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Step to the Music

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On Staten Island, Abbie Garrett is torn by war between the States. Her Southern mother's allegiance is divided, her father feels the North is right. Her dear friends Douglas and Stuart McIntyre, returned from the South, have no wish to fight their southern friends. Into this confusion comes her cousin, Lorena; pretty and Southern. Grand Mistress Phyllis A. Whitney dedicates On Staten Island, Abbie Garrett is torn by war between the States. Her Southern mother's allegiance is divided, her father feels the North is right. Her dear friends Douglas and Stuart McIntyre, returned from the South, have no wish to fight their southern friends. Into this confusion comes her cousin, Lorena; pretty and Southern. Grand Mistress Phyllis A. Whitney dedicates this historic work of youth fiction to her daughter, Georgia.


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On Staten Island, Abbie Garrett is torn by war between the States. Her Southern mother's allegiance is divided, her father feels the North is right. Her dear friends Douglas and Stuart McIntyre, returned from the South, have no wish to fight their southern friends. Into this confusion comes her cousin, Lorena; pretty and Southern. Grand Mistress Phyllis A. Whitney dedicates On Staten Island, Abbie Garrett is torn by war between the States. Her Southern mother's allegiance is divided, her father feels the North is right. Her dear friends Douglas and Stuart McIntyre, returned from the South, have no wish to fight their southern friends. Into this confusion comes her cousin, Lorena; pretty and Southern. Grand Mistress Phyllis A. Whitney dedicates this historic work of youth fiction to her daughter, Georgia.

30 review for Step to the Music

  1. 5 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    This story took place during the US Civil War AKA The War Between The States. The story was a straight up romance. So if you are looking for Gothic intrigue, you will not find it in this one. It was a very moving story and parts of it made me cry. If you are a fan of clean romance set during the US Civil War give this one a try.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anne Osterlund

    Abbie is love with Douglas McIntyre. At least she was when she was twelve before he and his brother left Staten Island and moved south to Georgia. When she hears they’re coming home, she sneaks into the cave where they used to play and leaves Douglas a note in their old code. But childhood games have little place in the world now. With civil war coming. With the McIntyre boys’ torn loyalties and the pressure on them to fight. And with Abbie’s own family tearing in half. Her father who disagrees wi Abbie is love with Douglas McIntyre. At least she was when she was twelve before he and his brother left Staten Island and moved south to Georgia. When she hears they’re coming home, she sneaks into the cave where they used to play and leaves Douglas a note in their old code. But childhood games have little place in the world now. With civil war coming. With the McIntyre boys’ torn loyalties and the pressure on them to fight. And with Abbie’s own family tearing in half. Her father who disagrees with war but believes in the Union. Her mother, loyal to her husband, but also to her own childhood home in the South. And Cousin Lorena. Who has been sent north against her will, has no loyalty toward the Union, and is far more adept in the art of flirtation than Abbie. Step to the Music is a gentle, believable story about a young woman coming of age during the Civil War. Along with The Last Silk Dress by Ann Rinaldi (and GWTW), this is one of my all-time favorite Civil War stories. It stands out because the entire book is told from the perspective of a young woman from the north, living far from the battlefields, but facing the impact--and hazards--of war nonetheless. This is the only book I have ever read that deals with the draft riots in New York City. Ultimately, though the story is about Abbie. A young woman with an unusual perspective, a lot to learn, and more strength than she knows.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Misfit

    I love this author (in small doses), but this is clearly a Y/A, or in the period it was written, described as a children's book. Not my cuppa, and not worth slogging through when there are so many other books calling me. Still, gorgeous covers it got :) I love this author (in small doses), but this is clearly a Y/A, or in the period it was written, described as a children's book. Not my cuppa, and not worth slogging through when there are so many other books calling me. Still, gorgeous covers it got :)

