Author: Susie Finkbeiner
Genre: Historical Fiction
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.
Reviewer: Marta Aldrighetti
This story is written in first person. The main character is Annie. She is 18 years old, and she lives in Fort Colson with her mom and brothers.
During the story, set in 1955, you can feel the emotion, like a diary.
You can 'see' and feel the Vietnam war through the eyes of young boys: "Being out here and seeing what I do, makes you think about things."
And Annie thinks, "As much as Uncle Sam thought he needed Mike, we needed him more."
Annie has a best friend to speak with, comfort, enjoy, say silly things together.
"But what am I going to do with all of these (books)?"
"You can leave them here, can't you?"
"But they'll be lonely."
I feel exactly the same! Books are like good friends. This story is very nice, easy to read, realistic, original and twisted.
This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group through NetGalley.
Reviewer: Paula Shreckhise
All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner is a story told through the eyes of Annie Jacobsen and of what her family life was like during two years of the Vietnam Era.
This talented author writes with a realism that tugs at my memory. Wow, what a trip down memory lane! I graduated highschool in 1967 so there were lots of familiar things in this story. My girlfriend had a Corvair, I had cat eye glasses. I listened to the same music that Annie and her friends did. I hope readers will look up some of those songs mentioned in the book. They are still some of my favorites. I went to school with boys who were in Vietnam. I remember watching the nightly news about the war.
Ms Finkbeiner has a way of writing about everyday living that makes the ordinary very meaningful. Her words brought home to me the fact that God sees our lives as important no matter how insignificant we might think we are. He cares about us and what we do and we are part of His plan. Most of all, He us with us through all of life’s joys and sorrows.
Even though the novel is written in first person, it is very easy to read. The author uses dialogue to great advantage. The letters at the end of the chapters gave insight into several characters. I am glad to see she chose to include several generations of the Jacobsen family. It gave a more complete picture of family connections.
This was a beautifully written story. In my opinion, it is a must read for those who want a glimpse into a unique time in U.S. history. It will be one of my top reads for this year.
A copy of this book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Olivia R.
I adore this book.
I adore it, not because it's all sugary and perfect, but because it's real! The characters come alive, the daily, normality of life is relatable, and the ups and downs of family life was special to me. There is sadness, but also laughter too. There is disappointment, but also love. There is anger through confusion, but hope in the future.
This book has everything a book should have. I loved Annie and her family. Mike was such a great big brother, reminding me of my own. The setting was fabulous and the horrors of the Vietnam war very real. I can't forget to mention David either, who slipped in and out of the story so well. Oh, and Frank, Joel, and Oma...and Bernie!!
I love this book...so, go read it. It is clean with real emotions of romance and fears. It is a beautiful book in every way
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
Susie Finkbeiner’s book, All Manner of Things, took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions. It pulled me right back into my growing up years. I was roughly the same age as the heroine, Annie Jacobson, during the 1960s and remember well the less complicated times, as well as the angst of the Vietnam War. I knew men (boys, really) who were being drafted and others who were enlisting because their draft numbers were at the top of the list. I knew men who died while serving their countries—ones who I had been going to high school and college with not that long before.
Finkbeiner is a master at taking a slice of history and making it come alive on the page. Her knowledge of the subject matter is evident on every page, and her writing is emotional and honest. The characters are multi-layered and realistic, and I could easily relate to them. Powerful themes of the importance of family, pushing through our fears, and keeping on when the way is hard, add an inspirational dimension to the story.
I thought the addition of letters written to and from different characters in the story was a stroke of genius. They gave an extra insight into the thoughts of the different people. This novel occupies a special place in my heart and will definitely be in my top reads of the year. It’s one for the keeper shelf! Warning: you might want to keep a box of tissue handy while reading this book!
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Revell/NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Eva Joy Schonhaar
In All Manner of Things, Susie Finkbeiner creates a beautifully drawn portrait of a family during wartime. They're far from perfect, but the characters she's created are real and warm and absolutely life-like.
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Overall, All Manner of Things is a wonderfully written book that's perfect for fans of clean historical fiction. Highly recommended.
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