Friday, February 21, 2014

Bookshelf Friday - My Mother's Chamomile by Susie Finkbeiner

I had the pleasure of meeting Susie and reading her debut novel, Paint Chips, this fall. Living in the same town, we've kept in contact a little. When I heard her second novel was coming out, I chatted her up on Facebook and asked if I could read and review it. She was kind enough to let me:) Here's a short blurb, and we'll chat on the other side:

Desperate for the rains of mercy...

Middle Main, Michigan has one stop light, one bakery, one hair salon...and one funeral home. The Eliot Family has assisted the grieving people in their town for over fifty years. After all those years of comforting others, they are the ones in need of mercy.

Olga, the matriarch who fixes everything, is unable to cure what ails her precious daughter. She is forced to face her worst fears. How can she possibly trust God with Gretchen's life?

A third generation mortician, Evelyn is tired of the isolation that comes with the territory of her unconventional occupation. Just when it seems she's met a man who understands her, she must deal with her mother's heartbreaking news. Always able to calm others and say just the right thing, she is now overwhelmed with helplessness as she watches Gretchen slip away.

They are tasting only the drought of tragedy...where is the deluge of comfort God promises?

You all know that I typically love fast paced books full of suspense and romance. Those are my favorites. Yet there are still authors that reach beyond my favorite genre and entertain me with stories far from my typical genre. Susie Finkebeiner is one of those authors who I've discovered may not write what I would normally reach for, but I'll happily still pull her from the shelf. She has yet to disappoint.

Written in first person, My Mother's Chamomile follows both Olga and Evelyn through a trial neither wants to face. It took me a little while to get used to the format of switching between Olga and Evelyn, but with chapter headings that let you know which character you are with, that soon fell to the wayside, and I enjoyed seeing this story play out from two perspectives. The full cast of characters from this family made a rich background and provided laughter and a whole lot of love.

As I found with Susie's first novel, she expertly pulls you into the emotions of these characters and weaves a story that is full of heartbreak and hope. No matter where you are in life, you're able to identify with the struggles on the page so that when she ushers in the truth of God's unfailing love and healing you feel it touch your life too.

I recommend a box of Kleenex when you read this book--both for happy and sad tears.

And I happily give My Mother's Chamomile 5 out of 5 stars.

If you would like to purchase My Mother's Chamomile, you can do so here. (It's only $3.99 on Kindle right now!) and if you'd like to learn more about Susie, keep reading:)

Susie Finkbeiner is a novelist and short story writer from West Michigan. Her first novel "Paint Chips" released in 2013 and her second novel "My Mother's Chamomile" in  2014. She worked with WhiteFire Publishing on both novels. Currently, she is working on her third novel.

One little known fact: Susie is also a published playwright. Her Christmas play "Merry Chrismukkah" was published in 2006 by Eldridge Plays. Six of Susie's plays have been produced for a West Michigan audience. Susie also writes for DV:FX, a children's program at Ada Bible Church.

Susie is a wife, mother of three, and avid reader. She enjoys time with her family, coffee dates with her good friends, and quiet moments to read and write. You can find Susie at her website, here.

***if you'd like to know my rating system, click on the page to the right***


  1. Susan, thank you so much for your encouraging words. I'm so glad we met last fall. You were one of the treasures I found at ACFW.

    1. :) So welcome, Susie! I agree. I so love how God makes those connections. He's pretty cool like that.