Saturday, February 9, 2013

All For a Song

All For a Song is about Dorothy Lynn Dunbar, a "country" girl on the brink of womanhood in the Roaring Twenties.  Her life is planned.  She is about to go from being a small-town pastor's daughter to the new pastor's wife.  She has a loving family, and lives in a quint community where everybody knows you and loves you.  She has her brother's guitar and her quiet hiding spot in the woods where she can worship and sing.  Yet...she feels like the one thing she doesn't have is the one thing she can give herself.  Just a moment of freedom.  Deep inside, Dorothy longs for the chance to see, to experience and to do something unexpected and out of the ordinary.  She loves her life, but feels there is something more out there.  She chalks it up to pre-wedding jitters.

Then one day, while visiting her sister in the city to plan her wedding, she is given that opportunity.  The chance to be someone different for just a short time, as she is invited to sing on the tour of the great female evangelist Aimee Semple McPhereson.  The tour is headed to California.  California happens to be the last known location of her brother, who never came home after the Great War, so Dorothy uses this as a sort of justification for taking off with no warning, knowing her family will not approve.

The book description doesn't quite give you an accurate description of what you will find.  This book is really two stories.  One of a young girl with a lifetime of possibilities, and one of an aged woman, with a lifetime of memories.  The story alternates between Dorothy's life as a 107 year old woman in a nursing home, known as "Lynnie" and the stories she holds of herself during those few brief weeks.  Life on the road changed Dorothy.  Some people leave and never come home, and some people realize their home was where they should have stayed the whole time.  Dorothy's path is may have been etched out for her, but did she follow it?

My Opinion
I had a hard time getting into this book at first, but it did get better as the story unfolded.  I was more interested in Lynnie in the nursing home later in the book, than the slightly predictable story line of Dorothy Lynn.

Sometimes I felt like Pittman degraded Dorothy for her youthful choices, but what young adult doesn't have touch decisions to face?  I also felt like the author showed mixed feelings towards Aimee Semple McPhereson.   At times she seemed to adore her, and other times she painted her in a very negative light.  It's hard to get a feel for the author when the story and emotions bounce back and forth.

To learn more about award-winning author Allison Pittman, be sure to check out her website.

Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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