Dorothy Lynn Dunbar has it all; a loving family and a fiance that is a preacher just like her daddy. Hours spent in the woods playing her brother's guitar make her life complete, but she aches to know more of the outside world and all it has to offer. She feels claustrophobic and tied down to the small town of Heron's Nest that is her birthplace and home, yet imagines life in the big city.
When an opportunity rises to go visit her sister in St. Louis, she is fascinated by the fancy cars, movies, dancing, and daring fashions of the Roaring Twenties. She meets an evangelist who happens to be a woman, and like a moth to flame, Dorothy is drawn to her. Will she join the McPherson evangelistic team or go home to her family and fiance? Will the temptations of the times prove to be too great for a small town girl like herself?
As with every generation, there is a curiosity about the world. Whether you grew up in a Christian home or not, young people always want to know what's on the other side of the fence. Dorothy is faced with all these curiosities and more, and Pittman takes us on a journey that could be any one of us. No matter which generation you are from, or even where you're from, you will relate to Dorothy's struggles and temptations. All of us were there at one point; the desire to grow up, to find who we are, and to discover what we truly believe. The line of morality is either crossed or respected. But in the end, it is the choices Dorothy makes that essentially make her who she is and who she became. A very good novel about growing up, relevant to either gender of any age.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 2 for All for a Song - eBook
Date:August 29, 2013
This was the first book I read by Allison Pittman and I would want to read a couple more by her before I would decide on her writing skills. This book didn't do a lot for me. It was a little confusing because it switched back and forth between the young girl and the 104 year old lady. The suspense was in whether she was going to go back to her fiancee and live out her life in Heron's Nest or stay and try it in the big world of California. It was a nice read, well-written, but maybe a little simple. I'm not sure totally how to describe. Definitely not a favorite book for sure.
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Review 3 for All for a Song - eBook
Date:August 13, 2013
ALL FOR A SONG, by Allison Pittman caught my attention from the first page. I like how the author switched from the flapper period to the present in such a seamless fashion. Many times, when a story spans different time periods, it is difficult to figure out where you are in the story, but I didn’t have any issues in this story.
The main character, Dorothy Lynn Dunbar, is likeable and easy to relate to, and I sank into the setting, not wanting to leave. An appealing story about a time period I knew little about. I recommend this book to women from 18 to 81. A delightful read.
This is an intriguing story set during the Roaring Twenties! Dorothy Lynn Dunbar is the daughter of a preacher and engaged to a preacher in her little town of Heron's Nest, but she wonders about the world outside. As her wedding approaches, she decides to visit her sister in St. Louis. There she sees a different way of life and meets Roland, who has movie star good looks and charm, and who is interested in her singing and songwriting. He works for Aimee Semple McPherson, a woman evangelist, and wants Dorothy to travel with them and sing for the crowds of people who come to the crusades. With the lure of fame and the chance at a different love turn her away from everything she's ever known?
The Roaring Twenties was a decade of such change and I enjoyed learning more about it, from life after World War I to the changing fashions. I really liked the how the story went from modern-day Dorothy, who's 107, to what was happening back then, but the author's careful not to reveal which life she chooses until the very end! I was frustrated with some of Dorothy's choices, but I liked her overall, especially as her older self. I could definitely relate to her wanderlust. I enjoyed Allison's writing very much and look forward to checking out her other books!
In All For A Song, Dorothy is a 18 year old who is engaged to be married on her 19th birthday. Growing up in a small town as a preacher’s daughter, she longs to see the world a little before settling down with her preacher fiancé in the town she grew up in. When she goes to St. Louis to see her sister, who is making her wedding gown, she becomes mesmerized with a traveling, woman evangelist and her manager, Mr. Lundi. When Mr. Lundi discovers that Dorothy has a talent in playing the guitar and singing, he entices her to join the group with promises of helping her find her long-lost brother, who is in California. Wanting to find her brother, she joins them only to discover that everything she desired was at home all along. As Dorothy’s story unfolds, you see glimpses of her future as a 107 year old lady living in a nursing home as she remembers who she was as a girl entering womanhood during a visit from a mysterious 20 year old girl that harbors a secret and a longing to get to know her a little. Once I started reading this story, I could not put it down. Normally, I don’t read books, of this genre, because they are too romantic for me, however, there was enough mystery to keep me reading until the end.
