“A Song Unheard” by Roseanna M. White
Book: “A Song Unheard” by Roseanna M. White
Series: Shadows Over England #2
Published by Bethany House on 2nd January, 2018
Genres: Christian fiction, Historical, Romance
Format: Paperback, 416 pages
Source: Bethany House (received for free in exchange for an honest review)
Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which make her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.
Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is in meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.
But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.
World War I is fast approaching in Shadows Over England now, and A Song Unheard puts readers amidst the terror as both a Belgium refugee and victim. I thought this aspect of the narrative interesting and what kept me reading more.
I think this book is one that, unlike its predecessor and the series pilot, must be read in full to understand the lot of everything. It’s not unlike The Possessions in that respect. However, I think this is what could make or break many readers, considering
- the saturated sphere of Lukas’s personality and plot (re: his insistence upon flirting with Willa in a way that would, today, count as harassment), and
- what has happened, at least in the States, politically in terms of feminism (re: the #MeToo movement).
Thus, I have mixed feelings as a reader. As a writer myself, I’m struggling to review this book properly without divulging spoilers, but I’ll try my best to make do with what I can and what could be conjecture to those who have not read the book (which, I surmise, is most of you, dear readers).
It can most certainly be said, since this is a romance series, the two characters mentioned in the blurb/description are end game. Thus, despite Lukas’s harassment (as previously mentioned), he and Willa wind up together. I mean, obviously. All roads lead to
Fitz romance. The full-circle effect is not especially satisfying in this story, perhaps because of the stance of the man…I have a hard time getting behind it. Maybe these two characters are meant to be together for some reason, but I couldn’t help feeling the lot of it was shallow.
Yet, there is some bit appeasement that comes of the conclusion. Could Willa do better? Probably not. She’s a thief, and she wouldn’t change if she turned her back on this man. Her romance is completely cliche, sure, and the book is not unlike a trashy romance novel (which is a total brain mess, b-t-dubbs, because it’s definitely Christian fiction). But for her, and for what her life held without him, she wasn’t going to change. She needed a man outside her family, infused in the career she could only dream of, to change into the person she would change into.
Likewise, Barclay perhaps needed this tragedy of becoming a Belgium victim himself en route to rescuing the De Wilde women.
A Song Unheard is definitely filled with the drama and action that was missing in A Name Unknown, I simply feel like the romance fell short here. However, despite my issues with the novel, I rated this book 4/5 because I think the full-circle effect better than a 3/5 review. It’s definitely better than the pilot in the places that matter most (re: the heart of the story).