Customer Reviews for

Sing for Me: A Novel

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted November 18, 2014

    Climb out the bedroom window and down the fire escape with Rose.

    Climb out the bedroom window and down the fire escape with Rose. Hop into her cousin's DeSoto and travel across Chicago to a jazz club for some great music, music forbidden to her. Don't lose sight of Rose as her journey becomes ever more dangerous, opposing her father, the church, and an intolerant culture. 
    The tension of a racially mixed relationship, the inclusion of a character with a disability, the unusual setting of 1930s Chicago, and superb writing all add up to an excellent story with unexpected depth. The author tackles a question many Christians ask - or should ask - "Are God's gifts meant for use only in church?"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2014

    What a beautiful story!  And told in such intricacy and depth.  

    What a beautiful story!  And told in such intricacy and depth.  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 29, 2014

    Karen Halvorsen Schreck's new novel Sing for Me is a gift. It s

    Karen Halvorsen Schreck's new novel Sing for Me is a gift. It shows us that dreams beyond a place you can actually imagine are able to come true. It encourages us to hope in a future very different from our present. But far from a utopian dreamland, any dream that takes you far from the present box where you live can be full of danger and pain but amazing rewards. Karen tackles so many challenging issues all in one place - race, disability, faith, culture. There will always be hate in world of anything that is different. Karen skillfully walks us past that hate and shows us that in the end what we all have in common is our humanity - if we are willing to really open our eyes and see it. This is a wonderful novel about realities in 1930's Chicago that are the same realities we share today. Read this novel - you won't be disappointed. I cannot wait for Karen's next novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Karen Halvorsen Schreck in her new book ¿Sing For Me¿ published

    Karen Halvorsen Schreck in her new book “Sing For Me” published by Howard Books takes us into the life of Rose Sorensen.

    From the back cover:  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.

    Things really weren’t so different in 1937 Chicago then they are today.  People were people, prejudice was prejudice and we tried to keep the races apart.  The Bible tells us that God gave us talents from the womb.  He is just waiting on us to use those talents for Him.  In this case singing.  Rose can sing however she is a Baptist and she gets involved in a mixed band called The Chess Men and starts to sing for them at a jazz club.  How much worse can it get?  Well I am not really going to say, you will have to read this amazing story for yourself.  Then you can answer the questions like are you fulfilling your calling if you are using your talents in the world rather than the Church?  And then there is that issue of prejudice.  Ms. Schreck tackles some hard themes in her book but she also gives us such a terrific story it all works together so well.  And, of course, there are the characters.  I think Ms. Schreck has done an outstanding job of bringing both Rose and Theo to life.  “Sing For Me” is a wonderful, powerful story with amazing characters and depth that will keep you flipping pages.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed 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.”

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 4, 2014

    Prepare to be immersed in the semi-Utopian world of Chicago's Br

    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!

    I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2014

      This is one of those rare novels that feels like it *had* to b

      This is one of those rare novels that feels like it *had* to be written. As you read, you know that it probably wasn't easy to write.
    It was most likely birthed with struggle, prayers, and hope. And you also know that is was worth it, because the story is so pure and precious. 

    The plot of this novel sounds fairly straightforward. Don't be deceived into thinking it's a simple story. 
    Rose Sorensen, a young woman with songs in her blood, visits a jazz club with her cousin Rob. Rob knew that bringing her to Calliope's would change her world, he just didn't know how much. 
    Inside the tantalizing atmosphere of music set free, the notes and lyrics touch her soul and make her want to sing even more. 
    That's when she meets The Chess Men. They are a mixed band, which means that in 1937 Chicago that they can only play certain venues at certain times, ideally with a white woman singer to accompany them. They are all fine men and excellent musicians, and Rose knows and recognizes them almost instantly through the music. Yet how is a Danish Baptist going to sing at a jazz club?

    And from there, we have our story. 
    There's a lot of meaning to consider here, and a lot of wonderful men and women to meet. 
    Rose's sister Sophy- she intuitively understands far more than her palsied body will let her express. 
    Theo Chastain- the man who will not wear the chains formed by other's prejudice. 
    Nils- this young man who is in love with Rose. He and her share a past, their heritage, and many memories. 
    Rob- the cousin who pushes Rose outside her comfort zone, and helps her find her calling. 

    And the descriptions... I could feel the apartment shake when the El roared past, I could smell the sharp tang of smoke and liquor in the heat of the club, and I could feel the cold nipping my face as Rose pushed Sophy through Garfield Park. 

    Like the music that Rose and The Chess Men make, this story soars high, drops low, and stretches far as the plot unfolds, and scenes will linger in your mind like a last note played. 

    Thank you Howard Books for my review copy!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1