I enjoyed the two voices used to narrate this story. I enjoyed guessing what happens next and who each person could be. The detail in the descriptions is nicely done, especially in descriptions of the setting. Humor and emotion combine to keep the reader's interest. As mentioned in a note from the author, she explores issues of faith, and she does it in a lovely way in an easy-to-read story.
Dorothy lives in a small town, is engaged to the preacher, and is bored with life. When she gets an opportunity to visit her sister in the city, she takes it, and gets a taste of city life. A meeting with female evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson leads to a trip to California while Dorothy plays her guitar for the evangelist's meetings.
I thought this book was very good and liked the Roaring Twenties setting. The story does go back and forth from the 1920's to the present, where a 107 year old Dorothy remembers her life. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
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.
Dorothy Lynn Dunbar is celebrating her 100+ birthday and is remembering her life as a young unmarried lady. The reader is kept guessing if she married her preacher fiancée or the evangelist's right hand man who discovered Dorothy Lynn and her music and kept encouraging her to leave her little town and experience more. Dorothy Lynn is visited by her long lost relative on her birthday, her relative that actually took the time to learn about her and her music and gave her some closure to her life. This book gave an interesting little peek into the roaring 20's and the struggles a preacher's daughter soon to be preacher's wife might experience when having a chance to explore the world.
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. "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. 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.
I enjoyed Allison Pittman's previous novels so I read this one thinking about whether it would be good for my book club to read. There is so much to talk about! Yes, Dorothy Lynn has so much but she is feeling like she is walking into her mother's life and wants something more. When Roland comes along and offers her the chance to be a little more liberated, she takes it - but then wonders about what she might be leaving. I loved how the book flashed forward every so often into today. I also found the characters believable enough that I was frustrated with Dorothy Lynn's hesitations to assert herself - and I found it funny to read about her introduction to Chinese food. I'm looking forward to discussing this with my book club!
This book definitely painted a clear picture of how easy, and also how harmful, it is to give in to temptation. It shows how the world can get in the way of what is right. In the end, we see the power of forgiveness.
This book is very good and highly rated. The were two good parts in it where, first, going from present to the past and back to the present. Especially adding a real famous person from the past. Dorothy Lynn had gone against her believes and her family by trusting Roland Lundi and Aimee McPherson to leave her pregnant sister to join Aimee McPherson's journey across America to tell people about the blessings of God, so she could find her brother and try to bring him home.
The plot line is fairly basic: Small town preacher's daughter gets pre-wedding jitters and decides to travel with a revival meeting for the last six weeks before her wedding to the man who took over her father's pulpit. Most of the tension comes from a will-she-or-won't-she go back home and get married.
The novel features Aimee Semple McPherson, a real evangelist who traveled the United States in the early 20th century preaching the gospel, eventually beginning a permanent ministry in Los Angeles. However, the author portrays McPherson as a cold business woman who places more emphasis on maintaining sole possession of the limelight than on what Christ might want to accomplish. This might be an acceptable interpretation if the author had balanced her presentation with a more thorough background on McPherson, and treated the controversies of McPherson's multiple divorces, five-week disappearance, and the fact that she was a woman preacher seriously instead of making passing references to them. The general impression is that women belong at home, not trapsing about the country on stages giving lectures raising money.
Otherwise, it is a typical christian novel. No language. No sex. Some kissing. The writing is passable. The conclusion, inevitable. If you enjoy other works by Pittman, I am confident that you will enjoy this as well. But it might be worthwhile to take a glance at an actual biography of Sister Aimee, or even the wikipedia page.
I wasn't terribly interested in reading this book to begin with but I am so glad that I did. The story was very engaging and I loved the lessons learned by the main character. I'll be looking for more Allison Pittman books from now on.
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.