The All American by Susie Finkbeiner

Growing Up & Following Dreams

The All American by Susie Finkbeiner is a most delightful Christian historical novel that I completely savored, never wanting it to end.

The novel is set during 1952 as we follow an all-American family of parents, two daughters and a cat. Their extended family is a married brother and sister-in-law, and an uncle. All the events are seen in the first person, alternating between eleven year old Flossie and her older sister Bertha.

The sisters are similar but different. They both have unique relationships with their father who is an author. Flossie is a bookworm – Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley are two of her favourite characters. She ‘lives’ her books, liking nothing better than an afternoon in the library.

In contrast, Bertha is a keen baseball player. Her dream is to play for the ladies Sweet Peas team. She is never happier than joining the boys at school for a baseball game.

Both girls have close relationships with their father who encourages their individual dreams.

Flossie’s love of reading and the English language is helped by her father explaining Shakespeare’s plays to her line by line.

Bertha’s baseball dream is encouraged with a personalized catcher’s mitt from her father.

The girls’ father knows just what gifts his daughters need. Likewise, our heavenly Father knows just what gifts His children need.

Parents protect their children, just as our father God protects us. “We all have our portion of the burden, but God has the lion’s share.” God never gives us more than we can handle. He walks beside us every step of the way.

We see the characters feeling empathy. Flossie has been a victim of school bullies. Therefore, when she moves to a new area, she chooses kindness over popularity.

1952 was at the height of suspicion over communists in America. The House Of Un-American Activities was in full swing. Communities shunned their own. It was just enough to be accused, never mind if there was no evidence.

The All American gave a glimpse into a bygone era – of baseball, of soda fountains, of growing up in post-war America. The whole book was warm and welcoming. I absolutely adored it. I cannot wait for more from Susie Finkbeiner.

I received a free copy from the publishers. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.


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