Sing For Me by Karen Halvorsen Schreck ~ A Contemporary Romance Review

Karen Halvorsen Schreck
Contemporary Romance

Back of the book:

When a good church girl starts singing in a jazz club and falls for the music—as well as a handsome African American man—she struggles to reconcile her childhood faith with her newfound passions.

Raised in the Danish Baptist Church, Rose Sorensen knows it’s wrong to sing worldly songs. But Rose still yearns for those she hears on the radio—“Cheek to Cheek,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”—and sings them when no one is around.

One day, Rose’s cousin takes her to Calliope’s, a jazz club, where she dis­covers an exciting world she never knew existed. Here, blacks and whites mingle, brought together by their shared love of music. And though Rose wor­ries it’s wrong—her parents already have a stable husband in mind for her—she can’t stop thinking about the African American pianist of the Chess Men, Theo Chastain. When Rose returns to the jazz club, she is offered the role of singer for the Chess Men. The job would provide money to care for her sister, Sophy, who has cerebral palsy—but at what cost?

As Rose gets to know Theo, their fledgling relationship faces prejudices she never imagined. And as she struggles to balance the dream world of Calliope’s with her cold, hard reality, she also wrestles with God’s call for her life. Can she be a jazz singer? Or will her faith suffer because of her worldly ways?

Set in Depression-era Chicago and rich in historical detail, Sing for Me is a beautiful, evocative story about finding real, unflinching love and embracing—at all costs—your calling.

My thoughts:

Prepare to be immersed in the semi-Utopian world of Chicago's Bronzeville jazz clubs. It is 1937 and the Depression has struck the nation and left chaos in its wake. In many respects it has evened the playing field for many but among the older generation there are still taboos that can't be broken.

Rose's cousin Rob has long admired her singing abilities. Up to this point Rose has only sung in church. But she secretly sings worldly songs that seem to stir her soul. One night Rob convinces her to sneak out and come with him to hear some of this music live. She does and against all of her upbringing she's drawn to it.

This is a beautiful heart wrenching story about the pull between two worlds. The choices that Rose has placed before her are gut wrenching. She has to choose between pleasing those she loves the most and what her heart desires. Ultimately she must trust the One who bestowed the gift of song on her to help her make the decisions she faces.

Karen Halvorsen Schreck is a new author to me, but one I'm looking forward to reading again. Her ability with words puts the reader right in the midst of the scene. I felt as if I could hear the music, feel the stick of the floor and smell the scent of the jazz clubs. What a great read for all of your senses!

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