Title: All Manner of Things
Author: Susie Finkbeiner
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publishing Date: June 4, 2019
Length: 9hrs 56min
About the Book:
When Annie Jacobson’s brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he hands her a piece of paper with 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. As they work toward healing and pray fervently for Mike’s safety overseas, 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 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.
Author Susie Finkbeiner invites you into the Jacobson family’s home and hearts during a time in which the chaos of the outside world touched their small community in ways they never imagined.
Family is messy all on its own without war being thrown into the mix. It’s obvious that war has wreaked havoc in the Jacobson home and years later they are still trying to pick up the broken pieces. In today’s world of modern healthcare with a greater awareness of PTSD, there is more help (as much as it can be), accessible to those returning home from overseas. This wasn’t always the case though, and men (and women) historically have struggled to return to “normal life” following battle. Susie Finkbeiner takes the reader deep into one family’s journey following the trauma of war.
This was one of those stories that truly felt like a rollercoaster ride. Just as the family is learning to cope with their current circumstances over Frank’s abandoning of the family, the eldest son Mike is shipped off to war himself. Healing is nearly impossible when war continues to surround you. The fear of loss was incredibly palpable through the whole novel and it gripped my heart like a vice.
There is something about letters that truly touch the heart. There are multiple letters between Mike and his family littered throughout the entire novel, and they share more than what everyone is experiencing–but they reveal the characters’ hearts. You can clearly see the deep desire to protect one another from the most painful and emotional situations they face. Instead of focusing on the fear and anguish, they look for whatever ways they can to encourage one another and lift their spirits.
The audio for this book was a little hit-or-miss with me. While on the whole I thought it was well made, there were moments where the narrator’s emotion felt overdone with the level of shakiness in her voice. I still believe it’s worth the listen though.
This was an incredibly emotional read and one that I’m sure is going to stay with me. I appreciated reading a book from a time period that isn’t as often covered in fiction. I believe this is a novel that historical fiction fans will love and I highly recommend it.