Review of THE NATURE OF SMALL BIRDS by Susie Finkbeiner

This was a wonderful story of former hippies (Linda and Bruce) who adopt a baby from Vietnam as part of Operation Baby Lift. After protesting the war itself and then reading about the children fleeing Saigon on American planes, Linda and Bruce choose to adopt little Minh (Mindy), in spite of the narrow-minded discrimination of Bruce’s mother. Told in three time frames, beginning in 1975, moving to 1988 and then finally to 2013, the story also has multiple narrators. 1975 is the year Bruce and Linda decide to adopt Mindy and change their lives to raise a fearful little girl. 1988 presents more information about Sonny, their biological daughter preparing to leave for college, and her little sister Mindy, a teen at the time. Finally, in 2013, we hear a lot from Bruce and his perspective on what being a successful family looks like. Honestly, I could not choose my favorite POV or time period because all were done so well with such elaborate descriptions of the family and their reactions to events and choices. Mindy grew up without feeling as if she really belonged, so she decided to find her birth mother. Supported by her adoptive family, Mindy faces the past with boldness and grace, ready to embrace and forgive. The tale is one that is timeless in its approach to such themes as adoption, parenting, family relationships and acceptance. The research into the Vietnam era shone through in every page, especially the feelings of many American citizens who had suffered through the atrocities of the war. My emotions ran the whole gamut, from total despair at Mindy’s lack of confidence and fear when she arrived to her new home, to hope for a better future as she learned to “fly alone” and leave the nest, which is the nature of small birds. The characters were so realistic that they stepped out of the pages of the book into my heart, where I am still embracing them today as if they are my own family members. I have loved all of Susie Finkbeiner’s books since the first one, and this one was, in my opinion, the best yet in its portrayal of emotions and its depth of characters, with a multi-layered plot. The vulnerability of the characters and their willingness to press on was what made the book memorable and an excellent choice for an uplifting book to read. Not all parts of the book were uplifting, but the tone definitely was one of positive outcomes, so I applaud the author for her talent in being able to relate to so many different people with so many different feelings about the war in Vietnam. Not everyone lived during the war as I did (I was in college in the 70’s and saw all of the protests although I did not participate), but I can assure others that anyone who reads this book will have an experience of war and its effects on innocence that you will not soon forget. This book is remarkable for its entertainment and educational values.
Disclaimer
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

This is Christian fiction and is suitable for young adults as well as those of us who are more mature. This is a lovely story and worthy of more than five stars!
Susie Finkbeiner is the CBA bestselling author of All Manner of Things, which was selected as a 2020 Michigan Notable Book, and Stories That Bind Us, as well as A Cup of Dust, A Trail of Crumbs, and A Song of Home.
Her next novel The Nature of Small Birds releases in July, 2021.
She serves on the Fiction Readers Summit planning committee, volunteers her time at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and speaks at retreats and women’s events across the country. Susie and her husband have three children and live in West Michigan. (Info and photo from the author’s website at http://www.susiefinkbeiner.com

This magnificently uplifting book is available now! Purchase Links:

Target

Barnes and Noble

Google Play Store

Powells

Christian Book

Amazon

Many thanks to Revell for giving me the opportunity to read and review such wonderful books for them!

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