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A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era

(Pearl Spence #3)

4.57  ·  Rating details ·  204 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Pearl Spence has finally settled into a routine in Bliss, Michigan, far from her home in Red River, Oklahoma. Like all the other kids, she goes to school each day, plays in the woods, and does her chores. But there's one big difference: Mama is still gone, and doesn't seem to have a thought for the family she's left behind.

Escaping from her worries is another part of Pearl
Paperback, 312 pages
Published November 28th 2017 by Kregel Publications (first published November 2017)
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Average rating 4.57  · 
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Jocelyn Green
Susie Finkbeiner is a master at characterization. Few books I've read take me as deep into another person's experience as this author takes me into Pearl Spence's. As a reader, I gobbled this book up and found it completely and utterly satisfying as a book on its own, and especially as the culmination of this series. As an author, I will read it again, this time to take notes on how to draw and shade characters so richly. A Song of Home is the perfect ending to a series like none other. Original ...more
Vivid, heart-mending, like coming home after a long journey. I closed A Song of Home with a beautiful blend of emotions. I have a full heart because of story well-told, more than a hint of sadness that this Pearl's last story, and yet a deep contentment at how events unfolded for her. I know that there is no way that I can possibly do Pearl justice in this review, but I’ll do my best. I stretched out this book for as long as I could, but the farther I got, the faster I seemed to read. I hated to ...more
Susie Finkbeiner
May 27, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Can't wait for you all to read this! Releasing November 28, 2017 (3 months early!!!!).
Heather Gilbert
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
As expected, the conclusion to the Pearl Spence series was beautifully-written and moving! I was glad to feel closure on some things and to hang around with Pearl a little more. I highly recommend this realistic, relevant historical series to anyone!
Joanne Sher
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Susie Finkbeiner has done it again - in this third book in the Pearl Spence series, the author keeps us engaged with the characters I fell in love with in the first two books, and helped me fall for the new characters. I love the way strong characters are woven into a strong, moving plot that helps us get a real look at an era, I must admit, I knew very little about.

Pearl is getting settled (but not at home) at her new home in Bliss, Michigan, far from her hometown in Oklahoma. The family deals
Maureen Timerman
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
A book that concludes this trilogy, but I could keep on reading more about this family. We have come a long way from a kidnapping, dust bowl storm, moving to Wisconsin, and then Mama leaving. Yes, you might want to start at the beginning, and I highly recommend that you do, but this can be read alone, even though I never wanted it to end.
The author helps us to understand the reasons why Mama went away, and we also get to meet prejudice head on, and yet we see those that are full of compassion fo
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a sweet read...but like life. Difficulties to overcome, decisions to be made, broken hearts, and sweet relationships. They are all a part of life, but it’s so much easier to handle if you have a comforting place to call home.

Such vivid characters, realistic settings, and in a way this book has a song...a song of longing, sadness, and loss...but also a song of contentment, joy, and hope.

