Monday, April 18, 2011

Angel Harp by Michael Phillips

Book Description: 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 Review:  Feeling that life is passing her by and that her life has been on hold since her husband's death.  Marie decides to go on her dream trip to Scotland for her birthday. As she is touring Scotland she decides to stop at a small town that catches her eye.  She sets out walking to find a place to spend the night.  She is determined to find the perfect place to play her harp on the morrow.  She wants to "experience" the land and its peoples.
Marie plays her harp in the local park where a twelve year old, Gwendolyn, is enthralled with the music that comes from Marie's nimble fingers.  Gwendolyn is drawn to Marie but her aunt doesn't want her to talk with strangers.  Marie then asks Gwendolyn if she would like a quick lesson.  Gwendolyn is amazed at the music that comes from the beautiful instrument.  She is hooked!  Marie can't believe how well Gwendolyn plays.  She plays as one who has had lessons!
Marie then decides to stay in Scotland longer than planned so that she may instruct Gwendolyn in how to play the harp.  She feels that Gwendolyn will bloom and blossom with instruction.
Marie then meets a local pastor, Iain.  They begin to talk of life, music and spiritual lessons.  Iain explains that anyone can have a personal relationship with Jesus.  This is the first that Marie has ever heard of a relationship with Jesus.  
Marie's love for music and her gift in expressing herself through her playing becomes a gift in this small town.  Marie begins to fill alive again.  She falls in love with the people who aren't afraid to tell her the truth; however, love brings some tough choices. 
Marie then is asked to play for the church and for the Duke's in the castle.  She is astounded how her life's decisions have turned her life to the fullest.
Michael Phillips brings a wonderful story of love, forgiveness and music.  I believe that I could hear the beautiful music coming from this read~ Michael Phillips, also, has a gift for describing the music, so much so, that the reader feels he is there in the room listening to beautiful notes!
If you've not read any other books by Michael Phillips then this should be your first!
*This book was provided for review by the Hachette Book Group*

About the Author:

In 1970, while students at Humboldt State University, Mike and Judy Phillips began what would become the One Way BookShop as a small, informal source of Christian books and materials for their fellow students. Over the next two decades God prospered those small beginnings, and now the bookstore is a thriving part of the Humboldt County Christian community.
Mike's first published book was about his wife's pregnancy and the birth of their twin sons. After several more nonfiction titles, Mike undertook a lifelong dream to renew the popularity of Scottish writer George MacDonald, whose teachings had been central to Mike and Judy's spiritual growth. Mike began editing some of MacDonald's lengthy novels, heavy with Scottish brogue, into shorter and more readable editions, with some of the work being done right at the bookstore counter between customers.
Through the years, God has continued to guide Mike in the production of books emphasizing strong spiritual values and unforgettable characters. In addition to being best sellers in Christian bookstores all across the country, Mike's books have been offered through several book clubs, have been translated into a number of foreign languages, and have been published in over 120 editions in all, with sales of over 3 million. Mike is today recognized as one of the Christian bookselling industry's most prolific and versatile authors.
Family is very important to Mike. He and his wife, Judy, have taught their three sons, Patrick, Robin, and Gregory, at home throughout their education. Home schooling enables the family to frequently accompany Mike in his work-related travels.
It has always been Mike's desire in his writing that all who read his books will find a closer and more real walk with God through the characters and stories. Both he and Judy enjoy responses from readers and find great encouragement from the letters they receive.

Book may be purchased HERE.

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