“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” This famous quote by Julian of Norwich is the first line of words we read as we pick up Susie Finkbeiner’s new release from Revell, aptly titled “All Manner of Things”. As we continue reading a bit farther, we are swept away to the year 1967, where we meet a family and begin a journey that, within the first few pages, we know we will never forget.
I honestly feel that any review I write could not give “All Manner of Things” the accolades it deserves. This story is written in such a simple yet heartbreakingly beautiful way that I felt close to tears many times, even when nothing especially sad was taking place. The setting, the story, and most of all the characters seem like real places and events and people. . . You wholeheartedly feel as though you have crawled through a portal into the town of Fort Colson, Michigan, where even as daily life in the Jacobson family goes on in routine, surprises await and the war in Vietnam looms ever closer.
Even though this story takes place over 50 years ago, the struggles and heartaches and hopes and dreams of Annie and her family feel, in so many ways, like they were written about me and my family. I think this will be the case for most readers, regardless of their life circumstances, because Susie Finkbeiner writes in a way that brings truths about humanity to light with such wisdom and compassion that you can’t help but relate on so many different levels.
If you are searching for a novel that is so much more than just an entertaining story, but rather a journey of hoping and learning and grieving and growing, all in the context of everyday life… well, I can’t think of any better book to recommend than “All Manner of Things”. My copy is going in a treasured place on my bookshelf, and is definitely a story I will share and reread time and time again. It is beautiful, and it will stay with you for years to come.
I received this book courtesy of Revell Publishing, in participation with a Revell Reads Blog Tour. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.