Nora Kavanagh has lost her husband and young daughter, and now lives in fear of losing her home. She and her young son, Daniel, have only one hope for survival, the poet/patriot-and love of Nora's youth--Morgan Fitzgerald. But his dangerous involvement with a band of Irish rebels keeps him in constant danger and puts the possibility of a future for him and those he loves in jeopardy.Michael Burke, a close childhood friend of both Nora and Morgan, left his homeland for America and is now a New York City policeman. A widower with a difficult, rebellious son, he still remembers Nora with love and fondness and wants nothing more than to help her escape the cataclysmic famine and build a new life.with him.
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Customer Reviews for Song of the Silent Harp - eBook
4 StarsSong of the Silent Harp(The Emerald Balled Series Book 1) By B.J. HopeHarvest House PublishersReviewed by Diane A. BrownThe famine grew to epic proportions when the potato crops failed and failed again. Starving, sick, and weak the people of Ireland faced certain death. The roadside, strewn with bodies of young and old, was a horrid site. When hope of survival is lost where can you turn?B.J. Hope has created an unforgettable tail entwined around these perilous times. I found the descriptive writing abundant and easy to visualize. The characters are varied and work well together, creating a vivid contrast amidst the devastating life of the poverty stricken Irish. Love is the power that moves us when there is nothing left. Nora Kavanaghs losses are great, but she pushes forward with a mothers love. Determined, independent and stubborn, Nora puts her family in danger when she denies assistance from a childhood friend. Can the great Morgan Fitzgerald change her mind? The struggle to survive, again impossible odds, will touch your heart. After reading Song of the Silent Harp you will be forever changed.(The Prologue, though it contained interesting information, seemed to confuse instead of enlighten.)
Song of the Silent Harp by B.J. Hoff is the first book in the Emerald Ballard series. Nora Kavanagh is struggling to survive in the days of the Irish potato famine living in Killala in County Mayo. She's already faced the death of her husband and young daughter from the Hunger, and now her eldest son. Morgan Fitzgerald, known as the bandit, Red Wolf, has been in love with Nora since they were children, but his love for his beloved Eire has always been stronger. He's been taking care of Nora as best as he can, but when things become even more dire and they face eviction into the cold road, he tries to get her to agree to leave their home for a new life in America. Michael Burke is a police sergeant in America who grew up with Nora and Morgan. He had asked Nora to be his wife before he left, but she turned him down. Despite his marriage to the late Eileen, he still has feelings for his Irish sweetheart, and when Morgan asks him to care for her should she come to New York, he has mixed emotions about their life together. But even in Nora leaves Ireland, there is no guarantee that she and her family will arrive safely in America. Hoff easily handles the multitude of characters in various locations, and her characters are fully-fleshed and the dialogue realistic and compelling. The tension during the chase scene was incredible. As Nora, Morgan, and the rest scramble to escape Cotter and make it to the ship, I could barely breathe. Hoff is a master of writing the epic novel; there is plenty of romantic drama, suspense, faith, tragedy, and unexpected twists.
BJ Hoff is a superbly talented author. I've read her works in the past and loved them, however, I can't say that about Song of the Silent Harp. Please don't misunderstand me, by the end of the book, I was able to say that it was well written and I could that pull to the sweet characters of Nora and Michael, Daniel and Teirney, and even Evan. My problem with this story is this: it was a VERY slow start. It took me well over halfway through the book to became fully engage in the story.This story line was set during the Famine and BJ Hoff did do a wonderful job incorporating her detailed research of that time into her story. Nora, Morgan and Michael were created with personalities that flowed through the story right along with the troubles of Ireland, England and America during a difficult era in time. Kudos to BJ Hoff for her talent with that.I think is Ms. Hoff could have started the story off in a different light, with a little bit more upbeat scenes to the story, I would give it higher praises and 4 or 5 stars instead of 3. But, please, don't let my opinion stop you from checking out this well researched, deep and meaningful story. I just found it to be too slow to my liking, and I encourage those out there who don't mind a slower, deep in meaning styled book. My opinion, however, will not stop me from giving Heart of the Lonely Exile (book 2), a try!*This book was provided for review by Harvest House Publishers*
The story of The Hunger, the Irish famine of the 1800's. The author has accomplished an amazing and detailed research of the famine in Ireland. The book is laden with the visual horrors of the famine, the hopelessness, the slow dying from starvation, the indifference of the landowners, and the entitled belief of some of the English that the Irish were simply of no account and less than human. The story is of 3 friends from a poor village in Western Ireland, 2 boys and a girl. Michael leaves for America before the troubles, Morgan the poet becomes an outlaw, and Nora marries a good man and has a family but never gets over her love for Morgan. The story is of the Kavanaugh family, an old family with a special harp. The first chapter starts out with a little background when in the 1600's Eoin Kavanaugh took the family harp and escaped the Cromwell massacre at Drogheda; then it jumps to Killala in January 1847. Who will survive the famine, who will stay behind, who will marry Nora, will she make it alive to America aboard the ship that isn't what it seems. The first in The Emerald Ballad series drops one right into the middle of the Kavenaugh family tragedy of starvation, love, hate, hopelessness, and an enduring though often broken faith.