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When Silence Sings

4.81  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  20 reviews
After the rival McLean clan guns down his cousin, Colman Harpe chooses peace over seeking revenge with his family. But when he hears God tell him to preach to the McLeans, a failed attempt to run away leaves him sick and suffering in their territory. He soon learns that appearances can be deceiving, and the face of evil doesn't look like he expected
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers
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Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
From the author: Yes, I love all of my books. I mean, it's kind of required--right? But writing Serepta McLean for this story has been such an adventure for me. Even though (or maybe because) she's awful! She broke my heart and gave me hope. I hope she does the same for you.
Susan Snodgrass
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
'I'd rather look for the best. The worst usually makes itself known soon enough.'

West Virginia. 1930. Two families, the McLeans and the Harpes, feuding with each other for generations, find things are coming to a head quickly after a McLean guns down a Harpe in cold blood and runs off.

Colman Harpe promised his mother he'd not get involved with the feud and so far he's managed to keep his promise. Colman has felt the call to preach and then he hears God call him to preach to his swor
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
"And then the silence began to sing."

Colman Harpe longs to be a pastor of the people, but when he gets caught inextricably in the middle of an ongoing local family feud, he begins to walk a line finer than a piece of thread. On the one hand, his unusual circumstances land him in what many consider to be enemy territory, but on the other hand he might be exactly where God intends for him to be; weak, confused, and at the mercy of those who would love to hate him. Except
First sentence: Colman walked along the last car of the coal train, tapping each wheel with his long-handled hammer, listening intently to the clang clang clang.

Premise/plot: Colman Harpe desires to be preacher and leave the family feud far far behind. But the family feud isn’t just in the past. The McLeans are still out to get the Harpes. In fact, soon after the novel opens, Jake McLean murders Caleb Harpe, Colman‘s cousin. The Harpes vow vengeance—most of them at least. Serepta McL
"That's the thing about want. It's got nothin' to do with have to."

When Silence Sings is a beautifully written, complex, and thoughtful historical set in West Virginia in 1930. This is not a light formula tale of a typical hero and heroine overcoming obstacles and then living happily ever after. Instead, as the stage is gradually set, we are introduced to a number of characters whose importance and impact become known as story layers are eventually and, sometimes, surprisingly peeled
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I give this book 5 stars!!
Well written with a taste of what the Hatfield and McCoy feud might have been like. They too were based out of West Virginia and Kentucky.
It truly amazes me what families back then will fight about. Some even take it a little further.
There were about 15 well known feuds, the Hatfield and McCoy the most famous.
Sarah has crafted a very enjoyable read and I just finished this delightful read. It made my afternoon restful and peaceful.
I liked how her sto
Nora St Laurent
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This author whisks readers back in time to the 1930’s West Virginia. She beautifully gives readers the lay of the land through her complex characters and the feud they’ve upheld for years. The author states, “up until now I’ve set my stories in imaginary towns that look a whole lot like the places where I grew up….not this time.” She goes on to tell readers of all that is real and the things she fudged on to make her story work.

Early on the author introduces a number of colorful, quirk, believa
The Harpes and the McLeans have been feuding for generations, so it's no surprise to Colman Harpe that when his cousin is killed by a McLean, the Harpes want vengeance. Colman, an aspiring preacher, tries to remind himself that vengeance is the Lord's and stay out of things, but then he receives an unexpected call from the Lord--to preach to the McLeans. Not sure how to carry out that call, and even sure he wants to, he heads out on a fishing trip instead, only to be stranded in a storm and lost ...more
Joann Marks
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A love story at its purest, but not what you're thinking.

In 1930 Thurmond and Hinton, West Virginia life was vastly different than it is today. Family feuds and the struggles for power seemed a way of life. People from one side, the Harpe family, hated people form the other side, the McClean family, and vice versa. Most didn’t even know why, but all were caught up in the fight. When a McLean shoots dead a Harpe it just adds fuel to an already unpredictable fire.

Amid this
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'll be honest, historical novel, When Silence Sings, by Sarah Loudin Thomas, wasn't what I expected. Perhaps I should have read the back copy more clearly. However, once I was into the story, it sucked me right in.

