Author: Susie Finkbeiner
Genre: Inspirational Fiction
Release Date: July 6, 2021
In 1975, three thousand children were airlifted out of Saigon to be adopted into Western homes. When Mindy, 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.
Though her father supports Mindy's desire to meet her family of origin, he struggles privately with an unsettling fear that he'll lose the daughter he's poured his heart into. Mindy's mother undergoes the emotional rollercoaster inherent in the adoption of a child from a war-torn country, discovering the joy hidden amid the difficulties. And Mindy's sister helps her sort through relics that whisper of the effect the trauma of war has had on their family--but also speak of the beauty of overcoming.
Told through three strong voices in three compelling timelines, The Nature of Small Birds is a hopeful story that explores the meaning of family far beyond genetic code.
Reviewer: Adriann Harris
The Nature of Small Birds is the second book I have read by Susie Finkbeiner and I have to say I liked it just as much as All Manner of Things but in a different way. The Nature of Small Birds touched me more emotionally. One minute I was fighting angry and the next sadly crying. The best part was the laughter and joy this story brought.
Susie Finkbeiner penned a heartwarming story of a girl who was adopted from Vietnam during Babylift in 1975, and the effect it had on her adoptive family told in three timelines and by three characters all in first person. The father, Bruce, gives us the grownup family in 2013. Mom, Linda, gives us the early years 1975, and Sonny, their daughter, gives us the teenage years in 1988. The entire story centers around Minh nicknamed Mindy immediately by Sonny.
I have to confess it took me awhile to get into a rhythm reading this book, and I actually reread it in chronological order. Which did I like better, could not honestly say as I had the same emotional response reading it both ways. However reading it chronologically brought out more clarity for me personally story wise. As with all of Susie Finkbeiner’s stories the ending always seems to come way to soon. Highly recommend The Nature of Small Birds and I am definitely going to seek out more books by this author.
I received this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell via NetGalley through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Paula Shreckhise
“It’s the nature of small birds to sing their hearts out. And it’s the nature of God to hear them.”
A heartwarming story of a girl who was adopted from Vietnam during Babylift in 1975 and the effect it had on her adoptive family. It is told from three voices : Dad Bruce in 2013, Mom Linda in 1975 and Sister Sonny in 1988. I was amazed by the ability of the author to capture three different characters and time periods. Having been a teen in the late 60s, this story was very nostalgic. My husband and I lived on Guam for four years, leaving in 1975 just before the evacuation of Vietnam. So memories abound.
This is a story of unexpected love and solidity of family. The author has a knack for bringing in the flavor of the eras. She does a great job of getting in the heads of the characters and portraying their foibles and concerns. I most identify with the father, Bruce, maybe because I am around his age. Bruce: “I am a fortunate man who has witnessed God’s new mercies coming whether I deserve them or not... Mixed in with the good and bad is a whole lot of stuff that was just normal everyday living...Rain or sun, storms or calm; nature is good, full of glimmers of God’s glory.” He is shown as having wisdom and having grown in his faith. He is the backbone of the family.
The author delights us with word pictures: “The air is crisp, but not biting. The sun is bright but not blinding. And the busiest crowds in the woods are of the feathered variety.”
This is a stunning book to be savored and learned from, likening small birds to our children.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Amy Smelser
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 & Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Susan Poll
This was like catching up with relatives and listening to them talk about their lives in a most enjoyable way.
Three different points of view in three different years of their family life. The author fully encompasses the feelings and emotions of an adoption and touches on the bumps in the road that surround that.
The fact that it involves the baby lift from Vietnam is fascinating because that part of history is not well known in this day and age. I feel like this family is mine now, as if it was more of a diary of a family history rather than fiction. So well-written and easy to read!
Thanks to Revell publishers and Interviews & Reviews for the chance to read this. My personal opinion is bookshelf keeper!
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
“Turns out that the nature of small birds is to fly. It’s no different for our kids.”
Susie Finkbeiner is one of my favorite authors. I always love the insights about life that she brings out. Her novels are thought-provoking and brilliantly written. This one really resonated with me. It’s a story of life, family, love, and belonging. It’s a story of caring and compassion during everyday life. It’s a story of hope and letting go.
Told by three separate family members in three different time periods, it took me a little while to get used to the shifts in perspective and thought processes. Once I got used to it, I could follow it well, and it was intriguing to see the perceptions of these different characters as they grew and the relationships shifted and changed. With many poignant and heart-wrenching moments, it kept my emotions and feelings changing through the chapters.
“It’s the nature of small birds to sing their little hearts out. And it’s the nature of God to hear them.”
Finkbeiner is a master at creating realistic, relatable characters and placing them in compelling situations and interesting settings. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I’m looking forward to what she comes up with next.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Revell through NetGalley and Interviews & Reviews. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Lori Parrish
First off, I'm going to be honest. When I first saw the cover, I thought, why is Ms. Finkbeiner writing about birds? How odd. That's why I passed over the book the first two times. Then I read someone's review, and I decided to try it because I love anything she writes.
The way she tells it makes you feel like you are there and can make friends with most of the characters. I'm glad I opened the book. I found that I passed a whole evening!
Finkbeiner is a master storyteller for sure, and she has done her research well for this particular story. I simply just couldn't put it down! There were so many wonderful scenes, and it's told by the various characters. I like it this way because we get to know them so much better, yet in others, I do not. Simply put, because they get confusing at times.
This book was provided by Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Anna Bottoms
This book was a surprise for me. I had an idea what I expected it to be, but it was so much more. Full of true and wonderful relationship dynamics from three viewpoints I became a part of the Matthews family.
Bruce is a man who loves his family unconditionally, a man of character and conviction. His care for his family shines through every word of his perspective.
Linda is a mom with a great capacity to give her full heart to each member of her family, and still have more to give.
Sonny literally jumps off the pages with her energy and just a little bit of snark. She is sometimes abrasive, but loves fiercely. You just can’t help but to love her in return.
The poetic bird references brought a cohesion to the story, adding to the overall emotional feel to the book. The characters came alive on the pages, each with their own unique personality, yet bound together by a thread of love so strong nothing could break it.
Though not overtly religious, the lives of the characters showed a deep abiding faith as they walked through triumphs and difficulties. I loved this book and look forward to more from this author.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group through NetGalley. This is my honest review.
Reviewer: Cheryl Wood
Susie Finkbeiner stories never disappoint! A story that goes back and forth from one decade to another with extended families. Pull up a chair and be ready to go on a journey. A story of hope that explores the meaning of family and the power of love.
A story about a Vietnamese girl, Mindy who is adopted by a US family during Operation Babylift in 1975. The parents go through the ups and downs and the joys of adopting a baby. I was able to relate to the main characters as I had a cousin who was adopted at the same time. The book pulled me in from page one and was sad to turn the last page.
I highly recommend The Nature of Small Birds.
This book was provided courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews.
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