Friday, September 23, 2011

HEATHER SONG by Michael Phillips

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Heather Song

FaithWords (September 19, 2011)

***Special thanks to Sarah Reck, Web Publicist | FaithWords & Center Street | Hachette Book Group, for sending me a review copy.***


Michael Phillips has been writing in the Christian marketplace for 30 years. All told, he has written, co-written, and edited some 110 books. Phillips and his wife live in the U.S., and make their second home in Scotland.

Visit the author's website.


Newly married, Marie and Alaster Reidhaven's life seems idyllic. But things start to fall apart when the Duke's sister's curses and spells start to plague them. Alaster dies and again Marie is widowed. Marie returns to Canada to visit her dying father. The reunion is tender and healing for them both.

Unexpectedly months later, Marie is astonished to learn that back in Scotland, her deceased husband Alaster never signed their pre-nup and had instead undertaken the legalities necessary to insure his estate would indeed go to Marie. Olivia is furious and full of threats and attempts to kill Marie and then disappears. Marie inherits and again assumes the title and role of duchess.

But now the other half of her former "love triangle" bubbles up from out of her past. Marie and Grahm begin seeing each other "as friends" awaiting God's leading.

Olivia reappears and again tries to kill Marie. Olivia eventually dies of cancer, unrepentant. The Reidhaven family line is at an end, the legacy of their memory to be carried forward by Marie who loved, in the end, all of them.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: FaithWords (September 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446567728
ISBN-13: 978-0446567725


And Now Our Review:
After reading Angel Harp by Michael Phillips, I was eager to read Heather Song. I have a personal interest in Scotland and enjoy novels about that country. I also looked forward to continuing the story of Marie Buchan who falls in love with two men in Scotland and is unable to decide between them.

However, I feel compelled to bring up something that bothered me a great deal. I was shocked by some of the blatant prejudices in Mr. Phillip’s book. In one scene an evil witch pulls out a Rosary. I found this type of subtle anti-Catholicism very offensive. It’s not only unnecessary to the book, the innuendos against the Catholic Church are upsetting.

Overlooking that, I continued reading. Later, Phillips has a former preacher, Iain Barclay, climb onto his soapbox and rant against both Catholic priests and Evangelical pastors. Passing off hateful diatribes as dialog reveals the uglier side of so-called Christian fiction. How would such techniques be viewed if the writer were a member of the KKK and his target was the black race? If Mr. Phillips has issues with certain branches of Christianity he needs to find an appropriate venue and concentrate on developing his characters and plot when writing fiction.

The theme of this book purports to be forgiveness, and indeed the main character, Marie Buchan’s forgiveness and new awareness of her father just before his death is credible. However, late in the book Phillips reveals that one of the characters witnessed his wife’s murder, and as she died she told him the same person also killed their daughter. The character never reports what he saw, or what he knows because God told him, “Vengeance is mine.” What reasonable person allows a dangerous person to harm others rather than report them to the authorities? This illustrates circumstances arranged to make a specific point regardless of the violence done to story in the process.

Where was Mr. Phillips’ editor? They should have pointed out the inconsistencies and offensive material. They were totally unnecessary to the plot and could easily have been edited out before publication. If they had, this would be an entirely different review.
—Gail Lewis

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