Max and Monica are polar opposites, at least on the outside, in this story by Allison Pittman. Monica was set apart from her family at too young of an age. She jumped into the flapper and speakeasy scene at a tender age. Probably for survival and certainly to mask her loneliness, Monica flirts, drinks and parties without regard to the impact on her own soul and the people in her path that it might hurt. Max seems a serious man who is a bit too solitary for his own sake. Responsible and willing, Max steps into the newspaper business left to him by his deceased uncle. Monica writes for the paper and their lives become entwined. Our hero, Max, is a man of God who realizes that any relationship with Monica will not work unless she, too, has belief in her God-given value. Cheer for them both as these lost souls find their way.
All For a Story by Allison Pittman is a very good story that takes place during the Roaring Twenties in Washington, D.C. Monica Brisbane writes a gossip column for Capitol Chatter, a less than stellar newspaper. This job allows her to spend her nights dancing and drinking at the local speakeasys where she gathers information for her column that she writes under the name of Monkey Business. When the owner of the newspaper dies, his nephew, Max Moore, moves from California to take over the leadership of the paper. Max wants to turn the Capitol Chatter into a newspaper that is respectable with Christian values. Max gives Monica a challenging assignment which is to infiltrate and then report on the Anti-Flirt Society. After meeting with the young women in the group, Monica begins to question her way of life.
The author has a way of pulling the reader into the story. When I first started reading the story I did not care for Monica but as I kept reading I began to see her in a different light. All the characters came to life on the pages of the book and I felt as if I knew every one of them, some I loved and some I greatly disliked. The scenes that took place in a speakeasy were so well developed that I could almost smell the smoke and liquor. I especially liked the way that the author developed the character of Max. He was a Christian and was determined to turn the inferior newspaper into a paper of value. Probably the best part of the story was watching Monica turn her life around. The book has a satisfactory ending and I would like to see a sequel to read more about Max and Monica.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story that takes place during the Roaring Twenties and that also includes a great deal of history and a little romance.
Tyndale House Publishers via Net Galley provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Allison Pittman consistently delivers novels rooted firmly in faith and history. I am always excited to delve into her stories and experience the past. "All for a Story" reads like a 1920's movie, with flappers, speakeasies, dancing, and dialogue that seems completely authentic to the time period. Pittman also introduces readers to another product of the 1920s - the Anti-Flirt Society. The incorporation of less well-known pieces of history is one of the reasons that I love Allison Pittman's novels. She is an expert in blending historical facts into the body of a meaningful plot. Pittman delves deeper than the flappers of the Roaring Twenties to give readers a new perspective on the era.
From speakeasies to anti-flirt meetings, Monica Brisbaine will go almost anywhere for a story for her Monkey Business newspaper column. The Monkey Business columns are clever additions to the plot with turns of phrase that seem like they could be straight from the 1920s. They show Monica as a woman who is well-versed in worldly ways, a cynical character with rough edges behind a polished veneer. Her flirtatious, flapper facade hides her true emotions. The layers begin to peel away when she meets her new boss, Max Moore, a man who is much more innocent than she. He challenges Monica's newspaper column and her entire way of life.
Max is a sweet hero, striving to live an honest and clean life and quietly showing his love for Monica. Unfortunately, Monica is not accustomed to being treated like a lady, and the road to her heart is a challenging journey. It is frustrating to watch Monica continue to keep Max at a distance, and she never seems to fully open up to him. As a result, the love story aspect of the plot feels a little unfinished. When the novel concludes, Monica seems to finally begin to open her heart to both Max and the readers. I have never had difficulty connecting with Pittman's characters in the past, but Monica is a challenge. Although her character softens throughout the plot, her wall never completely comes down, leaving me feeling detached. Regardless of my lack of connection, Monica's flapper persona is solidly constructed and a stark contrast to Max's more staid personality.
"All for a Story" is a well-written novel with fascinating history. I always recommend Allison Pittman's novels to other readers, and this one is no exception.