First Line Friday Featuring: Crescendo by Allen Cheney

Happy Friday! Today I’m joining First Line Friday to talk about a biography I recently picked up on impulse. I haven’t had a chance to dive into it yet, but this story of music and redemption has me intrigued! Also, the cover is beautiful and I cannot wait to see if the story inside matches it.

First Line Friday is a weekly linkup hosted at Hoarding Books. To participate, share the first line of a book of your choice, add the link to the linkup on the host’s page, and check out what others are reading and sharing!     

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The First Line:

It has been said that we are lucky if we can find one person who restores our hope when all is lost.

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About the Book

Crescendo: The Story of a Musical Genius Who Forever Changed a Southern TownTitle: Crescendo: The Story of a Musical Genius Who Forever Changed a Southern Town

Author: Allen Cheney

Genre: Nonfiction – Music, Recent History

Synopsis: During the Great Depression, Fred Allen is born poor and hungry in the shadow of rural Georgia’s infamous cotton mills. By the time Fred is three years old, he can play hymns on the piano without missing a note. In kindergarten, he amazes adults with Chopin. Terrified that Fred’s genius is proof of a curse, his parents lock away the piano.

Cut off from his only source of joy, little Fred sinks into the chasms of neglect, depression, and hunger. Then Eleanor, a woman just released from prison for attempted murder, rents a room in his family’s deteriorating home. Under her fierce eye, Fred is protected, fed, and loved. “You gotta find a way to get out,” Eleanor says. “You were born for so much more than this.”

Fred undertakes an arduous but miraculous journey through the Juilliard School in New York City, Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University, and eventually the professional music scene. With the help of a few miracles, he climbs the ladder of success, marries, becomes a father and a scholar, and establishes an enviable reputation as a Grammy-nominated music producer. Then in heartbreaking speed, Fred’s past catches up with him, and his family becomes divided. He must choose either to pursue his dreams of fame and success or love.

But miracles aren’t just for those with big-city dreams. In Thomasville, Georgia, amid the wreckage of his history, Fred and his resilient wife, Winnie, reassemble the pieces of their lives and encounter what just might be the greatest miracle yet—not just for them but for the entire town.

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What better book for a Friday the 13th than one about someone overcoming fear of a curse? I’m sure there is so much more to this book (which I haven’t read yet), but that alone makes it my perfect choice for today. This book fell into my lap at a recent trip to a local Christian bookstore, where I found it on the clearance shelf for $1! I wasn’t looking for books for myself, but for $1 I just couldn’t bring myself to pass it up.

What’s on your reading agenda this weekend? This is a busy weekend for me, so I’m not sure what I will have time to pick up.

Until the next chapter,


8 thoughts on “First Line Friday Featuring: Crescendo by Allen Cheney

Add yours

  1. That looks like one not to miss! A musical genius!

    “Green or brown. Brown or green. Phillip Clayton set the unwrapped crayon upright on the diner’s Formica tabletop so it stood like a mocking sentinel.”
    From The Cryptographer’s Dilemma by Johnnie Alexander

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree the cover is beautiful! And, I had heard the name but couldn’t have told you a thing about him. Fingers crossed that it is well-written because I’m very interested in this story! Happy Reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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