Author: Susie Finkbeiner
Published date: October 27, 2015
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Synopsis: Where you come from isn't who you are
Ten-year-old Pearl Spence is a daydreamer, playing make-believe to escape life in Oklahoma's Dust Bowl in 1935. The Spences have their share of misfortune, but as the sheriff's family, they've got more 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 on.
Pearl 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 likes.
Then 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 world.
While the tone is suspenseful and often poignant, the subtle humor of Pearl's voice keeps A Cup of Dust from becoming heavy-handed. Finkbeiner deftly paints a story of a family unit coming together despite fractures of distress threatening to pull them apart.
My rating: 5 stars
My review: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The entire time I read this book, it kept reminding me of To Kill A Mockingbird.: the way the author was able to pull the reader into the pure simplicity of a 10 year old's mind as she experiences the Great Depression in the midst of the Dust Bowl of the United States. This book allows the reader to experience this time period and place in such vivid detail, without bogging the reader down. I was able to immerse myself and appreciate the strength and resilience of a people that struggled with day to day living in such harsh conditions of poverty and drought.
I really think this book could become a modern day classic in our schools.