The endearing characters will find a home in your heart so be sure not to miss this read...or the other bo
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was a wonderful surprise. Pearl's story is a pitch-perfect recreation of life for everyday Americans during the Great Depression. Susie Finkbeiner's prose sings, and Pearl's voice is irresistibly compelling. Finkbeiner does a wonderful job with Pearl's youthful point of view, putting me in mind of such classic coming of age fiction as To Kill a Mockingbird and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. In the vein of those timeless classics, Finkbeiner evokes the hope and heartache of youth while addre ...more
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What can I say? My first book by Susie Finkbeiner and I loved it! A SONG OF HOME!
This is book three and it can stand alone but, oh my! I am already over halfway through book one now! I have the second book waiting. I have found a new author for sure.
A story through the eyes of a young girl that told things the honest way she saw life. Heartbreaking, prejudice to deal with, love and forgiveness all in one story. Pearl and her Dad had great kindness toward Opal and the kindness of Opal to Pearl
Lisa Johnson
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Title: A Song of Home (Pearl Spence Book #3)
Author: Susie Finkbeiner
Pages: 312
Year: 2017
Publisher: Kregel
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
The Pearl Spence series begins with A Cup of Dust followed by A Trail of Crumbs before completing Pearl’s tale in this book. It would be helpful if readers read all three to get the most out of the continuing story and characters that go with each book. Pearl’s past heartaches that she experiences are shared in the first two books and there are aspects of those i
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner…
The third book in the Pearl Spence series.
I came to know Pearl Spence first in A Cup of Dust. Tensions mount, Secrets are revealed, and danger arises for Pearl.
In A Trail of Crumbs, I really fell in love with the spunky and brave little girl Pearl was really developing into. Pearl and her mama and daddy move to Bliss Michigan along with Pearl’s best friend Ray whom her parents take in and take care of. The move is both difficult and exciting for Pearl, a new s
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
In this third book of following Pearl Spence’s young life, we pick up shortly after the second book left off. Pearl is in a new town, new school, new home, her mother has left the family so the only constants she has is her father and Ray who came with them from Oklahoma to live with them. Pearl has gone through a lot, especially for a young girl. I could understand her wanting to find some happiness and stability after the tragic circumstances of the first two books. I like that she has found a ...more
Suzie Waltner
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is my first Pearl Spence novel, and what a captivating surprise it was. With an eleven-year-old narrator who is finding her way during a tumultuous time, A Song of Home hits all the right notes.
Pearl’s life isn’t perfect—she’s left her beloved Oklahoma behind and her mother has left—but the young lady strives to show kindness where she can. Her young heart feels deeply for those she sees struggling around her—the girl in school who has so little, the young woman who has darker skin than mos
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Still tormented by her mother's desertion and failure to return, Pearl clings to her father and Uncle Gus and Aunt Carrie. Her dearest friend, Ray, is both brother and soul mate, a youngster whose own pain is raw and disheartening. Opal Moon, hired helper and caregiver, is discovered to be a swing dancer! Pearl is enchanted and begs Opal to give her lessons, creating a reason to blossom, a diversion from her haunting reality.

Pearl has become a part of my life. Her grit, determination and gentle
Kathi Hanson
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Life doesn't always go the way we expect. We experience pain, disappointment, grief, loss, anger.... We often feel alone, far from home, wandering in a wilderness of broken dreams and lost possibilities. In her short life Pearl has walked through so much. So now, what does she choose? Anger or forgiveness? Resentment or peace? She faces choices and people that will present her with varying paths to follow.

With her Grandmother’s voice in her heart, and the companionship of some incredible people
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
" . . . . she (Meemaw) would say to me, 'God ain't far off. Don't matter how you feel about it. He ain't far at all. . . . . . No matter where you're at, you got home with God right there'. "

The trouble is, Pearl Spence hasn't felt at home for a good long while. Leaving Oklahoma after a personal tragedy during the Dust Bowl years has landed the Spence family in Michigan near an aunt and uncle; only to witness her mother's devastating desertion and leave Pearl wondering what kind of melody must b
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the third in the series following the life of Pearl Spence. This book reads well on its own as the back story is subtly included in this novel. The previous novels are very good so I would suggest they be read to thoroughly enjoy this one.

Finkbeiner continues to create novels with a good understanding of human nature and why people behave the way they do. We see in this novel how Pearl's mother reacts to tragedies that are more than any one person should bare. We also see how people reac
Ingrid Lochamire
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Through the voice of an 11-year-old girl, the author has managed to draw readers into an era characterized by some very adult realities. Prejudice, poverty and a desire to escape through music are all vividly portrayed in this third novel in the Pearl Spence series. Finkbeiner's delicate handling of sensitive issues surrounding life in the 1930s do not leave adult readers lacking in a full appreciation of a formative time in our nation's history. Even those not interested in history will be draw ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am so sad to be finished with Pearl's story.

While all the Pearl Spence books deal with heavy, hard, and terrible experiences, there's still a theme of hope and growth. I'm surprised that I enjoyed a series set from a young girl's standpoint as much as I did, but the more I think back on these books, the more perfect I think the setting is - a naive and innocent little girl who faces so much struggle in her life, who ponders deeply, and comes out the other side stronger.

