FICTION

When Silence Sings

Bethany House. Nov. 2019. 352p. ISBN 9780764234842. $29.99; pap. ISBN 9780764234002. $15.99. CF
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Struggles, drama, and local flavor abound in this novel by Thomas (The Sound of Rain). A gentle telling reminiscent of the legendary war between the Hatfields and McCoys, it takes place in the Appalachian town of Thurmond, WV, in 1930, where the Harpe and McLean families are feuding. Colman Harpe, an aspiring young preacher, is trying to break free from the violent choices of his people with little success. His cousin is gunned down by the McLeans, and God tells him to preach to his enemies. Colman resists but soon is sick and caught in McLean territory, tended to by a local outcast. Thomas unfolds a great story line with facts that can only come from extended research. Characters draw in readers, begging them to take a position and choose which side of the line they will stand. After finishing the novel, readers will be questioning their own family values and what they know to be true.
VERDICT Fans of historical Southern fiction will be drawn to this title, as will readers of Lisa Wingate and Karen Witemeyer. The author’s followers will find this latest offering comparable to her previous work.

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