Saturday, June 13, 2020

Stories That Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner

Stories That Bind Us
Good Day!  Here are some upcoming new cozy mysteries that you might be interested in pre-ordering or adding to your wish list.  A Design to Die For by Kathleen Bridge will be out on July 2.  It is the 5th A Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery.  Candy Slain Murder by Maddie Day is out September 29.  Thread and Dead by Elizabeth Penney publishes on August 25. It is the 2nd novel in The Apron Shop SeriesPremeditated Mortar by Kate Carlisle will be out on December 1.  It is the 8th A Fixer-Upper Mystery.  Is there a cozy you cannot wait to read?
Gas Station at State and Franklin Street in Huntington Indiana, according to the back of the picture. (Hotel LaFontaine in the background - back of the picture has 1938 written on it)
Stories that Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner has Betty Sweet becoming a widow at forty years of age in 1963 in LaFontaine, Michigan.  She met her husband, Norman when she was fourteen and they married after graduating from high school.  Unfortunately, the couple never had children.  Betty loves spending time with her rambunctious twin nephews.  Betty is surprised when her estranged sister, Clara arrives one evening with her five-year-old son, Hugo.  She can tell that the pair have gone through a journey and she happily settles them in her guest rooms.  Clara seems to do nothing but sleep leaving Betty to care for a frightened Hugo.  People look at them suspiciously when they walk together with Hugo’s little light brown skinned hand enclosed in Betty’s larger white one.  Hugo is frightened of losing his mother and Betty helps him overcome his nightmares with stories that she has created.  There will be difficulties ahead, but the family can get through them if they have each other.
Steaming-hot bagels are scooped out of the water in which they were boiled and dumped onto a stainless steel drain board at a bagel bakery in Queens, New York City, 1963. Traditionally, bagels were boiled, but bakers who use the modern method skip this step.
Stories That Bind Us is one of those books that lingers with you after you finish it.  I thought it was well-written and captured the era. Significant historical events are included in this book including the assassination of JFK, Martin Luther Kings “I Have a Dream” speech, and an elephant that rampaged a city.  The author touches upon the difficult subjects of depression, death, and racism.  I thought she handled these sensitive topics very well.   The present is interspersed with stories and memories of the past.  We learn about Betty’s growing up years, how she met the Sweet family, her marriage to Norman, how much Mama Sweet meant to Betty, and other memories.  It all comes together into one lovely tale.  The Sweet family is realistic with their joys and struggles.  They have a bakery in a small town where a chain bakery is trying to run them out of business.  Pops Sweet is getting older and Albert still pines for Clara.  Marvel and Stan are raising their mischievous twin sons who are kind to their grieving aunt.  The stories that bind people together are their memories of loved ones and friends.  I like how Betty’s make-believe stories fit into the book and how they help a frightened little boy.  They formed a bond between Betty and Hugo.   Hugo was such a sweet little fellow. I had to laugh along with Betty and Marvel when Hugo jumped into the mud pool with the twins.  I thought the Stories That Bind Us is timely considering what is currently going on in our country.  Stories That Bind Us is a heartwarming tale filled with hope, love, special memories, and family.
Clipping from Lansing State Journal - 9-27-1963
Stories That Bind Us is available from Amazon*.  You can find other novels by Susie Finkbeiner here.  Thank you for reading my review today.  On Sunday, I am featuring The Diva Spices It Up by Krista Davis.  It is the 13th A Domestic Diva Mystery.  I was unable to share this cozy when it was released so I worked it into my June schedule.  I hope that you have a congenial day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

vintageeveryday: “ Three women keep cool during a heat wave by moving a park bench into the water in Central Park, New York, 1961. ”
*This post contains affiliate links.

No comments:

Post a Comment