White, Roseanna. A Song Unheard. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2018. ISBN-13: 978-0-7642-1927-6. $15.99 USD.
What a wonderful, unique book, and perhaps even better than the prior book. While all of Roseanna White’s previous historicals have largely focused on the years leading up to the war, this one distinguishes itself even from its predecessor by the amount of historical detail we get about the early days of the war, especially its impact of the Belgian people, a story that doesn’t get talked about when looking at the history of the First World War.
At the center of it are two compelling leads. Willa was introduced in the first book, and while she could have easily been hard to like, given her stubbornness and prickly nature, White makes us root for her. And what I also loved was that she didn’t focus on having Willa reunite with either parent who abandoned her, as some other books of this type have done, as Willa has found a surrogate family that loves her in the form of Rosemary, Barclay, Pauly, and the others…and now Lukas.
Lukas is also refreshing hero to read about. I already approved of White’s choice to focus on non-aristocratic characters for this series, but with Lukas we also have a hero with a rakish past whose transformation into a more sober individual feels realistic. It can often be hard to believe that just falling in love will alter a rake’s trajectory in life, but White gives Lukas a very sympathetic transformation, affected by many factors of the environment that he was going through, and I respect that.