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A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression

(Pearl Spence #2)

by
4.44  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  92 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
...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 28th 2017 by Kregel Publications (first published March 2017)
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Average rating 4.44  · 
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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  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Heather Gilbert
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Joleen
What a difficult time for a child of 10 to live — the Great Depression and the dust bowl to name some big ones. Poverty and tornadoes take Pearl's family through one tragedy to a new life in Michigan for her health, with a new set of issues. But I love the way Pearl brings out her positive attitude, often when she's remembering words of wisdom from Meemaw.

Then life takes another turn which challenges that positive attitude. But God blessed her with a loving daddy, a best friend in Ray, an uncle
...more
Cheryl Barker
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Maureen Timerman
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Katherine Jones
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Heather Gilbert
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Joy
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm in love with this series. I enjoy how strongly these characters are developed. It's so easy to know them, love them, disagree with them or misunderstand them. Rich characters living in a good solid story. What's not to love?! Can't wait to read the next!
Lori
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Pearl Allard
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Rebecca
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
"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
...more
Amy
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
...more
Amy
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Joan
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it
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
...more
Kate Loveton
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The second volume of the Pearl Spence trilogy doesn’t disappoint. I would love to see these books adapted for television. The author shows a deep understanding, affection and compassion for her characters.

I don’t want to give too many hints as to what occurs in this continuation of the story of Pearl and her family as they make the hard decision to leave Oklahoma for Michigan. After the dusty, depressed Oklahoma town in which they lived, Michigan is a green paradise where it rains regularly and
...more
Karin
This book continues the story of Pearl Spence in 1935 as her grieving family moves from the dust bowl of Oklahoma to Michigan in the wake of Pearl's recovery from a nearly fatal case of dust pneumonia and the death of her older sister in a dust storm. While Uncle Gus and his wife are warm and welcoming, Pearl is not only homesick and grieving, but having to cope with her mother suffering acute depression. Her friend Ray them because his mother found a job in another state and cannot take him alo ...more
Samantha
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was so good! It's going to be so hard to wait till Feb for the final book!!
Abby Breuklander
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes we just need a little reminder that no matter what is happening in our lives there is always hope.
Dayna Wright
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the 2nd Pearl Spence novel. I love Susie Finkbeiner's books. I feel that I am a part of her stories. This one was no exception. Although this was written about the depression time period, the life situations and struggles of Pearl are timeless.
Mary Kenyon
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A new favorite author. This is the second book in this series and now I have to get a hold of the third! Couldn't put it down and finished in one sitting.
Nora St Laurent
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 autho
...more
Joyce
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the 2nd novel in the Pearl Spence series by Susie Finkbeiner. I loved it as much as I did the first book in the series but it is very sad with a tragedy at the beginning and a very painful event in Pearl's family at the end. In this novel, the Spence family moves from Oklahoma to Bliss, MI to get away from the devastation of the dust bowl situation in Oklahoma. They initially move in with Tom Spence's cousin Gus and his wife Claire. Pearl's childhood friend, Ray, has also accompanied the ...more
Jan McKinney
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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Susie Finkbeiner is the author of All Manner of Things as well as the CBA bestselling Pearl Spence series.

When she’s not writing or traveling to speak at retreats or conferences, Susie enjoys lunch dates with her husband, reading with her kids, and drinking coffee with good friends.

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)

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