Wednesday, February 2, 2011

On the Shores of Scotland: Book Review

Angel Harp: A Novel by Michael Phillips
3 1/2 stars

Strumming notes with a melancholy tone on her harp, Marie Buchan feels remarkably the same. She wishes to start afresh; her husband had always planned on visiting Scotland with her. Unfortunately, they never had the chance to pursue it. Ever since his death, Marie has lived the years in a stand-still. Teaching her passion of the harp to eager students even lacks its luster. A sudden thought hits her… to be spontaneous might just be the ingredient to awaken her life. So, with that in mind, Marie makes arrangements to travel. She’s ready to live her dream.

Marie arrives in Scotland with a mix of optimism and apprehension. She doesn’t want to stick out like a tourist but blend in with the people. She’s soon drawn to the countryside and chooses to reside in a quaint village. At first, Marie feels like a stranger but is later welcomed by the friendly town-folk. Exploring the surroundings of the little village, Marie discovers an enchanting ledge overlooking the sea. Fortunately for her, there’s a bench and it’s the perfect setting to play her harp. She belongs here on the shores of Scotland – cloaked by mystery and old traditions.

My Thoughts on Angel Harp:

I was really drawn into the first couple of chapters up until I hit an abrupt wall of ideologies. The characters/author felt like they were rambling in areas. I didn’t find it alluring. I won’t go into specifics, but there’s an idea that didn’t quite match up with scripture.

The scenery is described wonderfully by Michael Phillips. I found myself being transported to the majestic lands of Scotland. The rich culture of the Scottish made me add it to my list of countries to visit. While learning the history of Scotland is necessary to the story, it was excessive and heavy. At times, it seemed like the author was only writing the book for that reason alone. While I had devoured the beginning of Angel Harp, the story later slowed me down. Not the easiest to read.

Michael Phillips’ writing is good. It’s steady and pretty flawless. I’m just amazed that he could write so well from the viewpoint of a woman. I applaud him! I recommend Angel Harp to bookworms who love first person narratives and the history of Scotland. This book stuck to me, and I have no inkling as to why… It will make a nice addition to my library, because of its cover. How many hardcover books are white?

This was reviewed for FaithWords

God bless!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review Grace. I haven't read Michael Phillips, and him writing in a female voice in commendable!

Grace said...

Sure, Lynn! Yeah, I couldn't believe it. He really does a good job.