Book Review: Twang

Book Review: Twang

About the Book:

Twenty-three-year-old Jennifer Clodfelter believes she is destined to be a country music star. When her passion, determination, and homemade demo tape were rejected by every music label in Nashville, she refused to give up. In just three years, a combination of guts and raw talent have propelled her on a journey of fame beyond her best dream.  Now Jennifer has all she ever wanted, only to discover that there is a dark side to the glitz and number one hits.

The songs Jennifer Clodfelter writes and sings aren’t from her imagination. With innocence and passion, Jenny pours the pain from her childhood into the lyrics of one Billboard Country hit after another. Her manager assures her that confronting formative years wrapped in violence and poverty is a necessary evil, part of the unstoppable force of her destiny to become a Country Music Diva. And for a while, little Jenny Cloud is in heaven. She basks in the spotlight on stage and the wild applause of her fans. But as she pours herself into writing more and more autobiographical songs, Jenny begins to find the emotional fallout is staggering. When she revisits a dark memory she thought was long-buried, she begins to seriously wonder if the high price she’s paying to write her hits is worth it. Jenny’s hairdresser, Tonilynn, sees the wounded little girl beneath the star’s on-stage smiles and she attempts to fix her broken spirit along with her hair. Will this hit song be therapy enough to reconcile Jenny and her dark past? Jenny Cloud faces the music with music.

Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 08/2012
Binding: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781426714702
Retail Price: $14.99
Author: Cannon, Julie L

About the Author:

CBA best-selling author Julie L. Cannon is a native of Tennessee with a degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She is the author of five published novels, including the award-winning Homegrown Series, described as ‘Southern Fried Soul Food.’ Her books include a finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction and for the SIBA Book Award. Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes was named by Good Housekeeping as one of ’20 Books to Tote on Vacation.’ The Romance Readers’ Book Club was chosen as a Target Breakout Book, and I’ll Be Home for Christmas was named a Top Pick of Fall 2010 releases by CBA Retailers & Resources Magazine, in addition to being included in Nielsen’s Top 50 Inspirational Titles. Along with writing novels and listening to Country music, Jule is an inspirational speaker and teaches various creative writing workshops. She lives in Watkinsville, Georgia, with her husband and youngest son. Visit her website at www.juliecannon.info

Reviews:

“Written with an enticing Southern flair, and a profound knowledge of the Nashville music industry, Twang is a story of passion, courage, and the unfolding of a dream.” – Alice J. Wisler, author of Rain Song (Christy Finalist), How Sweet It Is (Christy Finalist), Hatteras Girl, A Wedding Invitation, and Still Life in Shadows

Twang is powerful and moving with profound insights into faith and forgiveness — of finding grace, mercy, and even beauty, in the ugliest and most destructive of memories and events. Twang helps us realize that the shining of divine light on the secrets and buried bones of our past can actually set us free. A story that reads like a greased bullet, as if taken from a country song itself, is ultimately pleasing and redeeming.” – Walt Larimore, author of Hazel Creek and Sugar Fork

My Thoughts:

Twang was the kind of book that I both love and hate to read. It’s not light entertainment. It’s not a feel good story of hope (though it does have those happy ending elements). It’s a soul wrenching look into the reality of life apart from a genuine relationship with Christ; a life full of sadness, bitterness, evil and the futility of worshiping idols that can never bring hope or healing to life.

Trust in God is at the core of the story and while I, personally, wished the author had focused more on surrendering to the love of God and less on the idea of reconciling to God so that bad things could be re-framed and redeemed, the novel does a masterful job of illustrating how one woman’s gift of loving friendship overcomes barriers and breaks down walls so that another may go free.

I also appreciated the book’s connection to the Nashville floods and the way it made the story more real, drawing my own memories of this event into the tale of a country singer struggling to make sense of God and the world.

The characters in Twang were real and engaging. And while I am not a fan of first person story telling, this book was well written. Overall, I’d recommend Twang to anyone who isn’t afraid of a story that will tug at your heartstrings. If you are looking for a light read then this isn’t the book for you.

Parents should also be aware that while tastefully written, this book does contain themes of abuse and sexuality that I would not recommend for young readers.

I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.