Book Review: Twang

5 Sep

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 by counseling Jenny to pour yet another long-repressed story of her father into a song. Is singing for her sanity a possibility in this instance? Would another hit song be therapy enough to reconcile Jenny and her dark past? Jenny Cloud faces the music with music.

Julie L. Cannon is a bestselling author, speaker and teacher. She believes that using your memories to write autobiographical fiction is both cathartic and powerful, and when Julie isn’t busy writing, she can be found leading memoir workshops, encouraging others to encourage others on this journey called Life. Julie has captured many awards in the ABA as well as the CBA. She loves growing flowers and listening to country music at her home off Hog Mountain Road in Watkinsville, Georgia.

Her latest book is the Christian fiction novel, Twang.

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My Impressions:

When I signed up to review Julie L. Cannon’s newest book, Twang, I had some preconceived notions.  I thought this book would be a sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant look at the trials and tribulation of breaking into the country music business.  But what I found was a sometimes humorous, mostly poignant story of a woman deeply scarred by her childhood experiences and how through the gift of her music, the hard stories of her life worked their way to the surface. Twang was so much more than I expected and I sure am glad, because this story is not about country music, but about how God is persistent in his pursuing and His ability to redeem even the worst things life has for us.

Jennifer Ann Clodfelter (don’t you just love that name) is determined to make it in Nashville, the 9 year town, where she is repeatedly told a person with dreams can be chewed up and spit out. But Jennifer has a gift (she has been told that all her life) and an assurance that she will be a big star. After merely 9 weeks in Nashville, Jennifer is now Jenny Cloud with a hit at the top of the charts. But Jennifer soon finds out that the lure of the stage and the adoration of her fans cannot quiet the demons of the past. In fact, her songs come from those dark times. And though loved by her fans, the songs bring only panic and fear to Jennifer. Friend and hairdresser, Tonilynn, has the answer for Jenny — give it all to God and let Him redeem the dark times — but Jennifer refuses to dig up those things so carefully hidden away.

Told from the first person perspective, Jennifer’s fears and yearnings are so very real. There is a bridge (a music term) to the story as well in the voice of Aunt Gomer, Tonilynn’s aunt. Aunt Gomer’s filterless voice is refreshing and is a welcome perspective apart from Jennifer’s. Tonilynn is the loving friend that never gives up on Jennifer. Her rebukes of Satan are wonderfully imaginative. The city of Nashville is somewhat of a character as well, with the Cumberland River a vital part of Jennifer’s life.

Twang is a novel that you will love even if you have no affinity for country music. It is a story of life and God’s sovereignty and redemptive power.


(I received Twang from Pump Up Your Book in return for a review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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3 Responses to “Book Review: Twang”

  1. Julie L Cannon (@JulieLCannon) September 6, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    Thanks for this nice review, By the Book! Truly, Julie

    • rbclibrary September 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

      Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. Book Review: Twang « BY THE BOOK | Pulplit Magazine - September 6, 2012

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