Brought up in a small town and poised to wed shortly to the pastor who replaced her dead father, Dorothy Lynn Dunbar craved adventure before a circumscribed marriage. A visit to her sister's home in St. Louis gave her an opportunity to see a movie, to hear the noise of 2 children ages 4 and 6 play as well as see the fashionable clothes of her pregnant sister, not like her dull, sack-like dresses. After seeing a movie, they went by another theater that advertized a preacher, Aimee McPherson, decided to go in and left shortly. The next day Dorothy went into town to get new strings for her guitar and got a case for it as well. She also decided to have a taste of adventure by eating at a Chinese restaurant where she met Roland Lundi who taught her to use chopsticks. When she went back for her restrung guitar, she was encouraged to play it to see if she approved the tuning. On hearing her sing, Roland encouraged her to return and meet Sister Aimee. When she did, she was asked to play at the next service. Dorothy had no real desire to do it until her sister said no, absolutely not. Of course that sealed her desire to do it and wow the audience she did! Roland even paid the taxi to take her home. Since Roland wanted Dorothy to go with them on tour, he suggested that she go with them to California, filling her need to sing, to have adventures, and to get her brother to come for her wedding. Roland also provided for her clothes since she wasn't getting paid enough for that. What did he take her to see that caused Sister Aimee's anger? What were the problems that she encountered with Roland? Why did she slap him? How did she find her brother? What did her brother tell her? What did she do for Roland that she really didn't want to do? How did she get home? Where did she meet Brent? What was the purpose of the nursing home passages in a different type and spread throughout the book?
I loved this book. An innovative twist on "The Prodigal Son." I loved the time period and the conflict felt by Dorothy (main character) and the narration. It grabbed me from the beginning and I didn't want to put it down.
I love this book!!! As a woman who has been in the ministry for most of my life, this book tugged at my heart. I know what it is to give up on a dream, one I got the chance to go for, and in the end to make another choice and "to do the right thing." I love the fact that Pittman used a real person, Aimee Semple McPherson, as a character in this book. It gave the book a great story line and made the characters more relatable. In the main character, Dorothy Lynn Dunbar, we can each see a little of ourselves. Her struggles, her desire to serve God, her lack of judgment and ultimately her surrender to God, make "All for a Song" well worth the read.
I hate to give a negative review, but I really didn't enjoy this book.Â
"All For a Song" tells the story of Dorothy Lynn "Lynnie" Dunbar, a woman we meet at the beginning of the book on her hundred-and-somethingth birthday. She's a woman who's lived for a long time and lived through quite a bit, yet still holds on to quite a few secrets. As we go back in time to the Roaring Twenties, we reach the heart of the story: a little "country bumpkin" finds a whole new world in the big city.Â
As the story moves on, we're introduced to Aimee Semple McPhearson, a woman preacher who's an actual historical figure, yet one I knew nothing about. And here's where we reach part of the problem of why I didn't enjoy the book: Lynnie Dunbar was raised the daughter of a preacher and is engaged to another preacher and has a lot of Biblical understanding, so she's initially leery of this women preacher and yet somehow gets sucked in but we're never really told why, other than Ms. Semple is very charismatic. I realize that not all Christians agree on the issue of whether or not women should be preachers, but for the life of me, I could not figure out which side of the issue the author was coming from. We watch Lynnie get sucked in against all of her intuition, advice from family, and prompting from God, and Ms. Semple is never shown as a real woman of God herself: very cold and calculating and seemingly in it for the money. So I was constantly confused on who we were supposed to "root" for: Lynnie going against the grain and the footsteps of her podunk little town, or for her to run back to all that is familiar and "safe." (Also, I never really got emotionally connected to Lynnie, as she was such a milquetoast of a character who never pulled at my heartstrings.)
I won't spoil the rest of the story or the ending for those who are going to read it, but suffice it to say, I did not find it an enjoyable read.
However, for those who do enjoy the era of the Roaring Twenties, this is a very unique perspective on the time period, and the author, Allison Pittman, does make that era come alive.