Sunday, November 8, 2015


Ten-year-old Pearl Spence is a daydreamer, playing make-believe to escape life in Oklahoma's Dust Bowl in 1935. The Spences have their share of misfortune, but as the sheriff's family, they've got more than most in this dry, desolate place. They're who the town turns to when there's a crisis or a need--and during these desperate times, there are plenty of both, even if half the town stands empty as people have packed up and moved on.

Pearl is proud of her loving, strong family, though she often wearies of tracking down her mentally impaired older sister or wrestling with her grandmother's unshakable belief in a God who Pearl just isn't sure she likes.

Then a mysterious man bent on revenge tramps into her town of Red River. Eddie is dangerous and he seems fixated on Pearl. When he reveals why he's really there and shares a shocking secret involving the whole town, dust won't be the only thing darkening Pearl's world.

While the tone is suspenseful and often poignant, the subtle humor of Pearl's voice keeps A Cup of Dust from becoming heavy-handed. Finkbeiner deftly paints a story of a family unit coming together despite fractures of distress threatening to pull them apart.

My thoughts...

Where to start.... wow, this is a totally captivating story. It grabbed my heart and held on to the end, the detail is fierce, the characters are incredible and the writing style is superb. This little 10 year old girl, Pearl, is such a fighter. Would like to see her in another book when she's older.

Set during the Depression in the dust bowl we find out how hard life was and how people accepted what life threw at them. This is definitely one of my favorite books of the year!

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this encouraging review, JoyAnne! I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

Unknown said...

Oh, I think this needs to be added to my TBR. Great review! :)
@dino0726 from 
FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews