Title: A Song Unheard
Author: Roseanna M. White
Series: Shadows over England, book 2
Major Themes: Faith, History, Mystery, World War I
Synopsis: Sent on a mission to discover a secret code and find a way to decode it, Willa soon realizes that her job is more than just to steal a code. A whole family is at stake—is there any way she can help them?
Plot, characters, history—each one combine in this thrilling, suspenseful novel to create a gripping story. Unlike the first book in this series, A Name Unknown, it didn’t take me very long to get hooked on A Song Unheard, and I thoroughly enjoyed the premise, mystery, and spying as it slowly unwound into a tightly knitted story. Although this followed many of the “patterns” dictated by the first book, it was an intriguing take on the same overall plot arch, and I found each one perfectly done.
I loved the three different perspectives shared in this book. Each person was very unique, with their own sets of struggles and growth throughout the book. The most lovable, I think, was Margot (she earned a few laughs from me!), but I enjoyed getting to know each one—even the villains. They were pretty well-done, too.
This book brought history to life for me, and I was able to laugh and cry along with the characters. I was too happy when things were working out right. And loved the music woven into the pages. But when things got scary or sad, I was afraid for them, too, and held my breath alongside them. These characters were VERY well formed.
The mystery? Don’t get me started. It was great too.
My mom has taught me well. At this point, I’d consider myself what some people would consider a historical nut. I love history! This book brought to life a time period I’ve read few books about—England in the early stages of World War I—so that, especially, attracted me to this story and kept me engaged. Seeing the hatred of Germany—even back then!—and trying to imagine what it would have been like to be in a country overrun by enemies, or one just starting to fight what became a devastating war, was fascinating.
There were a few things that didn’t quite make it up to the “great” mark for me, what for one reason or another. One of the main things I wondered about was the relationships between Methodists and Catholics as portrayed in this book. I don’t think they would have gotten along quite as well as they were shown here—but perhaps my perspective is skewed! I also struggled a little with the romance in this, but it wasn’t bad. I know there’s a lot worse, so I’m thankful for that.
In all, what with the characters, and the plot, and the writing, and the setting…I loved A Song Unheard! Can’t wait to read the next one!
Note: I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher, and chose to share my thoughts about it.
WARNING: Someone steals something in chapter 1. There is lying in chapters 3 and 13. A man is knocked out and soldiers arrest someone in chapter 26. A man is injured and bleeding and a woman is hurt in chapter 27, and a man is shot and killed in chapter 28. A man’s past is mentioned several times, in chapter 4 and 5—hints at previous immorality, along with him longing for more. There is a kiss in chapter 11, with some of the descriptions surrounding it bordering on lust in my opinion. There’s another couple kisses in chapter 16, and again in 18 and the end of 29. The word “blast” is used repeatedly throughout the book as an exclamation, as well as “blighted” or a variant of the word, and “blazes”. There are also mentions of a curse now and then, and “drat it” is said twice in ch. 10 and 12.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults