Harlan Singer, a harmonica-playing troubadour, shows up in the Thompson family's yard one morning. He steals their hearts with his music, and their daughter with his charm. Soon he and his fourteen-year-old bride, Sharon, are on the road, two more hobos of the Great Depression, hitchhiking and hopping freights across the Great Plains in search of ...
Harlan Singer, a harmonica-playing troubadour, shows up in the Thompson family's yard one morning. He steals their hearts with his music, and their daughter with his charm. Soon he and his fourteen-year-old bride, Sharon, are on the road, two more hobos of the Great Depression, hitchhiking and hopping freights across the Great Plains in search of an old man and the settlement of Harlan's long-standing debt. In this moving, redemptive tale inspired by Oklahoma folk heroes, Rilla Askew continues her exploration of the American story. "Harpsong" is a novel of love and loss, of adventure and renewal, and of a wayfaring orphan's search for home--all set to the sounds of Harlan's harmonica.
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Harpsong, the third novel from Rilla Askew, is another lesson in storytelling. It is not quite the masterpiece The Mercy Seat (the debut novel from 1997) proved to be, but is still one of the best I've read from 2007. I recommend Rilla Askew to everyone I know and not one of them is any less thrilled by her work than I am. Her students are blessed to be in her writing classes in Oklahoma.
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