These books aren't qui
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This series has been so beautifully written. Life at its finest, at its darkest and at the places in between. Characters you want to meet in real life, and those you are glad you haven't. The underlying story of forgiveness in this book, was evident in the quiet strength of Pearl's Dad. And although at times I thought it might go a different way, it came back to the central theme of this book, that of Home. A great work, Susie.
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the 3rd book in the Cup of Dust series. I have very much enjoyed reading through these stories. I felt like I was right the Dust Bowl; the Great Depression; the Swing Era.

It is bittersweet to be at the end.
Raechel Lenore
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
"A Song of Home" was an excellent read. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect - I'd heard good things about the author's writing which is why I requested this book for review, but I still wasn't sure what to expect from the story. However, this book delightfully surprised me, and felt so comfortable.
It is the third book in the Pearl Spence novels, but that didn't hinder my enjoyment of it. In fact, it left me craving to go back and read the first two - I must get my hands on copies of those
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What makes your home HOME? If you move, when does the new place become home? Is home a place or your immediate family? Do neighbors and neighborhoods matter? Do people outside your immediate family help you maneuver life's ups and downs? What happens when one parent abandons the family? How do you create or maintain home without her? What happens if that parent returns, but isn't really the parent she was before? You will be considering all these questions as you read A SONG OF HOME by Susie Fi ...more
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Song of Home
By Susie Finkbeiner
It just can’t get any better than this! A third book in the Pearl Spence series! Some times when there are installments in books they tend to get watered down and a bit repetitive. Not with Ms. Finkbeiner’s books! Each one exceeds the other!
Pearl and her family have just moved to Michigan to start a new life after surviving the dust bowl and experiencing horrific tragedy. While the beautiful green land and new experiences were wonderful, Pearl and her family f
Beckie Burnham
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner speaks to the issue of home and just how tenuous the concept is. Set in the mid-1930s its historical setting is spot-on showing the depth of research undertaken by the author. But its message is universal, making this novel more than just genre fiction. I fell in love with main character, Pearl Spence, in the first book in the series. Her voice is strong in spite of her young age. This third installment is no exception and earns a highly recommended rating from ...more
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Song of Home is the 3rd novel in the Pearl Spence series. It is set in the 1930's in the small town of Bliss, Michigan. Pearl is 11 years old at the beginning of this novel and turns 12 at the end of the novel. In the 2nd novel in the series, Pearl's mother has left her family for another man. In this novel, Pearl's mother returns but there are complications. This is not a spoiler because the book blurb mentions her return. In the last novel, a mulato girl named Opal has become a daytime house ...more
Deana Dick
This will not be an easy story to forget. I like that in a book because the author has done their job of transporting readers back to a place some of us have only heard about. It was not easy growing up in the 1930s. . Families struggled to buy food and clothing while scrimping by on low salaries. I remember going to my granddad’s farm in Oklahoma every summer when I was little. He had over 200 acres and I loved being there. Off in the distance sometimes I saw this weird thing in the sky. The sk ...more
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era
Pearl Spence #3
By Susie Finkbeiner

Life for eleven-year-old Pearl Spence has taken on a new normal but she still longs for Mama to return home to them. But living near enough to visit with Aunt Carrie and Uncle Gus is nice. And the family no longer has to worry about too little food. Escaping with a library book is one of Pearl's favorite past times and Aunt Carrie has taught her how to climb a tree in a ladylike fashion, something Mama wouldn't approve of.
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
There are just a few characters in literature that have a defined "voice" in my head whenever I read them. Other characters may have one as I read their stories, but a few have that same voice, no matter what. They are so clear, they're almost audible: Jo March, Professor Albus Dumbledore, Anne Shirley, Atticus Finch, Aslan -- and Pearl Spence.

Young Miss Spence is a girl after my own heart. She's imaginative, loves to read, and just the tiniest bit precocious. She processes the events around her
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1930s - Bliss, Michigan during the Great Depression

Pearl Spence, 11 years old daughter of the town's sheriff
Ray Jones, 12 year old boy who lives with their family
Opal, the family's housekeeper and cook while "mama" is out of the picture
Aunt Carrie and Uncle Gus, like parents to Pearl and Ray

Par for the course, I often read books in a series out of order. Didn’t realize I had read book one years ago. I finished listening to book three just now, but it was easily a stand alone with refer
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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 Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression (Pearl Spence #2)

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