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A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression
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A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression

(Pearl Spence #2)

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4.51  ·  Rating details ·  194 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
"I believed it would have been a sin to stay inside when God had sent us such fine weather. According to Pastor Ezra Anderson, sin was the reason we'd got in the dusty mess we were in. The way I saw it, that day was God's way of letting us know He wasn't mad at us anymore. Just maybe He'd seen fit to forgive us."

Pearl Spence has been through more in her young life than mos
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Published March 28th 2017 by Kregel Publications (first published March 2017)
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Beth
Since finishing A Cup of Dust, the first part of Pearl Spence’s story, I’ve been eager to get back into her world. A Trail of Crumbs is as poignant, compelling and heartfelt as its predecessor. Pearl’s character has grown-up a bit, however, she is still as vibrant and as much of a kindred spirit as ever. Though the story opens with tragedy and deals with some heavy topics, I never bogged down with unnecessary heartache. Pearl’s voice is strong and consistent, making this second book another winn ...more
Jamie
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
“Hope was such a pretty word.”

When done well, I enjoy a story told from a different perspective than what we normally see, like that of a child. After Susie Finkbeiner’s first in this series, A Cup of Dust, I knew she would be one to watch. I was excited to hear the story continued and couldn’t wait to dive into this next one. It did not disappoint.

With her latest, Finkbeiner has shown us how her voice and writing continues to get better and better. As I mentioned, I enjoyed her debut, but this
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Jocelyn Green
I read somewhere that drama isn't necessarily when the characters in a novel cry, but when the reader cries. A Trail of Crumbs would make an excellent case study of this point.

Not that the characters never cried, because they did, and for good reason. What I mean is that through the child protagonist's point of view, we watch and experience a heartache born of the Great Depression which can be felt much more poignantly than mere words can describe. This is one of Susie Finkbeiner's greatest str
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Amelia
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't wait to see how Pearl's story would play out, yet at the same time I wanted to read slowly and make it last. Finkbeiner's writing is meant to be savored. Read slowly and thoughtfully to let the depth of meaning and richness of the story sink in. I wasn't ready to leave Pearl's world and cannot wait for the final installment of her journey. This is Finkbeiner's finest work to date. The characters are fully developed, you'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll appreciate Pearl's journey to fi ...more
Cheryl Barker
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While reading the first few chapters of this book, I wasn't sure I was going to like it because it seemed rather bleak and sad, but the characters soon wrapped themselves around my heart and I was hooked. An emotional yet heartwarming read in many regards. I did feel at loose ends with the way the story ended so am looking forward to reading more of Pearl's story when A Song of Home comes out next year. I would like to know what's going to happen! :)
Staci
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Sweet continuation of Pearl's story. The writing is beautiful and Pearl's voice brings the story to life.

I loved that the author shared in the afterward which CF authors have impacted her writing and that it was Into the Free by Julie Cantrell that shifted her writing from contemporary to historical.

I look forward to reading the conclusion to Pearl's story.
Heather Gilbert
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gem of historical fiction, this novel perfectly captured both the desperation and the community support system that existed during the Great Depression. The main character, Pearl Spence, had totally won my heart in book 1, A Cup of Dust, but in this book, we see how life is molding her into the young woman she'll become. I love spending time in Pearl's "head" (since this is written in first POV)--it takes me back to my childhood and reminds me of the innocence, yet the heavier events we have t ...more
Maureen Timerman
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
The second book in this series, and like the first you will not be able to put this read down, and although it opens with a tragedy, and ends with their lives up in the air, but there is another book to come.
After the devastation that hits the Spencer family, they head to Michigan and a new and greener life, after all that dust I can just imagine how they felt when then put their toes on grass. What a transformation, food and rain, and promise of a new life.
While they seem ready to move on, the
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Katherine Jones
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nobody writes like Susie Finkbeiner, nobody. Her incomparable narrative voice pulls me in, every time. Combine that with unforgettable characters, a top-notch concept along with the writing chops to execute it, and you’ve got an unparalleled story on your hand. And quite possibly an award-winning one as well. {Feel free to quote me on that.}

