Minh/Mindy comes into their lives she is a frightened little 4-year-old who doesn't know English.  I thought it was beautiful the way that Linda and Bruce made her feel accepted and part of the family.

1988 -  This timeline is told mainly by Sonny who is getting ready to leave for college.    Even though she is a typical teenager and everything is a major event, she knows that she'll miss her parents and her two sisters when she leaves.

2013  - This timeline is told mainly by Bruce and gives us his perspective of his grown-up daughters plus gives his memories of the girls when they were younger.  Sonny is married and has a daughter, Mindy has just divorced and moved back home and Holly, their surprise baby, is still in school. With Mindy's life in a mess because of her divorce, she decides to try to find her birth mother in Vietnam and to find out if she has any extended family there.  Linda and Bruce are both very supportive of her quest and help when they can.

This beautiful novel is a look at a family in transition for over forty years.  There isn't a lot of action in it but it really packs a punch that makes it a book that is so special that  I know I'll remember it for a long time.  The characters are written so well that you feel like they are your good friends.  It's a book about love and family and facing life changes by depending on God and your family.

I already know that this novel will end up on my top ten list for 2021.

Other Books by Susie Finkbeiner
All Manner of Things - Read my review here
Stories that Bind Us - Read my review here

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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