All for a Sister, All For a Song Series #3   -     By: Allison Pittman
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All for a Sister, All For a Song Series #3

Tyndale House / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

Growing up in Hollywood during the Roaring Twenties, Celeste DuFrane has it all---including a legacy in stardom. But after her mother passes away, she discovers that half of the DuFrane estate has been left to Dana Lundgren. Why would her mother leave such a sizable inheritance to the woman accused of killing Celeste's sister.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1414366825
ISBN-13: 9781414366821
Availability: In Stock
Series: All For a Song

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Publisher's Description

In Hollywood during the Roaring Twenties, Celeste DuFrane has it all. Her father’s work with color movie film opens doors that lead to the stardom she’s always aspired to. But after losing her mother, she discovers that half the estate has been left to a woman accused of killing Celeste’s baby sister before Celeste was even born.

Dana Lundgren arrives on the steps of the DuFrane mansion having spent most of her life imprisoned for a crime that never happened. After accusing her of murder so many years ago, why did Marguerite DuFrane leave her a sizeable inheritance?

As Celeste and Dana learn each other’s stories, they come up with more questions than answers. Then a surprising discovery begins to fill in the missing pieces: Marguerite DuFrane’s written confession, penned shortly before her death. Uncovering the treachery and deceit that changed the course of countless lives—most of all, their own—the two women find more than they ever dreamed of.

Editorial Reviews

QUICK HIT – With hidden motives, captivating twists, and superb writing, Allison Pittman draws readers into her expertly crafted story and into the lives of her conflicted and complex characters.

Novels can generally be described as plot-driven (the actions make the story) or character-driven (the characters make the story), but in reality all story is tension-driven. The actions or the characters are only as compelling as the reason for the reader to jump out of their lives and engage in the characters’. It took two chapters—to the end of the Written Confession of Margaret DuFrane—to know that I wasn’t going to put this book down until I could close the final pages. Pittman balances the action and the characters well, expertly relying on the novel’s tension to keep readers engaged in the story.

The early 1900s were a magical time in American history. So much innovation, so much new technology, a booming economy. Perhaps nothing epitomized these things more than the Hollywood of the Roaring Twenties. Celeste DuFrane has long been in the world of Hollywood thanks to her father’s innovations in color film and it’s time for her to make a name for herself as an actress. But when Celeste’s mother dies, family secrets begin to come unraveled . . . and Dana Lundgren, the woman who allegedly killed Celeste’s sister as a baby some twenty years before, shows up at her door as co-heir of the DuFrane fortune.

The question both of them are thinking: Why did Margaret DuFrane leave half her fortune to her daughter’s killer? The following 300 pages intertwine the past and present to provide a beautifully written answer, as the life stories of both Dana and Celeste are played out—Dana, the daughter of the DuFrane’s maid; Celeste, as the child meant to replace the daughter lost.

We have a tendency to idealize the past, but Pittman reminds us that sin, deception, and evil was as much a plague a hundred years ago as today. Her depiction of the decadence of the age is reminiscent of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, lending it an air of gravitas and grace, somehow making it a more powerful story than if set in a modern timeline. Intertwining the plotlines around Margaret DuFrane’s last will and confession was an ingenious idea that provided what, for me, was the novel’s major hook.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I opened the cover of All for a Sister. I don’t routinely read 1920s period pieces. I’m glad I gave this one a chance. Reading it was time well spent.

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  1. KGD history teacher
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Sad Tale with Fairytale Ending
    July 27, 2014
    KGD history teacher
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    All for a sister is set in the glitzy days of the Roaring Twenties. Films are just beginning to take off. Young stars are being born every day. Celeste DuFrane has been part of this since the days her scientist father began experimenting with the techniques of moving film. She has had childs parts and now is ready to move into a starring roll. In the middle of this, her deceased mothers will is read leaving half of all the inheritance to someone Celeste does not know, the young girl now woman who was jailed for her sisters death. But the question is why?

    As Dana Lundgren arrives on the scene, the tale of her past begins to unfold through the use of flashbacks to both Dana and Celestes stories and Mrs. DuFranes handwritten confession. Seldom, in recent memory have I read of a main character whose behavior was more reprehensible. The story is one of adultery, vengeance, and the innocent suffering . The reader must stay alert to the fact that each chapter changes from Danas memories to Celestes memories to Mrs. Dufranes written confession to present day 1920s. The characters of Dana Lundgren and Mrs. DuFrane are well developed so that the reader will have strong emotions about each of them. The author does bring this sad tale to a satisfying conclusion.

    I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
  2. Blooming with Books
    Bloomer, WI
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    The power of hate and forgiveness are explored
    July 20, 2014
    Blooming with Books
    Bloomer, WI
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    All For a Sister

    By Allison Pittman

    Celeste DuFrane has lost her mother to cancer. At 20 she is now alone, but she has just found out that she a coheir to everything her parents left. And the woman she is to share everything with is the woman who killed her sister more than 20 years ago. But Dana Lundgren doesn't seem like a cold-blooded killer.

