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MONTAGUE – “I see the world in stories, and when I find a story that grabs me, I have to write it or it will haunt me!” says best-selling novelist Susie Finkbeiner, whose book A Cup of Dust, A Novel of the Dust Bowl earned her a nationwide audience of fans and became the first of three books wrapped around the life of a young girl named Pearl Spence.

On July 17, Finkbeiner will be in Montague to talk about all three books for the Friends of the Montague Library Summer Book Talk series. The evening begins in the Montague Library at 6:15 p.m. with a meet-the-author reception. Finkbeiner’s presentation starts at 7 p.m. in the Montague City Council Chambers directly below the library.

Both the reception and book talk are free, and all are welcome.

Finkbeiner had wanted to write a novel about the Dust Bowl for nearly two decades. When she finally began to write A Cup of Dust, it came out naturally in the voice of a little girl who daydreams and is creative. She named the girl after her grandmother.

“As soon as I started to write her little voice, I knew it was perfect,” recalls Finkbeiner. “Her personality is how I imagine my grandma when she was a ten-year-old. The story became a great way for me to connect with my grandma, who died several years earlier.”

A Cup of Dust was followed by A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression and A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era.

All three books deal with family struggles during challenging periods in American history, while reflecting Finkbeiner’s Christian world view with themes of hope, faith and unity – themes that she observes are universal.

“I want to inject desperately needed beauty and hope into the world,” she adds with her abundant warmth. “If someone reads my books and comes away with a sense of hope, mission accomplished!”

Finkbeiner will have books for sale and signing at the reception and after her presentation.

The last three book talks in the Friends’ summer series include a July 24 presentation by authors Sharon Farrow and Meg Macy who will share the plots and pleasures of the contemporary “cozy mysteries” they both write.

On August 1, John Smolens returns to Montague to talk about his new acclaimed novel Out. Smolens and his award-winning novel Wolf’s Mouth were featured for the area’s One Book One Community celebration held in 2017.

On August 7, Dianna Stampfler returns to the White Lake area to share stories from her recently released book Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses.

All book talks begin with a reception at 6:15 in the library followed by the presentation at 7 p.m. in the Montague City Council Chambers.

The Montague Branch Library is located at 8778 Ferry Street in downtown Montague.

Sponsors for the 2019 Friends of the Montague Library summer book talk series are Roger Scharmer, HarborLight Credit Union, and Shelby State Bank. For more information, call the Montague Branch Library at 231-893-2675.