Thursday, July 29, 2021

Review: The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner



In 1975, three thousand children were airlifted out of Saigon to be adopted into Western homes. When one of those children announces her plans to return to Vietnam to find her birth mother, her loving adopted family is suddenly thrown back to the events surrounding her unconventional arrival in their lives.

Mindy's father grapples with the tension between holding on tightly and letting his daughter spread her wings. Her mother undergoes the emotional roller coaster inherent in the adoption of a child from a war-torn country, discovering the joy hidden amid the difficulties. And Mindy and her sister struggle to find the strength to accept each other as they both discover who they truly are.

Told through three distinct voices in three compelling timelines, The Nature of Small Birds is a hopeful story that explores the meaning of family far beyond genetic code.

My Thoughts:

Family is a beautiful and wonderful thing. Full of people you love and sometimes don't always like along with plenty of ups and downs. This is a story of a family who adopts a young Vietnamese girl, Mindy. We are carried through three timelines and we get to hear three voices of the family. The father (Bruce), mother (Linda), and older sister (Sonny). We watch as this family grows and changes, because what family stays the same? Going through the different time lines had me reminiscing about my own life. 

Always with an author Finkbeiner story, I feel like I have been invited to the inner sanctum of the family. The characters become almost real and I become invested in their story, as they tell me of their hurts and heartbreaks and the prejudices of other family members. And the love. Especially the love for one another and the balance of letting a child go, even if an adult. 

I was born in 1975, the earliest timeline, so I found it especially captivating to read about this family as they struggle with the loss of an older brother/uncle and then the adoption of a little girl from the country where his life was lost. There was a lot of feeling these characters showed, especially from Grandma. I think this story beautifully captures what a family truly is.  I also really enjoyed the different viewpoints of their life and times. They made the story fuller.

I was provided a copy of this novel from Revell through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author:

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 DustA Trail of Crumbs, and A Song of Home. 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.

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