"In Harmony...gives a voice to the voiceless..."
The root of all madness is an unbearable truth…
At seventeen, Willow Holloway’s life was torn apart. The happy, driven girl is gone, and she is left wracked by post-traumatic stress her body remembers even if she does not. When her father suddenly uproots the family from their posh penthouse in New York City to the tiny town of Harmony, Indiana, Willow becomes more untethered and lost under the weight of her secret. On a whim, she auditions for a part in the community theater’s production of Hamlet and unexpectedly wins the role of Ophelia—the girl who is undone by madness, and her love of Hamlet…
Isaac Pearce is from the ‘wrong side of the tracks.’ The town bad boy. Girls pine for his attention and guys are in awe of him. That he’s an acting prodigy only adds to his charisma. Isaac utterly disappears into his characters; the stage is the only place he feels safe from his own traumatic home life. He wants nothing more than to escape to Broadway or Hollywood and leave Harmony behind for good.
No one can play Hamlet but Isaac, and when the director pairs him with Willow in acting class, they clash again and again—neither willing to open their hearts to anyone. But clashing leads to breaking, breaking leads to the spilling of terrible secrets, and soon Isaac and Willow find Shakespeare’s words mirroring their lives. When they are cruelly torn apart, neither know how this play will end—with madness and heartache? Or healing, love, and the discovery of who they are truly meant to be.
In Harmony is another wonderful romance from author Emma Scott. This young/new adult story was emotionally rich and skillfully written and I found myself completely blindsided by the character growth that was executed with mindful sensitivity.
Emma always incorporates the best supporting characters in addition to her protagonists. They are easy to identify with, easy to love and play a pivotal role in the growth of a main character. With Angie especially, I was so full of joy that this fictional person and relationship existed because had they been absent, there would not have been an end to Willow’s personal journey.
As the story unfolded between Willow and Issac, I was blissfully unaware of any of my adult responsibilities, such as feeding my three kids. I think they might have had applesauce and goldfish for dinner one night as I was so consumed by this love story. I thought the execution of a romance that mirrored a Shakespearean tragedy was a risky move, but one that had a huge payoff as I loved discovering the parallels between them.
I think due to the character ages, I found the sexual chemistry between Willow and Isaac a bit misaligned. This could also be due to the PTSD Willow has and the personal experience that it stems from. Maybe it was a bit of both? I can’t say for sure.
I’m so happy to recommend In Harmony and hope that you find it as fulfilling as I have.