    Celeste and Dana are bound by secrets that are over 20 years old. The question is will these secrets destroy them or bring them together? And why did the truth have to wait so long to be revealed?

    When she was 12 years old Dana was accused of killing the Dufrane's baby daughter Mary. A crime for which she was never tried, but for which she lost 20 years of her life. The world as she knew it no longer existed. Every new experience is frightening in the very its very newness.

    Celeste can't understand why the woman accused of killing her older sister would be given a share in her parents possessions. Dana too can't understand the reasoning behind this. But Marguerite DuFrane left behind a confession written almost from her deathbed and a lifetime of secrets begin to come to light.

    It is amazing the power hate can have over one's life and the power money and prestige can hold. One woman's power and hate were the driving force that shaped the lives of those around her. I think of the books in this series I like this book the best. I like the glimpses of Celeste and Dana together and the growth of their characters as they live together and discover who they both truly are. I like the character of Werner Ostermann who sees Dana for who she was and who she can become. He understands her fears and is there to help her get past them.

    I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher Tyndale through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
  3. Cindi
    Pennsylvania
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Set in the 1920s
    July 20, 2014
    Cindi
    Pennsylvania
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    A very interesting story that takes it's reader back to the 1920s. I had some difficulty with the switching between time periods and characters but, overall, it was a very good book.

    My favorite character was Dana. It's surprising how strong of a person she was and had become. I would never want to be in her shoes or have to endure even a portion of what she did.

    The twists in the storyline were unexpected and gave the novel more depth, which I enjoyed.

    I received a copy of All for a Sister from bookfun.org in exchange for an honest review.
  4. Pamela Jo
    Bucks County, PA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Secrets, Lies, and Redemption
    July 20, 2014
    Pamela Jo
    Bucks County, PA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is the third book in a series which includes "All For a Song" and "All For a Story." The setting for "All For a Sister" is Hollywood during the 1920's.

    There is a very deep theme to this novel. Years of lying and deception begin to unravel, revealing the many sins of one family. Those sins have left a tragic mark on the characters in this book.

    Celeste DuFrane has led a charmed life. She wants to be an actress and is ready to realize her dream. The daughter of a wealthy mother and a father who worked in the film industry, Celeste is in a much envied position. She seems to have it all, until her mother dies. Celeste's world changes dramatically because of the death of her mother. Events unfold which Celeste is not prepared for. She discovers that her mother, Marguerite, has left a large inheritance to a woman named Dana Lundgren. Years ago, before Celeste was born, Marguerite accused Dana of killing her infant daughter, a crime for which Dana was imprisoned. Dana has been in jail for most of her life.

    After leaving prison, Dana returns to the DuFrane estate. Celeste and Dana discover much about each other and much about the past. The sins of the past are fully realized after the written confession of Marguerite DuFrane is discovered. Now, Celeste and Dana face a future neither of them expected.

    All For a Sister is a well written, interesting novel. The story moves quickly and holds the interest of the reader from cover to cover. If you enjoy mystery, suspense, and final redemption, you will want to read this book!

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.
  5. Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A good story encounters life's paradoxes...
    July 19, 2014
    Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    (This is a book I'm going to have trouble giving a star rating to. I mean, do we really need those light-up yellow things to tell us whether a book is worth reading?)

    Anyway, I've had my eye on Allison Pittman's books for a while, and I finally read All for a Sister.

    What do I think? I think this is a dark story, with all seven deadly sins splayed upon the pages.

    I think it is a raw story, and because of that you begin to care for the characters. Both Dana and Celeste have experienced damage at the hands of the world, in different ways. And both need a genuine friend, an opportunity for a brighter future.

    Some people have objected to this book, protesting the content. My answer for all such protest is that no topic is ever wrong, the only wrong is in how you address it. Somebody said they only like "uplifting" books. Of course, we all should... but mustn't we be honest about the rock-bottom depths before anyone will believe our testimony about the heavenly heights?

    I don't like fluff novels. A good book must bump up against actual life in the actual world, or else it is just lies.

    This book repeatedly encounters life, and the author also pours in a cup or two of Grace.

    That is far closer to true "Christian fiction" than a sugary and naive novel where nobody sins, nobody kills, nobody misuses their body or anyone else's, and nobody is converted by the straight-up mercy of God.

    The frame of the book includes the death of an infant, a young woman sent to prison, sexual carousing that eats away at the heart of a family, and an unrelieved rage that destroys lives.

    There is also confession and renewal, learning to see with God's eyes, and ceasing to identify yourself with your past history.

    So if you're ready for a meaty novel set in the 1920's, with a complex storyline, then All for a Sister is the one.

    And then if you get stuck on a 1920's kick, you can add Carla Stewart's The Hatmaker's Heart and Karen Halvorsen Schreck's Sing for Me.

    (Ps. I intend to read Allison Pittman's Lilies in Moonlight next!)

    Thank you to Fred and Nora St. Laurent of the Book Club Network for my review copy.
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