Saturday, April 2, 2011

Angel Harp

Angel Harp: A NovelMichael Phillips
ISBN: 978-0446567718
Publisher: Faith Words
Source: Publisher for Review
Purchase Link: Angel Harp: A Novel


Widowed at 34, amateur harpist Marie "Angel" Buchan realizes at 40 that her life and dreams are slowly slipping away. A summer in Scotland turns out to offer far more than she ever imagined! Not only does the music of her harp capture the fancy of the small coastal village she visits, she is unexpectedly drawn into a love triangle involving the local curate and the local duke.

The boyhood friends have been estranged as adults because of their mutual love of another woman (now dead) some years before. History seems destined to repeat itself, with Marie in the thick of it. Her involvement in the lives of the two men, as well as in the community, leads to a range of exciting relationships and lands Marie in the center of the mystery of a long-unsolved local murder. Eventually she must make her decision: with whom will she cast the lot of her future?


What an enjoyable book! The premise of the book is emotional as Marie is a widow at a young age. When she decides to move on, before life passes her by, she heads to Scotland in pursuit of living a dream shared with her husband. She visits small villages along the way and is drawn unexpectedly into a love triangle. This brings her back to the controversy of life and death, which she struggled with after losing her husband, and leaves her with decisions that will affect her future.

Michael is a skilled writer. I have read my favorite series, The Secret of the Rose, by Michael many times. His novels are wonderful to re-read, as each time I gain something new out of the story. This title, in ways, reminded me of that series as I can see myself re-reading this novel and gaining new insights with each read. I was instantly drawn to the main character, Marie, and could sympathize and emphasize with her along the way. Michael is gifted in writing long novels that pull you further into the story, leaving you unaware that you read four hundred or more pages. This book is no exception. It has heart, soul, intrigue, mystery and a descriptive nature that pulls the reader deeper and deeper into the story.

The story is one of loss and reconciliation, love, life and faith. It was a wonderful read, especially for those who like contemporary fiction. There were very few drawbacks to this book. My biggest hurdle was reading the local dialect of the Scottish town people which was slightly difficult to read until you got used to it. This may be because I am not used to reading this type of dialect. It did make the book feel more authentic, though at the same time took away from the reading for me.


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