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My Mother's Chamomile

4.74  ·  Rating Details ·  73 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Desperate for the rains of mercy... Middle Main, Michigan has one stop light, one bakery, one hair salon...and one funeral home. The Eliot Family has assisted the grieving people in their town for over fifty years. After all those years of comforting others, they are the ones in need of mercy. Olga, the matriarch who fixes everything, is unable to cure what ails her ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published February 15th 2014 by Whitefire Publishing (first published January 1st 2014)
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Mar 25, 2014 April rated it it was amazing
“The courage to take a meager step some days exhausted me. But bravery could bring glory to my Lord. I just had to believe it.” ~Olga

The Eliot family owns a three-generation run funeral home. The mark of Christ-like love and grace they’ve made on their community is indelible. But, as often in the case of the most compassionate, they are overlooked because of the job they provide. Simply, no one wants to think about death and they make people think about it. Because of this, deep and lasting frie
Suzy Parish
Mar 25, 2014 Suzy Parish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Susie Finkbeiner pulled off what all writers want to achieve. She placed me, the reader, smack in the middle of the heart of each character. From the introspective matriarch of the family, Olga, to Evelyn who is just beginning the journey of her life. My Mother's Chamomile captured the personality of each character and gave us a peek at life through their eyes. The warmth of the family was endearing. A good book to read to ponder what are really the valuable things in life.
Mar 06, 2015 Nancee rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Nancee by:
"My Mother's Chamomile" is the depiction of a family of morticians in Middle Main, Michigan.. For 50 years the Eliots have assisted families through the most difficult stage of life..... death. Years of dealing with death and grief places them in a state of loneliness in the community. People are uncomfortable with thoughts of their own mortality. The Eliots exhibit a strong faith in God, and a powerful compassion for others. Their competence, sensitivity and quiet strength bring comfort to the ...more
Mar 25, 2014 Kristi rated it it was amazing
This story is told, in alternating chapters, by Olga (the grandmother of the family) and Evelyn (the adult granddaughter). The author does an excellent job of distinguishing between the voices of the two women. There's never any doubt about who's telling their part of the family's story.

That aside, this is an absolutely wonderful book. Since it centers around a family who runs a funeral home, there are times when it would behoove the reader to have a box of tissues handy. Each death/funeral, tho
Mar 25, 2014 Beki rated it it was amazing
This story drew me in from the very beginning. I felt like a part of this family, a part of the story. Death is something we all want to push away and hope we won't have to face. Whether sudden or gradual, the loss of a loved one is extremely difficult. Susie Finkbeiner captures these emotions beautifully, helping us feel them along with the family...and acknowledging that we must face them ourselves. True and honest, My Mother's Chamomile is a thoughtfully written story of mercy, grief, and ...more
Mar 25, 2014 Peggy rated it it was amazing
Felt part of this very loving, Christian family. This book was thought provoking, humorous at times and so touching. Loved the portrayal of Olga & Clive’s relationship. Susie Finkbeiner wrote a very real book. Loved it!
Michelle Alvarez
May 27, 2014 Michelle Alvarez rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with these characters. I wanted to be a part of their family, pray for them, shared in their grief (a lot). These characters so beautifully written left a lasting imprint on my soul. I want to visit them, have some tea with them and see how they are doing.
Susie Finkbeiner
Oct 18, 2014 Susie Finkbeiner added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: es-done
All I'm saying is it's really strange to sit and read a book you wrote. Very, very strange.
Rachel Watson
May 21, 2015 Rachel Watson rated it it was amazing
If I was asked to retitle this book (which isn't necessary but let's just pretend), I would call it The Heartbreaking Facts of Life. Or something like that. I ugly-cried all the way through because all of the sorrows -- and joys -- the Eliot-Russell family experienced felt like they were happening. Directly. To. Me. And my family. It's been years since I've read a novel in which the characters felt so real, like they were people I know and love dearly. I could picture them all clearly, in crisp ...more
Shelana Ferris
Mar 25, 2014 Shelana Ferris rated it it was amazing
Susie's second novel is very different from her first but just as well written. Like her first novel her chapters are broken up by the two main characters, Olga and Evelyn. I love how you see the story from the two different characters point of view. I quickly got wrapped up into the lives of their family. Susie made the story seem so real to me and I empathized with the characters in their heartache. Yes, it is a Christian fiction novel but not to the point where a non Christian wouldn't enjoy ...more
Peter DeHaan
Feb 19, 2015 Peter DeHaan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
My Mother's Chamomile takes place in a unique setting, showing the interworkings of a family in a profession most of society misunderstands and ignores -- until we need them, and sooner or later we are all going to need them.