Coleman Harpe has excellent hearing. He also wants to be a preacher. The problem is, his family has been in a feud with the McLeans for generations. Coleman tries to stay out of the conflict, but when his cousin is murdered, he's not sure how not to hate the murderer.
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I requested to review When Silence Sings because I enjoy historical fiction set in the Appalachian Mountains. I'm so glad I did. Sarah Loudin Thomas has written a stunning story that encompasses so much of what life looks like when we listen to God. In the time of feuding families, Colman Harpe hears God's call. He wants to run away. As a matter of fact he tries. But after wrestling with angels, a beautiful story unfolds. I loved the journey of Coleman's character. Then there is Ivy. She's just ...more
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It took me a few chapters to get drawn into this story, but once I was it was so worth it. When Silence Sings has quite an original storyline, sort of a Jonah meets the Hatfields and McCoys. I love the way Thomas takes Bible stories and sets them in the early 1930s West Virginia, making them relatable to the mountain folk and to her readers as well. The character development in this story is very well done. A sequel continuing the story of Colman Harpe and Ivy Gordon would be very well received. ...more
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful words that warm your heart and make you fall in love with these wonderful characters. You will feel empathy for Serepta , sympathy for Coleman, and love Ivy. This story will weave around your heart and pull you into the hills of WV, where clans feud and traditions are followed. Ms. Thomas has hit the nail on the head with this one with her impeccable research and insight into these peoples. Having family from the areas she writes about I can say she paints a word picture that is accura ...more
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sarah Loudin Thomas is an author I turn to time and time again for unique characters and stories. I love how she weaves faith and the supernatural into the lives of ordinary people and places. When Silence Sings has parallels of the story of Jonah told through the eyes of two feuding families that live in West Virginia. Murder, boot legging and superstitions abound between the Harpe and the McLean clans. I enjoyed every minute of it. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy historical fiction.< ...more
Teresa Merriman
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When Silence Sings by Sarah Loudin Thomas takes place in the 1930’s in West Virginia and is the story of two families that are feuding. I love the way Sarah Loudin Thomas tells a story! Her storytelling had me wanting to sit on the porch with a glass of tea and savoring the wonderful words, but then again, I found myself wanting to hurry up to find out what would happen next to these very colorful characters. I highly recommend When Silence Sings!
Shelli Littleton
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great novel. It has such a country and West Virginian feel that I always adore from Sarah Thomas. One of my favorite lines will let you know why I love Sarah's writing: "Committing to the trip filled him with equal parts guilt and delight. He cocked his hear toward the delight and found he could hear the burble of a creek, the singing of birds, and the soft whir of a line releasing from its reel." Down home feel, giving me all the feels.
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was a goodreads win. I don't normally read this type of book, but I have to say I found it really enjoyable. I will check out other books of Sarah Thomas's.
Beautiful story of forgiveness and redemption--without packaging it up in a neat bow. Thomas shines in this Depression-era retelling of Jonah set in Appalachia.
Amy Mullins
Oct 31, 2019 marked it as to-read
Dang, don't know how I missed the giveaway on this book. Sounds like a really good one, almost sounds like a little Hatfield and McCoy to it. Have read the Appalachian blessings books and loved them, so hopefully be listed for a giveaway again, if not have to catch it when I can on Amazon.
Nancy Larimer
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"When Silence Sings" by Sarah Loudin Thomas is an historical fiction book. The story is set in the Appalachian rail town in West Virginia. in the 1930's. There has been a family feud for generations with the McLean's and the Harpe's. The drama evolves with the challenges of the families trying to win the battles against the other families. The characters are very well described and the scenes as well. The reader will feel as though they have stepped into these families and there challenges. The ...more
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I’m a Christian, wife, fundraiser and writer living near Asheville, NC. I grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV. I used to say “rural WV,” but realized that’s largely redundant. I LOVE my home state and the fact that I’m the seventh generation to grow up on the family farm. My love of the Appalachian Mountains informs my writing. I want you to be as wild about these hazy, blue mountains a ...more
“I'd rather look for the best. The worst usually makes itself known soon enough.” 2 likes
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