  4. 5 out of 5

    C. (Never msg. Just comment! Email if private.)

    I knew I would end up loving “Step To The Music”, 1953. Phyllis Ayame Whitney was a consummate professional, whose mission was always to uplift her readers. I was at first reluctant, because non-Americans aren’t interested in United States history. This civil war romance is a sharp turn from her gothic mysteries, sweetly dedicated to her daughter, Georgia. However, anyone who gets caught up in sympathy for protagonists will reel from clear emotional conundrums. After a lifetime following this be I knew I would end up loving “Step To The Music”, 1953. Phyllis Ayame Whitney was a consummate professional, whose mission was always to uplift her readers. I was at first reluctant, because non-Americans aren’t interested in United States history. This civil war romance is a sharp turn from her gothic mysteries, sweetly dedicated to her daughter, Georgia. However, anyone who gets caught up in sympathy for protagonists will reel from clear emotional conundrums. After a lifetime following this beloved author, I wasn’t surprised she drew me in. Abbie’s loving family in Staten Island, New York are friends with neighbours who have returned from several years in the south. Abbie, who shared stomping grounds with their sons, is determined that handsome Douglas and cynical Stuart respect her as an eighteen year-old lady. The south has declared war and her Mother is concerned for relatives because that was her home. She is loyal to both places, like her neighbours and allows her brother to leave their uppity daughter with them for safety. Trouble is expected to be minimal in the north if it arrives at all but even though this climate of turmoil and fear was far in the past, even at the time Phyllis wrote about it; readers have a compassionate awareness of how those citizens must have been feeling. We understand Abbie’s Mother can neither accept nor prohibit her husband’s compulsion to stand up for the north and likewise for the McIntyre brothers. I disliked Abbie’s awful, bigoted cousin and the very irritating Stuart; along with a predictable switcheroo of Abbie’s affection. However it all was written so gradually and believably, our hearts automatically rooted for each direction this saga took. I was moved the most by a ruse Abbie’s Mother concocted, when a dear, black neighbour was threatened.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Readitnweep

    My very favorite Phyllis Whitney. I had a paperback version of this in the late 1970s that I destroyed from reading it and re-reading it so many times. Here starts my love of the romance genre. I loved the angst between Stuart and Abby. Excellent story and I appreciated that Lorena turned out to be more dimensional than just the "bad" cousin. Very well done! My very favorite Phyllis Whitney. I had a paperback version of this in the late 1970s that I destroyed from reading it and re-reading it so many times. Here starts my love of the romance genre. I loved the angst between Stuart and Abby. Excellent story and I appreciated that Lorena turned out to be more dimensional than just the "bad" cousin. Very well done!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Fluegge

    I believe that I read this a long time ago, but enjoyed reading it once again. Set at the beginning of the Civil War, it tells the story of a young girl and her family and their life during that time. Her father joins the Union army which bothers her Mother greatly as she is from the South. She comes to terms with it over time. Family friends are similarly torn over the situation, with one brother fighting for the South (due to family ties there) and the other one eventually joining the Union ar I believe that I read this a long time ago, but enjoyed reading it once again. Set at the beginning of the Civil War, it tells the story of a young girl and her family and their life during that time. Her father joins the Union army which bothers her Mother greatly as she is from the South. She comes to terms with it over time. Family friends are similarly torn over the situation, with one brother fighting for the South (due to family ties there) and the other one eventually joining the Union army. Just a great read that accurately depicts the turmoil of that era.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is a book I read half a dozen times in my romantic late teen years, but I hadn't touched it in a decade. I came across it on my bookshelf yesterday and got the urge to read it again, see if it held up for me. It did. This is a book I read half a dozen times in my romantic late teen years, but I hadn't touched it in a decade. I came across it on my bookshelf yesterday and got the urge to read it again, see if it held up for me. It did.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amalia

    Another book I read when I was still in middle school or high school...can't remember when. Anyway, good story set during the Civil War. Another book I read when I was still in middle school or high school...can't remember when. Anyway, good story set during the Civil War.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jaefae

    I have loved reading Phyllis Whitney for years and years, somehow I'd managed to miss this one, until now. As always, she's on her 'A'game with this one too. I have loved reading Phyllis Whitney for years and years, somehow I'd managed to miss this one, until now. As always, she's on her 'A'game with this one too.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Anderson

    One of my favorite books-will expand on it later. It's old so if you run across it in the library or second-hand store read it! One of my favorite books-will expand on it later. It's old so if you run across it in the library or second-hand store read it!

