Angel Harp by Michael Phillips
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
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?
My Take: This is a pleasant read that combines the author's love of Scottish history and lore with his passion for the spiritual influence of Scottish novelist, George McDonald. It is a well written piece that illustrates the ideas of God in an "After Calvinism" approach. The character that embodied these ideas is the curate, Iaian Barclay. For the bulk of the Scottish history, the reader relies on the protagonists travels and her visits with Ranald who succinctly describes the historical and religious (which are intertwined) events that lead to today's Scotland.
The story itself is a pleasant diversion from life. I liked it fine but found it incomplete. The ending seemed forced and many questions were left unanswered. I assume there will be a follow-up book to complete the story of Olivia, the diabolical aunt, describe how Ranald's daughter died and why he indicated that Marie be careful around the cliffs, and continue Marie's story in her new setting.
Clean, pleasant read.
Thanks to Hatchette Book Group, I have one copy for a lucky reader (that's you).
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