I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by CelebrateLit, NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England Book #2) by Roseanna M. White
Series: Shadows Over England #2
Published by Baker Books on January 2nd 2018
Genres: 20th Century, Christian, Fiction, Historical, Romance
Source: CelebrateLit, NetGalley
Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes 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 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.
If you remember last July when I fell in love with this series then you know why I was so anxious to get my hands on this book. Need a refresher? Check out my review of ‘A Name Unknown‘. I had high hopes with the return to the family and the mysterious Mr. V in their lives. While this book didn’t disappoint on some levels I wasn’t quite as drawn into it as I was the first in the series. I’m still all in though and ready for the next book at it’s earliest convenience.
Let’s talk about where it fell flat for me. Perhaps the first book did this and I didn’t notice it but there were a lot of choppy, fragged sentences; predominately early in the book and the again later in the book. It was a thing throughout but it eased up as the characters fell into their story. As a whole that doesn’t usually bother me. Let’s face it, if you have ever read my blog you know that I write and think that way. If you’ve ever had a real life voice conversation with me you know I talk and think that way. Sometimes a book can work with it but there are limitations. Conversations, come to mind. I also struggled with the character’s finding their vibe, so to speak. I had a hard time finding their story in the great whole and finding their motivation. Willa wasn’t as encompassing as Rosemary. She wasn’t as relate-able, she just sorta missed something. Oh the hardheaded stubbornness reminded me of her ‘sister’ but she just didn’t rise to the occasion for me. I cared about her but I never really cared for her. Lukas left me wanting a little bit more too, he didn’t feel fully fleshed out.
However… Margot really was the key to this book. Surviving in occupied Belgium, trying to hide her identity and the truth of who she was. Trying to hid her greater role. I loved how White used her to explore the idea that even the ‘bad guy’ is still a ‘human guy’. Margot struggles to understand and piece together that the German soldier that resides in their borrowed home, the very cause of her fear of being exposed for her identity, is also a father and husband and human being. I also loved that he was used to show that even in the greater evil of things there can be glimmers of compassion and even hope. Somewhere in the middle of this story I found my place with these characters, both in England and in Belgium. I have to express my regret that toward the closing of the book the dissonance I had with them at the beginning came back. I also felt like it was all just ‘too easy’. Perfectly wrapped up endings leave me lacking so much of the time, especially with a series that could be left open for the next book to close. I’m still in though, and I can’t wait to read Barclay’s story next.