Wednesday, July 26, 2023

The All-American by Susie Finkbeiner: Book Review

 *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Two sisters discover how much good there is in the world--even in the hardest of circumstances

It is 1952, and nearly all the girls 16-year-old Bertha Harding knows dream of getting married, keeping house, and raising children in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. Bertha dreams of baseball. She reads every story in the sports section, she plays ball with the neighborhood boys--she even writes letters to the pitcher for the Workington Sweet Peas, part of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

When Bertha's father is accused of being part of the Communist Party by the House Un-American Activities Committee, life comes crashing down on them. Disgraced and shunned, the Hardings move to a small town to start over where the only one who knows them is shy Uncle Matthew. But dreams are hard to kill, and when Bertha gets a chance to try out for the Workington Sweet Peas, she packs her bags for an adventure she'll never forget.

Join award-winning author Susie Finkbeiner for a summer of chasing down your dreams and discovering the place you truly belong.

Susie Finkbeiner is the CBA bestselling author of The Nature of Small Birds, 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.

From the moment I saw this cover, I absolutely was drawn into the book. Honestly, I don't know why. For one thing, I know that we're not supposed to judge books for their covers (but clearly do not listen) and for another thing, I really have no interest at all in baseball. So, why this one appealed to me, I couldn't say... but I was intrigued nonetheless. 

Lately, I've found that it's been much tougher for me to get into historical reads than it used to be. As such, as much as I was looking forward to reading this one, I did worry that I wouldn't be able to get into the story... I was actually really surprised at just how quickly it drew me in. I found myself really enjoying these sisters' and their family. While it was certainly a bit slower paced than the stories I'd been reading and enjoying most lately, and while it did take me a little bit to figure out who was who in the changing POV once I got it sorted in my brain I found myself really enjoying this story. Yes, baseball fans will really appreciate that aspect of the story, but more than anything this was a beautifully written story about family and growing up and one that I found I really enjoyed. 

If you're looking for your next great historical read, this is certainly one worth checking out! 


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