All Your Pretty Dreamsby Lise McClendon
When Jonny Knobel is called home to play his accordion in the family polka band, his mood sinks. He learned the accordion early from his grandfather but has put that all/b>/i>
Humorous, romantic, and full of the turmoil of becoming an adult, All Your Pretty Dreams asks the question: How do I know who I am? And when I find out, who will accept me?
When Jonny Knobel is called home to play his accordion in the family polka band, his mood sinks. He learned the accordion early from his grandfather but has put that all behind him. A prison stretch would be less painful. But when he arrives in Red Vine, he realizes he needs to reboot his life. His heart is a sad, bruised place. A split from his high school sweetheart, a job that doesn't satisfy, regrets about college: it's all too much. Top it off with the temptations of college students in town doing a study on wild bees and you have a recipe for one weird summer vacation.
Just back from an escape to Europe and hoping to jump start her academic career in the study of insects, rude city-girl Isabel Yancey leads the field crew. Inside her aloof manner she brings plenty of her own baggage to the decrepit motel the Knobel family owns. Her rich Chicago parents drive her crazy, but not as crazy as her love life. When she meets Jonny deep in the heart of Minnesota, she's coming off a series of bad choices in male companionship and nothing could be further from her mind than romance.
In the spirit of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, All Your Pretty Dreams asks the question: Who will you be as an adult? Is it possible to be a good son (or daughter) and still be independent? With his grandfather's accordion strapped on and a series of family embarrassments to contend with, Jonny searches for his place in the world. Will he get to design his own buildings? Will he ever find someone who truly understands him? One summer in Red Vine just might hold the answers.
Lise McClendon is the author of nine novels, including the suspense novel, Blackbird Fly. Her writing has been called "a lyrical, often humorous style" as she continues to explore the drama and absurdity of family life in All Your Pretty Dreams. A fan of the accordion she does a rowdy but enthusiastic polka and can more often be found listening to rock and roll. She lives in Montana where she hikes, skis, and stalks the wily trout when not writing novels.
Check her website at www.lisemcclendon.com to find more about the books and recipes for blueberry tarts, honey lemon slaw, and other dishes featured in All Your Pretty Dreams.
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Meet the Author
Lise McClendon has published eight previous novels, including Blackbird Fly and Jump Cut (written as Rory Tate.) Her writing has been praised as “a lyrical, often humorous style.” Bestselling author Michael Connelly called her writing “a richly detailed story that quite simply gets to your heart.” Her love of family dynamics and the mysterious ties that bind us together continue to inform her fiction. She first read Pride and Prejudice as a teenager, and rereads it often, considering herself a rabid Jane-ite.
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ALL YOUR PRETTY DREAMS by Lisa McClendon ALL YOUR PRETTY DREAM is the August 2012 release by author Lisa McClendon. Focusing on small town Red Vine, Minnesota and the citizens who reside there, All Your Pretty Dreams centers on the Knobel family’s struggle with love, betrayal, aging and growing up. The world and people around Red Vine are moving forward, but the citizens of the sleepy town seem to be stuck in a time warp where old habits and Saturday afternoon teas lead to Sunday Polka mass and affairs with the neighbor. Jonny Knobel has returned to his childhood town at the request of his father. A long standing tradition of playing in the ‘Notable Knobels’ Polka band has brought Jonny back to Red Vine and life as he once knew it will forever be changed. A recent separation from his self-centred wife, the discovery of his father’s affair and a graduate student researching the mating habits of bees will find Jonny contemplating where it all went wrong. Needing to keep busy, Jonny puts his draftsman’s brain on over drive and has designs on renovating an old grain silo. Isabel Yancey is a graduate student studying entomology. With her crew of college age students, they embark on a field study of bees and pollination in the town of Red Vine, Minnesota. But feeling more like a chaperone and camp leader, then scientist and researcher, Isabel will find herself attracted to the motel owner’s son-one Jonny Knobel-only she is of the belief that he is still married. Perhaps a change in attitude and appearance will make Jonny remember her name next time they meet. But someone from her past will ensure that Jonny’s eyes look elsewhere. Lisa’s storyline reads like any small town USA where the citizens remain caught in a world of their own. Parents grow old but their adult children still hold grudges and animosity, passing traditions down that they themselves find dull and dated at times. But judgmental parents and aging traditions are not exclusive to the back woods of Red Vine and neither are the rumors everyone remembers from high school back home. When Isabel’s grandfather dies, it is Jonny who volunteers to take her back to Chicago. But her wealth and family put Jonny on edge and if the rumors he heard were true Isabel was not the woman for him. Returning to Red Vine, Jonny packs up and heads back home where work and a lawyer’s appointment sit waiting. Jonny’s sister was missing. She hadn’t been seen for several days, and without thinking, Jonny and his family begin to suspect she ran off with one of Isabel’s students. Realizing the implication of the accusations, Isabel is taken aback, but her concern for the missing young woman is more than Jonny expected, so he headed to Chicago to check on some leads. A week later Wendy would return without explanation and the cycle of life would continue. Jonny’s grain silo design had won. A prestigious honor in the architectural world, but he had no idea who or how it was entered into the competition. With his divorce final, he headed to Chicago but the prize that awaited him was something he had been waiting for his entire life. ALL YOUR PRETTY DREAMS is a sweet story that begins slowly- plodding through the daily lives of the Knobel family in Red Vine Minnesota. Lisa McClendon builds up a metaphor of sorts comparing the rhythm of the accordion to the lessons found in life. At times, the story seemed to falter as it got caught up in the monotony of the town, and like the music metaphor, the author would find her rhythm and the tempo would increase. All Your Pretty Dreams is a love story that took almost an entire book to come to realization and in the end two people would find that their heart’s beat to the same rhythm –as one.......
The beauty of this book is its originality, and its sheer inability to be categorized. It's a romance, with its lovers troubled and conflicted and struggling with their feelings, but ultimately, wonderfully in love. It's a coming-of-age story, with characters young as well as old doing so! It's a story of family and values, both not necessarily going hand in hand! It's about accordions and families and infidelities – and the opposite thereof – and bees and grain bins … and more than anything, love – in all of its variations and dimensions. There are lots of eccentric and lovable characters who both come together and break apart for various reasons in the small town of Red Vine, Minnesota. Some are rich and some are poor – but that all depends on how one defines those adjectives … monetarily or spiritually. Jonny Knobel comes home to play in his family's polka band and to help his father repair the aging motel owned and run by his father. He's also trying to break away from his estranged wife and all the baggage of a failed marriage. While at home, he meets Isabel Yancy, a graduate student involved in a biology study of bees. They couldn't be more different in their ideals and dreams … you think …?? Lise McClendon is a joy to read. Her stories are unique and inventive … no traditional formulas for her, thank you very much. Her dialogue is witty, her characters multi-dimensional, and her locales so well defined that the visuals replay in your head long after you lay the book down. As with her previous books, ALL YOUR PRETTY DREAMS is a joy to read.