In this sequel to A Cup of Dust, Pearl lives on, bringing with her inimitable take on life. I find her as endearing as a couple of other well-loved young her
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Heather Gilbert
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads
A gem of historical fiction, this novel perfectly captured both the desperation and the community support system that existed during the Great Depression. The main character, Pearl Spence, had totally won my heart in book 1, A Cup of Dust, but in this book, we see how life is molding her into the young woman she'll become. I love spending time in Pearl's "head" (since this is written in first POV)--it takes me back to my childhood and reminds me of the innocence, yet the heavier events we have t ...more
Lori
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my gosh!!! This book definitely deserves 5 stars!! It's a spellbinder from the very beginning!
And best of all, it's told in 1st person genere.
Susie is fabulous story teller and writes with a style all her own!!
I thoroughly enjoyed Pearl's coming of age story. Many times there were places placed in the book where I felt like could relate to her. Especially since she loves books!!!! Books can take you to many a places. I'm an avid reader myself. Books are my best friends.
There were places i
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Pearl Allard
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Five stars from a reader who doesn’t even like historical fiction

It’s hard for me to care about history and dates. (I’m sure it’s a glaring character flaw, but there you have it.) My last brushes with historical fiction were in junior high. The last I remember, historical fiction was really a thin disguise for a textbook, and the love and faith portrayed seemed only for the morally perfect - not for the everyday folk. (You may commence rotten tomato throwing at my 12-year old self. Perhaps if I
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Rebecca
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Once you go, you can't never get back."

Pearl Spence is a survivor; for she has survived more tragedy than most ten year old girls could even imagine, much less endure; and trying to see "how all things work together for the good of those who love God", according to her beloved Meemaw; is getting harder and harder for Pearl to believe. When the unthinkable occurs, she and her family are forced to relocate, leaving the dust blown town of Red River, Oklahoma far behind, while they struggle to embr
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Amy
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Just...wow! Words fall short to convey how much I love this book. It's not often I connect with characters so deeply as I connected with Pearl and her family. This story broke my heart in so many ways, but it also started putting the broken bits back together with the superglue of love. Pearl Spence makes me chuckle, she makes me cry, she makes me want to wrap her up in my arms and assure her all will be well. I can't wait to read the third book to find out how her story ends!
Sue
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author Susie Finkbeiner has picked up the tale of 10 year old Pearl Spence and her Oklahoma family just months after the death of her Meemaw in her new novel A TRAIL OF CRUMBS. While the author, through Pearl's recollections, tries to file the readers in on the dangerous events that are resolved at the end of book one A CUP OF DUST, my advice is read that title first and then start A TRAIL OF CRUMBS. Then you will better understand the spunky, yet fragile Pearl. Having already experienced more t ...more
Melinda
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're like me, you prefer unique non-formulaic fiction. When you read a Depression-era story that begins in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, you're not going to get the norm. I was not disappointed. The story is told from the first-person perspective of Pearl Spence, a ten year old girl, and from the opening pages it is apparent that she has already lived a hard and tragic life. This coming-of-age story is the sequel to A Cup of Dust, a book I must now read to ferret out more details about Pearl's tr ...more
Lisa Johnson
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Title: A Trail of Crumbs (A Novel of the Great Depression)
Author: Susie Finkbeiner
Pages: 320
Year: 2017
Publisher: Kregel
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
The first novel I read by Susie Finkbeiner was A Cup of Dust, which is a story of the dust bowl, and it was really good. Now, she presents a story that brings some of the characters from the other book into a new story, which is set during the great depression. Now don’t think that Susie focuses on the Great Depression; she leads us on a journey where
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Amy
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Trail of Crumbs continues the story of Pearl Spence and her family about four months after the events that took place in A Cup of Dust. Again we see life through young Pearl’s life, a ten year old girl growing up in the time of the dust bowl, the Great Depression, a time of desperation for most people. I thoroughly enjoyed the first novel and looked forward to their continuing story.

Wow. There are some things that happen in this book that really took me by surprise. The author knows this time
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Joan
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finkbeiner has written an interesting novel of the Depression and Dust Bowl era. The harsh events of the time are seen through the eyes of Pearl, a ten year old . This book is a sequel to A Cup of Dust. While this book reads well on its own I would highly suggest A Cup of Dust be read before this one.

After a devastating tragedy, Pearl's family makes the long journey from Oklahoma to Michigan to start a new life. The location change does not alleviate the effects of the family tragedy and Pearl
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Abby Breuklander
Sometimes we just need a little reminder that no matter what is happening in our lives there is always hope.
Samantha
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so good! It's going to be so hard to wait till Feb for the final book!!
Nora St Laurent
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel picks up four months after book one ends. Pearl and her family have experienced a great loss and they try to carry on but times get tough. I lost my heart to Pearl in book one, A Cup of Dust, because she is an enchanting little girl who is honest, brave and insightful beyond her ten years. She’s endured more than most could imagine; (now because of health issues); their family leaves everybody and everything they've known to start over and reconnect with family in Michigan.

