Allison Pittman is one of my favorite authors and writes intriguing stories about the real struggles we face. Her characters are flawed but likeable, the kind of people you'd like to be friends with. All for a Song is actually the second in a series of books that take place during the flapper days after World War II. ("Lilies in Moonlight" is the first in the series but they don't need to be read in order--they feature only the same time period; not the same characters or even the same setting.) I've been reading good historical Christian fiction for about the last 7 years but had never read anything that took place during the 1920s... and it was such an exciting time period for our country! So, yeah, I was excited.
The book goes back and forth between present day and the past. The heroine, Dorothy Lynn Dunbar, is an immediately likable character, flaws and all. She's a talented musician in a small country town where women are not encouraged to exhibit those kinds of talents on stage. She's a preacher's daughter set to marry the new preacher, and it seems that the rest of her cozy little life is all mapped out for her. Still, she "yearns for life beyond these lines." God answers that honest yearning and she ends up on an adventure and, also, in a predicament. Dorothy's love interests (yes, interests) in the book are both very charming. I saw what she liked in each of them and understood the struggle she faced in deciding which life (and which man) she would choose.
The author definitely weaves a wonderful story that grips the reader from the first chapter. You feel Dorothy's pain as she yearns for more than what she has and struggles to do what she sees as God's will. Morality and ideas were changing so quickly during that time in our history and you can really grasp the struggle people went through as they tried to find their place in a world that was very different than the one they grew up in.
Another important character in the book is real-life Amy Semple McPherson who began the Four Square Church in the 1920s. She's a very interesting person, quite a phenomena, and I was intrigued to know more about her. She certainly did great things in her lifetime, though much of her life was quite colorful, to say the least.
I highly recommend this book as well as Lilies in Moonlight!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Pittman has done it again. A story about chosing what is God's will for your life. Great romance, interesting well written story with great characters. I will definately recommend this to my friends.
Feeling like she's been pushed into a life she's not sure she entirely wanted, Dorothy Lynn Dunbar escapes home for a few days and goes to St. Louis to spend time with her sister and family. Her heart seems torn between the love she has for her fiance and family and church, and the longing she has deep inside for something more. While in St. Louis, Dorothy Lynn encounters the modern temptations of the Roaring Twenties, the movies and music and fashion. She also meets Aimee Semple McPherson, a charismatic evangelist, and her manager Roland. When Dorothy Lynn's passion for singing and playing her guitar in free-spirited worship results in an invitation to join McPherson's crusade team, Dorothy Lynn finds herself confronted with difficult choices and an uncertainty about God's calling on her life.
Allison Pittman's latest novel is a delight to read, having been woven together with beautiful narrative, stirring faith, and characters you will connect with. I loved the interplay between the scenes of Dorothy Lynn in the Twenties, wrestling with her feelings and her choices, and the scenes of Dorothy Lynn as a 107-year-old woman who isn't entirely sure why God has allowed her to stay on Earth for so long. As with her earlier novels, the author easily drew me into the story, displaying her gift with the pen, and stirring up within me deep emotions as I ventured ever deeper into the tale of Dorothy coming of age and trying to discover God's plan for her life. Aimee Semple McPherson is a fascinating character, and whether or not a reader fully agrees with all of her beliefs, you cannot help but admire a woman who was so passionate about sharing Jesus Christ with a nation flirting with moral anarchy. And yet her story also serves as a warning of how easily power can corrupt, that something well-intentioned can take on overtones of pride and selfishness and personal gain. All for a Song is a book that will not only entertain you, but will leave you thinking about why we make the choices we do, and even how we use the gifts God has given us.
I award this book my highest recommendation, and a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Tyndale House, for the purposes of this unbiased review.
"All For a Song" was a story about options. What if you dare to take the road less traveled? To take the unsafe road; the one where you can't predict what will happen two steps ahead. Dorothy Lynn Dunbar is a small-town girl with a lot of talent. Her talent takes her on a wild journey -- one which will help her discover if her current path of security and predictability, is the one she really wants to be on. It was also a story about family. How far will we go out of our comfort zone when our love of a family member is involved?
I won't spoil all of the fun, but it was entertaining to get an insider's glimpse of what life was like during the roaring twenties, both in rural areas and urban ones. I was also not very aware of the history of early female evangelists. Unfortunately for our heroine, she finds out all too easily how many temptations are present when you are living life on the road away from your family. You'll have to read the story to see how she handles it!
* This book was received for review by the publisher with no promise of a positive review.
All for a Song is set during the Roaring Twenties, when a small-town southern girl finds herself tempted as she travels with Aimee Semple McPherson. She's never left her small spot on the map, and as the world opens up for her, she has to decide what role her faith plays in her life. She's always done what's expected of her, and now as her wedding is barreling down on her, she wonders if she'll ever get to live.
This story is beautifully written in a way that drew me deep into its pages. The characters are rich and varied, and I felt transported to a time period I don't know much about, but enjoyed visiting. If you have never read one of Allison's books, please allow yourself a treat and settle in for a read that will leave your mind satisfied and your soul touched.