If Michael Phillips always writes like this, please sign me up for more! Obviously, this is the first book by him that I've read. I almost put it down...moreIf Michael Phillips always writes like this, please sign me up for more! Obviously, this is the first book by him that I've read. I almost put it down, as it has a slow start. I'm so glad that I gave it a chance. It's a mesmerizing masterpiece!
Marie is a 40 year old widow out to change her life. She leaves her homeland of Alberta, Canada and sets out for Port Scarnose, Scotland with a few of her possessions, most notably, her harp. She finds a beautiful spot near the ocean and plays her harp when a beautiful 12 year old girl, Gwendolyn, comes by. She is mesmerized by her harp and before long, Marie is giving her lessons. Or is it Gwen giving the lessons? This is just the start of a beautiful friendship that will also introduce her to the curate Iain Barclay, and the Duke. Will Marie make the changes she was hoping for or is something else in the works like she'd never imagined?
So many things about this book that I love!! First of all, I have always loved harp music. The beginning of each chapter features the words to a Scottish ditty of some sort that Marie plays sometime in the book. I read this book while outside, enjoying nature and my children paying, and I believe that may have added to the beauty of the book! The story (once I got past the first few chapters) grabbed me and I read this fairly quickly. The ways the characters intertwine is mysterious and, at times, unnerving. There is suspense, romance, drama (plenty of that!), and raw emotions.
One thing that other readers such as myself may struggle with is the Scottish dialect. I finally started getting the hang of it and could read through it fairly quickly. I fear that I may have missed some of Ranald's story due to the dialect. I also wonder where he was in the end. He sorta melted into the background and I thought him to be a bit more important than that.
Warning: Kleenex needed for laughter and tears. :) I'm still a bit haunted by it all! (less)