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Wednesday, June 17, 2020
STORIES THAT BIND US by SUSIE FINKBEINER
There are authors that have the ability to take readers inside a story and make them feel as if they are part of it. This author is one of them. Her writing is emotional, honest and forever feels your heart with warmth. Betty was easy to like with her gentle spirit. She is only forty and already a widow. My heart broke in pieces as I could feel her loss. I love the time period and how the author lets us experience history making news.
It seems only yesterday that we were watching a man named Martin Luther King Jr. give a speech that was so powerful I have never forgotten it. Yes he had a dream that one day there would be no prejudice and we would all love one another. The author also includes the tragic death of President Kennedy.
When Clara and Hugo were introduced into the story, I immediately knew this would be a journey that would take me through tissues, laughter and hope. The author shares stories about Betty and Clara’s childhood. It wasn’t easy for them to have a mother who spent more time in bed than with them. Bless their father for trying to make their lives as normal as he could. Hugo is a sweet child who is timid and has fears of being left. Oh if I could hug him I would. That little boy captured my heart and I loved how Betty connected with him through stories. He was easily welcomed into the family and never once was he made to feel anything but family.
The stigma of mental illness is one that many families face everyday. As Clara begins to show signs that she needs help, Betty was right there to help her. I loved how Betty stepped up and took over the care of Hugo and showered him with love and security. It was hard to watch Clara start to descend into a state where hospitalization was needed. I can’t imagine the treatments she received were easy, but Betty was there to give her sister encouragement. I think it helped Clara to know that she had family that cared and would not abandon her.
The story is a look at a broken family that finds their way back to each other in a moving journey through tears, joy and hope. I cheered at the ending because the author gives readers a glimpse at what unconditional love looks like.
I received an arc copy of this book from Revell Reads. The review is my own opinion.