Review of A Trail of Crumbs: A Beautiful Novel Set During the Great Depression

Last year I had the opportunity to review a book by a new to me author. A Cup of Dust by Susie Finkbeiner is set in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl. The novel was a beautiful one. The setting and time period was one I hadn’t read much of. It was easily one of my favorite books to review from the past year.

Now I’ve had the opportunity to read the second book in what is going to be a series. A Trail of Crumbs features the same little girl narrator and picks up where A Cup of Dust left off.
Review of A Trail of Crumbs

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About the Book

Pearl Spence is an eleven year old girl who lives in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl. Her family has hung on in their town of Red River, although crops don’t go, stores are closed, and many families have left town to move east.
Pearl has already been through some very difficult times, but things are going to get worse. During a cyclone, her mentally disabled sister, Beanie, is killed. Pearl has so much dust in her lungs that she develops pneumonia and is close to death as well. When Pearl is recovering, doctors tell her parents that she can’t live in the west with the extreme dust anymore. So the family packs up and heads east to live with relatives.
Bliss, Michigan is beautiful and green, compared to what the Spence family knows from Oklahoma. But even though things seem good for the family, Pearl still misses her sister and the only home she’s ever known. As time goes on, Pearl also realizes that things aren’t right with her mama, and she and her family will experience even more heartache.

My Thoughts

I loved this book as much as I did the first. The language is beautiful. Written from the perspective of Pearl, a first-person narrator in the story, readers see through her eyes the events unfolding as her family moves from Oklahoma. The descriptions are wonderful, helping us to visualize the difference between dry and dusty Oklahoma and beautiful, lush, green Michigan.
Having Pearl as the narrator makes this an especially interesting read. We see events through Pearl’s eyes. And, occasionally, the reader can grasp the significance of an event even though Pearl isn’t old enough to really catch what’s going on at the moment. 
The characters are extremely well-developed. Not only is Pearl a complex and thoroughly developed character as the narrator, but her descriptions help us to get to know the other main characters in the book as well.
Without giving anything away, I’ll say: Pearl’s story doesn’t end with this book. This one leaves the reader hanging much more than the first book in the series, and I’m not sure how I’ll wait until spring of 2018 when the third book will continue the story.
I give this one five very strong stars and a PG rating. You can find the book on Kregel here and on Amazon here. 
A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner

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