  11. 4 out of 5

    J.C. Reilly

    I read many Phyllis A. Whitney books when I was growing up, and she always tells compelling stories with strong heroines. This one, however, has always been an especial favorite. I've probably read it a dozen times over the years, and it holds up every time. I read many Phyllis A. Whitney books when I was growing up, and she always tells compelling stories with strong heroines. This one, however, has always been an especial favorite. I've probably read it a dozen times over the years, and it holds up every time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    This book was a lovely read. It is exactly the sort of book that I would have adored in my pre/early teens, so I'm sorry that I hadn't heard of Phyllis A. Whitney before now. However, I still loved it! Set during the American Civil War, Step to the Music is told from the point of view of Abbie Garrett, a young girl living on Staten Island. It didn't take long for me to grow fond of Abbie, and I enjoyed getting to know her and following her development throughout the book. I also enjoyed seeing th This book was a lovely read. It is exactly the sort of book that I would have adored in my pre/early teens, so I'm sorry that I hadn't heard of Phyllis A. Whitney before now. However, I still loved it! Set during the American Civil War, Step to the Music is told from the point of view of Abbie Garrett, a young girl living on Staten Island. It didn't take long for me to grow fond of Abbie, and I enjoyed getting to know her and following her development throughout the book. I also enjoyed seeing the other characters through her eyes, particularly how the war affected each of them and influenced the decisions that they made. Overall it was a pleasant, easy to read book, perfect for reading on a lazy Spring day. This is one book that I will definitely be on the lookout for in secondhand bookstores! If you enjoyed L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series you will probably enjoy this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I love historical fiction, particularly about the Civil War. I usually read stuff from a Southern perspective though, this was set in Staten Island, New York. It was a good story, and I liked hearing about the Yankee side of things. The love interest was super predictable though, and provided no suspense or surprise. Hah. Also, it ended rather abruptly.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kylie Stoneburner

    Quick Civil War read. Some of the characters were foolishly selfish and annoying, but the ones that really mattered were charming. Nice little love story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    I always enjoy a good historical fiction. It inspires me to look things up that I'm curious about and it leads to good conversation. Plus the romance often makes for an easier read :). I always enjoy a good historical fiction. It inspires me to look things up that I'm curious about and it leads to good conversation. Plus the romance often makes for an easier read :).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Birlyn

    I read this back when I was younger (I'm now 31) and it was so good that it has stayed with me all of these years. The story takes you back to another time and it just makes my soul so happy. Phyllis Whitney will be always be one of my favorite authors. She writes books you can grow up with and you have some of the best adventures. I read this back when I was younger (I'm now 31) and it was so good that it has stayed with me all of these years. The story takes you back to another time and it just makes my soul so happy. Phyllis Whitney will be always be one of my favorite authors. She writes books you can grow up with and you have some of the best adventures.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Dalby

    I've read many of Whitney's Gothic/Suspense romances, but this was my first YA read by her. YA and historical are two of my favorite things in literature and this books didn't disappoint. Lovely story, great details, and all the feels. (I cried twice.) Bravo! I've read many of Whitney's Gothic/Suspense romances, but this was my first YA read by her. YA and historical are two of my favorite things in literature and this books didn't disappoint. Lovely story, great details, and all the feels. (I cried twice.) Bravo!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ariel Holway-Jones

    A great coming of age love story set during the civil war. Highly recommend.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristie Watson

  20. 5 out of 5

    J

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Long

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marty

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marian K Lehman

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Robin Pitts

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

  27. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kim Kaso

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bev

  30. 4 out of 5

    Charlee Seiple

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