This author
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Jan McKinney
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. I am a huge fan of historical fiction and this work did not disappoint. This is the second book in a series, I have not yet read the first book but do intend to now. It is not necessary to read them in order, but would probably make it easier. This is a Great Depression/Dust Bowl story told through the eyes of a young girl. The characters are dynamic and a compelling story is woven in the fabric of the Great Depression era. Seeing the effects of this ...more
Pam
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book narrated by Pearl Spence, who is ten years old when this story begins in Oklahoma. There is still plenty of dust and dust storms come up quickly, causing great harm to the Spence family. Needing to escape the dust for health reasons, the family, including Pearl's friend Ray, travels to Michigan to live near Tom's cousin Gus and his wife Carrie. Pearl struggles a bit with the move, missing those left behind, and with the changes in her mama. Mary is battling her own great ...more
Nancee
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've traveled back to the days of the depression and the Oklahoma dust storms with my favorite character, Pearl. She's young, innocent, and a free spirit. I loved her in the author's prequel, A Cup of Dust, but grew to love her even more in A Trail of Crumbs. Her life has been difficult, but it's all she knows, and the love of her family has kept her secure and cared for. Pearl and her best friend, Ray, are carefree youngsters, happy, with few worries in their young lives. Unfortunately, trouble ...more
Rachael
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this series completely out of order. The first, the third, and then the last. Though I wish I had read them in order, it was interesting to read them this way since when reading the second I knew how it all ended. Certain signs pointed to a deeper problem that was smoothed over by Pearls family.

The book has such heart. The characters are so real, Pearl is a gem, and I love her MeeMaw! Every girl needs a woman in her life like that! One that gives them jewels of wisdom on which to ponder
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Brenda
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the first book “A Cup of Dust” then I read the third book “A Song Of Home” because I was on the launch team and wanted to be able to discuss this book. So I went back to read “A Trail of Crumbs”. I do wish I had took the time to read them in order but I enjoyed each book individually.
I loved Pearl from the very first of Book One. It was sad how Pearl felt about herself but she was always able to have a little fun along the way. The heartbreak and the joys that Pearl felt I felt too. Durin
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Danielle
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With each novel by Susie Finkbeiner, I fall more in love with her writing and her characters. I was glad to return to Pearl's story after reading A Cup of Dust. I feel as if I know her family and her home. As awful as the setting of the Great Depression in A Trail of Crumbs, I still want to visit; meeting these characters would make it worth the trial. Susie's books are never easy-to-read, full-of-warm-fuzzies types of books. She explores the nitty gritty of life and people. You're crying, you'r ...more
Brenda
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Absolutely loved this book by Susie Finkbeiner! The first Pearl Spence book (A Cup of Dust) felt a little dark to me...perhaps my mood at the time or perhaps I struggled with the fact that a young had to go through such a horribly difficult time :( In any case, I absolutely fell in love with the spunky little girl Pearl Spence evolved into in this book! I cant wait to continue Pearl's story this evening with A Song of Home, pre release through Net Galley to launch team members :) #ASongOfHome!
Michelle Alvarez
The second book in the series begins right after "Cup of Dust". I love how Susie captures the characters right where they are at. She doesn't wrap the story with a giant bow, but stretches the characters and shows all the good, bad, and the ugly. Her narrative brings a trueness to our everyday lives reality. It is this honesty that makes this one of the more powerful stories I read all year and leaves me hanging on ready for book 3.
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Susie Finkbeiner is the CBA bestselling author of A Cup of Dust, A Trail of Crumbs, and A Song of Home

Her most recent novel, All Manner of Things, releases in June, 2019 with Revell.

She serves on the Breathe Christian Writers Conference planning committee, volunteers her time at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and speaks at retreats and women's events across the state. Susie and her h
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Other books in the series

Pearl Spence (3 books)
  • A Cup of Dust: a Novel of the Dust Bowl (Pearl Spence #1)
  • A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era (Pearl Spence #3)
“God was the God of contentment. That was so. But just then, with Mama smiling so wide, I thought He might just be the God of wild, out-of-control happiness, too. It did me some good to think on that.” 0 likes
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