Most helpful positive review
Signs and Wonders in Harmony
on April 23, 2003
I really enjoyed Signs and Wonders. I discovered Philip Gulley about a year ago, and have been hooked ever since. His Harmony series is a wonderful collection of small town ancedotes and home spun tales. The characters are true to life: you'll find a Dale Hinshaw or Sam Gardner in every town across America. His true to life stories are filled with sentiment for the easier days, and a love of God.
The only thing that really turned me off this book was Dale Hinshaw. In the previous Harmony novels, he was a likable dolt. Now, to me anyway, he seemed like a bigot. He was preaching and yelling and just not accepting anyone opinions but his own. It was annoying and by the end of the novel he really started to grate on my nerves. In Home To Harmony and Just Shy of Harmony, he was a person who always seemed to learn a lesson by the end of the novel, finally coming to understand something regarding religion and life. In Signs and Wonders, he seemed ignorant and rude and generally annoying.
Other than that it was wonderful to meet up with the characters again. I really want to see Deena meet a guy, almost as bad as the Friendly Women's Circle, and seeing Harvey accept his son's lifestyle and love him for it was nice. Gulley didn't try to press the issue of homosexuality, never saying whether it was wrong or right, but he did stress that love was important, and that was what I enjoyed. He really had a bigger lesson in this novel.
There were plenty of funny moments in the novel too: the pumpkin toss and the Furnace Committee and other moments. Overall, another great book by Gulley. I look forward to hearing more stories from the simple, welcoming town of Harmony, Indiana.