The Silent Harp
by Gilbert Morris
Category: Fiction / Historical
320 pages; ISBN: 0764227610
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
The Silent Harp
Bethany House, Oct 2004, $12.99, 320 pp.
During World War I wealthy Sharon Winslow believes she has met the love of her life, Buffalo’s Robert Tyson, while both try out for parts in an opera. Though her parents are a bit disappointed that she chose someone from the working class, they love and support Sharon’s choice. The lovebirds become engaged, but agree to hold off on marriage and the conjugal bed until he returns from the war. However, he dies in combat. Sharon falls into a deep into depression to the point that her parents worry about her mental health. She vows never to marry.
During the depression grungy Temple Smith rides into her life. Her parents and her younger brother Clayton find Temple unacceptable as an uncouth pauper, but reconsider their impression as they see he has brought back the spark of life to their beloved daughter who had not shown any vigor since her fiancé died. While Temple must overcome her pledge to his ghostly rival and her parents’ belief he is beneath her, Sharon is concerned with her family firm nearing bankruptcy.
THE SILENT HARP is an engaging first half twentieth century historical family drama that follows the exploits of the Winslow family from World War I through just before the onset of World War II. The story line mostly concentrates on Sharon, but also contains subplots involving her much younger brother Clayton as well as her parents. Although the action is limited as this is more of a character study, Gilbert Morris cleverly uses the backdrop of major events like the war to end all wars and the Great Depression to showcase a perceptive Americana tale.
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