As one who came to age during the turbulent late 60s, I found it easy to relate to the Jacobson family in All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner. I was one of three daughters so we did not have to experience having a brother drafted to Vietnam but I did receive letters from a friend who served in Laos. Some of his stories were heart-breaking.

Often poignant, this book centers around Annie Jacobson and her experiences during that time. With a father who had abandoned the family when he returned from the Korean War and couldn’t cope with his experiences and a brother who had enlisted in 1967, Annie struggled with her own emotions.

I particularly loved Annie’s brother Mike and how his letters to Annie and her family managed to lift their spirits and encourage them through such a difficult time. His wisdom was rare for a man so young and I ached with his family at the loss I was sure they would experience.

At times, All Manner of Things was difficult to read but it contained a strong message of hope in the midst of tragedy and was a wonderful story of forgiveness, reconciliation, and dependence on the Lord.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


“Some books are meant to be read. All Manner of Things is meant to be lived in.”Jocelyn Green, Christy Award-winning author of Between Two Shores

After Annie Jacobson’s brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he mails her the address of their long-estranged father. If anything should happen to him in Vietnam, Mike says, Annie must let their father know.

In Mike’s absence, their father returns to face tragedy at home, adding an extra measure of complication to an already tense time. Letter by letter, the Jacobsons must find a way to pull together as a family, regardless of past hurts. In the tumult of this time, Annie and her family will grapple with the tension of holding both hope and grief in the same hand, even as they learn to turn to the One who binds the wounds of the brokenhearted.


Susie Finkbeiner is the CBA bestselling author of A Cup of Dust, A Trail of Crumbs, and A Song of Home. She serves on the Breathe Christian Writers Conference planning committee, volunteers her time at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and speaks at retreats and women’s events across the state. Susie and her husband have three children and live in West Michigan.