Sunday, December 1, 2013

Review of "All for a Story"

Rating: 4 Stars
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Review: 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.

I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers through Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Summary from Tyndale House Publishers: Monica Brisbaine loves being a modern girl in the Roaring Twenties. Her job writing a gossip column allows her access to all the local speakeasys in Washington, D.C., where she can dance the night away—and find fodder for her next article. But when the owner of the Capitol Chatter newspaper passes away, Monica wonders what will happen to her job, and the lifestyle she loves.

Max Moore may hold the title of editor-in-chief for evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson’s paper, The Bridal Call, but Aimee calls all the shots. So when Max learns that his great-uncle has passed away, leaving him all his earthly possessions, Max resigns and heads to D.C. Determined to take over the Capitol Chatter, infuse it with his values, and turn it into a respectable paper, Max is soon bumping up against the equally determined Monica Brisbane.

Under Max’s direction, Monica embarks on her most challenging assignment yet: infiltrating and reporting on the Anti-Flirt Society. Though reluctant at first, as Monica meets and mingles with the young women of the club, she begins to question the innocence of her flirtatious lifestyle. And when romance begins to blossom between Max and Monica, she must choose where her loyalties lie: with the young women of the society or the alluring pull of the speakeasy and its inhabitants.

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