Wednesday, June 10, 2020

STORIES THAT BIND US by Susie Finkbeiner, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

Near Detroit, Michigan summer 1963...
Stories That Bind Us is a journey of healing for the characters Betty Sweet and her five year old nephew, Hugo. But for me it was a trip down memory lane. I was 14 in 1963 and lived a bit south of Detroit in a Northwest suburb of Chicago. I remember visiting my preacher uncle in Grosse Pointe and making a trip to Greenfield Village, as the characters did.

This novel was not just about stories that bind us but about shared memories of growing up that bind us together in unity. These were my memories!

The historical events depicted in this book were disruptions in a time of social unrest. In spite of that, the book came across in a comforting way. Betty’s life seemed normal. She was so fortunate to have a loving in-law family who gathered around her when tragedy struck. The author has written Betty as a strong, loyal and gentle person, whose idyllic life is torn apart. She takes on the task of keeping her nephew. She might not have been able to birth a child but her mother’s heart blooms when Hugo comes to stay with her. A quote as Betty is musing: “ Just along the horizon I saw the birth of the morning. This was the gift God had for me right that moment. I saw hope.” I love that Betty can use stories that tug at your heart and teach lessons at the same time. I would love to see a volume of her stories— hint to Ms. Finkbeiner.

This book reminded me of all the things this country has gone through in my lifetime. It caused me to be thankful for growing up in the era that I did, with parents who taught me so much of my values.

After reading two Susie Finkbeiner books, she has become a favorite author.
*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through Interviews And Reviews and Revell Reads program. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own. I give this book 5 stars. *

BackCover Blurb:
Betty Sweet never expected to be a widow at 40. With so much life still in front of her, she tries to figure out what's next. She couldn't have imagined what God had in mind. When her estranged sister is committed to a sanitarium, Betty finds herself taking on the care of a 5-year-old nephew she never knew she had.

In 1960s LaFontaine, Michigan, they make an odd pair. Betty with her pink button nose and bouffant hair. Hugo with his light brown skin and large brown eyes. But more powerful than what makes them different is what they share: the heartache of an empty space in their lives. Slowly, they will learn to trust one another as they discover common ground and healing through the magic of storytelling.

Award-winning author Susie Finkbeiner offers fans a novel that invites us to rediscover the power of story to open the doors of our hearts.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy Stories that Bind Us at Amazon
Buy Stories that Bind Us at

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