Aside from the amazing insight My Mother's Chamomile provides into the struggles and motivations of a funeral home family, it is also a love story, but not so much in the way you'd expect. Read it to discover a deeper love when a family who comes together in a time of need.
Janie  R. Freeman

A most compelling,moving story! Poignant characters with powerful emotions and feelings,and very real experience of death, loss, and wrenching grief.They did,however experienced mercy, hope, faith,love,compassion,and healing.
I was touched deeply by this story,I felt like I was there right along with them. It makes one ponder on the frailty of life.
Jocelyn Green
Aug 19, 2014 Jocelyn Green rated it it was amazing
The most original piece of fiction I've read in years. My Mother's Chamomile is the contemporary tale of a family in the funeral director/mortician line of work. It is not sensational in any way, but it is so real it just might turn your heart inside out. This is one of those books that isn't just a good book, but an important book. It challenged and blessed me. I read it in two days.
Susan oleneack
Mar 25, 2014 Susan oleneack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful and heartfelt

Wonderful and heartfelt

This is a true reflection of the journey through grief and I have experienced just that. I don't know how it could have been written without the grace of God. Sensitive and beautiful storytelling.
Angie  Moore
May 10, 2014 Angie Moore rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written novel told from the views of Olga & Evelyn (grandmother & granddaughter) I love the deep love between Olga & Clive! Oh how they love each other even though they are 'old' it made me choke up just thinking about it! Definitely a must read book.
Mar 25, 2014 Gail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful story about love. If you've ever lost someone this story will resonate with you. Thanks Susie for sharing it.
Holly Becker
Mar 25, 2014 Holly Becker rated it it was amazing
I became a part of this family. It wasn't as if I was peeking in as it does in some novels. I was right there, every moment, experiencing the love, comfort, heartache and joy.
Janyre Tromp
Oct 28, 2016 Janyre Tromp rated it it was amazing
A story of grief and loss that is still filled with hope. This is a gorgeous narrative.
Nov 06, 2014 Iola rated it really liked it
My Mother’s Camomile is written in the first person from two alternating points of view: Olga and Evelyn, Olga’s oldest granddaughter. It’s an unusual and ambitious choice (in that it’s hard to do well without constantly reminding the reader that it’s only a story), but it works. That’s a testament to the quality of the writing, and the strength of the individual character voices.

The family operate the only funeral parlour in a small town, which means they are an odd combination of essential an
Apr 26, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
This book was nothing short of phenomenal! I enjoyed this book so much and was sad to see it end. I loved all the character and felt drawn into their world. I LOVED the Eliot family. Noone ever stops to think how people whom deal with death on a daily basis deal and process these feelings. This book was an inside look into the world of a family (through generations) who run a funeral home,their struggles, their passions, their relationships and most importantly- how the love of Christ shines ...more
Apr 01, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it
Like with her previous book, Finkbeiner tells her tale from the viewpoint of two very different characters, alternating chapters between the two. I love the Grandmother figure, Olga, and how she often referenced things she had learned throughout her life. I loved her need to bake. I found Evelyn easy to relate to with her hopes and fears. I'm so glad she finds Will to help her through the family crisis to come. All the characters were likable. Even the unlikable characters had redeeming ...more
Apr 22, 2016 Cindi rated it really liked it
I can truly say that I never read a book that had a mortician as a career for a main character until now. The author does an excellent job in bringing to light some of the things required of such an occupation. She gives the reader lots to think about.

The story is told by alternating characters, Olga and Evelyn, who are grandmother and granddaughter. I enjoyed how these two sandwiched in their perspectives of Gretchen's life, daughter and mother, respectively.

This is a deep read that grips your
Apr 28, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing
Poignant and powerful. Bittersweet and beautiful. Full of grief and grace. Susie Finkbeiner does it again! Although this is not a quick and easy book to read (on the contrary, I had to put the book down at times just to catch my breath), I read it in a single night: in casual and careless disregard for my need for sleep.

Susie's first novel, Paint Chips, was a great book. This, her second novel, was exceptional. Her growth as a writer in just these two works is absolutely amazing. This is an auth
Apr 17, 2016 Diane rated it it was amazing
This book was totally different than the first book I read by this author but very good. This story centers around a family who run a small town funeral parlor and how God helps them to handle the illness and death of one of their own family. Her books are very honest in dealing with hard things from a Christian perspective.
Raelee Carpenter
Oct 02, 2014 Raelee Carpenter rated it it was amazing
A sweet family drama full of faith and hope. The author captures the color of small-town life with excellent descriptions and eccentric characters. Not as fast-paced as the previous release, but just as heartfelt and meaningful. Keep your hankie at hand, but be prepared to laugh too.
Joanne Sher
Jan 09, 2015 Joanne Sher rated it it was amazing
A poignant, powerful, touching story of family, life, hope, and loss. Susie Finkbeiner is an amazing writer.
Mar 25, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing
Jessie rated it it was amazing
Mar 25, 2014
Kathi Hanson
Kathi Hanson rated it it was amazing
Oct 12, 2016
Terri Rahn
Terri Rahn rated it it was amazing
Mar 25, 2014
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Susie Finkbeiner is the author of A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl (Kregel, 2015) as well as My Mother's Chamomile (WhiteFire, 2014) and Paint Chips (WhiteFire, 2013).

Susie is a wife, mother of three, and avid reader. She enjoys time with her family, coffee dates with her good friends, and quiet moments to read and write.
More about Susie Finkbeiner...

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