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While on tour she falls under the tutelage of gospel great Mahalia Jackson-and falls for the handsome but not-so-great Nicoli James, whose desires for Shar are fueled by his own greed. Shar would do anything for Nicoli-and he knows it-so when his life is threatened after a night of gambling, Shar agrees to help pay Nicoli's debt, only to have her faith and dreams shattered.
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
Availability: In Stock
Series: How Sweet the Sound
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Shar Gracey wants nothing more than to sing the Lords praises, so she jumps at the chance to join a traveling choir led by the father of black gospel music, Thomas A. Dorsey. Better yet, the opportunity will give her money to pay for her ailing mothers medical care.
While on tour she falls under the tutelage of gospel great Mahalia Jacksonand falls for the handsome but not-so-great Nicoli James, whose desires for Shar are fueled by his own greed. Shar would do anything for Nicoliand he knows itso when his life is threatened after a night of gambling, Shar agrees to help pay Nicolis debt, only to have her faith and dreams shattered.
Reeling from the betrayal, Shar loses her voice and she believes that she will never sing again. She has no place to run except back home to her seriously ill motherand the man she left behind, who would move heaven and earth to make Shars pain go away. Even if it means he has to let her go . . . again.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5African Americans in 1930s ChicagoJune 7, 2014bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4Shar Gracey can sing. She also needs to earn money to help pay for her mother's expensive medical treatment. When she is offered the opportunity to travel with the Thomas A. Dorsey choir and Mahalia Jackson, she accepts. She can earn money selling sheet music.
She leaves behind Pastor Landon Norstrom who was courting her with plans to marry. When he couldn't talk her out of going, he promised to wait for her. Their relationship goes awry when Landon failed to receive any letters from her, nor she from him. Only later it comes out that a love struck church secretary intercepted the letters.
Looking for love, Shar falls pray to a no good fellow who convinces her to make money by singing in low life places. She knew she was being played the fool, but what could she do? And before long, she was even enjoying singing in the nightclub. But a mugging leaves her voice in tatters and the no good fellow gone from her life. She had betrayed her calling from God. What could she do?
This is a good historical novel of the 1930s Chicago. It was the time of Restrictive Covenants that barred Negroes from purchasing homes in certain areas in major cities, such as Chicago. Miller helps us understand the situation and the difficulty in changing it. The story line also gives readers a sense of what life was like for African Americans during this era. The story is woven around a romance as well.
Much of the novel is based on historical fact. Thomas A. Dorsey was an African American pioneer in jazz and wrote many gospel songs. I wish there had been an author's note included in the book to clarify which events and people are historical and which are fiction.
Reading this novel was a bit of a cultural shock for me. I'm just not used to the language structure and dialog style of African Americans. Because of that, I had a little difficulty in completing the book. Those who enjoy novels of a different culture and time will enjoy this one.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.