“A Song of Home” is the first book I’ve read by Susie Finkbeiner. It is the third book of the Pearl Spence novel series but it contained enough back story that I had no problems understanding what was going on. I plan to read the first two books as soon as I have a chance simply to get the entire story.

Young Pearl Spence is the primary character in this book. She has experienced more than her share of tragedy and heartbreak in her short life and has a tendency to escape through her books as often as she can. She soon discovers a new love – swing dancing and simply cannot get enough of it.

Pearl’s story paints a vivid image of life during the depression that includes flour sack dresses, community dances, and racial tensions. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing this world through Pearl’s eyes as she learned to look beneath the surface to see the true person inside another and her compassion and generosity to those in need despite her own struggles. A sometimes poignant story that also brims with hope, “A Song of Home” is one that will resonate with many readers.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Kregel Publications. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


A Novel of the Swing Era

Pearl Spence has finally settled into a routine in Bliss, Michigan, far from her home in Red River, Oklahoma. Like all the other kids, she goes to school each day, plays in the woods, and does her chores. But there’s one big difference: Mama is still gone, and doesn’t seem to have a thought for the family she’s left behind.

Escaping from her worries is another part of Pearl’s new routine, whether that’s running to Aunt Carrie’s farm, listening to the radio with Ray, or losing herself in a book. In fact, a chair in the stacks, surrounded by books, might be her favorite place on earth–until she discovers swing dancing. The music transports Pearl to a whole other world.

When Mama unexpectedly returns, it isn’t the happy occasion Pearl had imagined. Mama is distant and Pearl can’t figure out how to please her. And the horrible way she treats Daddy is more than Pearl can bear. Seems life would be better if Mama would just stay away.

Finkbeiner’s portrayal of both tragedy and everyday life in times of great change is charged with a raw beauty that will haunt readers. Fans of the two prior Pearl Spence novels won’t be disappointed!

Read an excerpt HERE.


Susie Finkbeiner is a stay-at-home mom, speaker, and author from West Michigan. Her previous books include Paint Chips (2013) and My Mother’s Chamomile (2014). She has served as fiction editor and regular contributor to the Burnside Writers Guild and Unbound magazine. Finkbeiner is an avid blogger (see, is on the planning committee of the Breathe Christian Writers Conference, and has presented or led groups of other writers at several conferences.