Sunday, August 1, 2021

The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner - REVIEWED


About the Book:

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:
"It's the nature of small birds to sing their little hearts out.
  It's the nature of God to hear them."  (p. 323)

This is the first time in a very long while I must say that the synopsis doesn't begin to TOUCH the depth and breadth of all this story contains.  Yes, the adoption of a Korean baby in operation Babylift plays a major element, but the layers of this story cover everything from sacrificial parenting, to coming of age teens, to family rifts over political views....there is a LOT to enjoy in this story!

The different points of view covered through different points in time is the magic that ties this story to the deepest places in your heart.  You feel the fear in a parent's heart over bringing an adopted child into a family.  You feel the anger of a parent who has lost a child to war.  You feel a teenager's angst over first crushes, and summer jobs.  There isn't much that you don't see through the eyes of this precious family that you can't relate to on some level.

My heart stayed engaged from first page to last, and I cried at different points along the way.  This author tapped every emotion multiple times, and I came to love this family.  Oh how I hope the author continues their story!  Then again, I hope I'll just carry that last image in my heart and let my imagination tell me the rest of their story!  This book  is such a treasure!!  The author has captured the nuance of family in a real and poignant way!  Bravo!!

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 Dust, A 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.