Review Request Sign up for Newsletters Tips and ideas Write for us

Follow by Email

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Book Review - Harmony By Carolyn Parkhurst

Amazon USA Amazon UK
Review by Suze
Alexandra has problems dealing with her oldest daughter, Tilly. Tilly is brilliant and socially different. Because of being on the autism spectrum Tilly goes to a special school where things aren't going very well. Tilly is now a teenager and her behavior is out of control sometimes, which means they want Alexandra to start schooling her at home. Alexandra finds someone online who can help. His name is Scott Bean, he's a man with a vision and his methods seem to work. She trusts him blindly, which is why she convinces her husband that Scott's Camp Harmony in New Hampshire is the place for them to start over.
Camp Harmony is a special camp with a daring construction. The aim of the camp is to take care of the children with special needs with several families at the same time. Being together with others who are in the same situation should help with their care. There will be attention for the siblings as well and everyone is supposed to thrive. Scott Bean's measurements can be a little bit extreme, but running a camp together might actually be fun. Alexandra thinks she's taken the right decision for both Tilly and her other daughter Iris. Will everything work out the way she planned and will the family finally be happy?
Harmony is a gripping story about an original topic and Camp Harmony immediately intrigued me. I loved the setting, a beautiful secluded site in New Hampshire. Carolyn Parkhurst describes the place in a detailed and colorful way and it was easy for me to picture this fantastic environment. I liked that she's chosen Alexandra as a narrator for the chapters about the past and Iris for the present. She has also written a few short chapters from Tilly's point of view, which are unbelievably clever. The voices are all completely different and it isn't difficult to distinguish them. It was interesting to read about the family before and after their arrival at Camp Harmony. The significant change in their lives is a turning point in many ways and I couldn't wait to find out if it would bring everything that was being promised at the start.
From the beginning it is clear that something is going to happen. There's an undercurrent of tension, which kept me on the edge of my seat. Carolyn Parkhurst writes about people in a wonderful loving and caring way, while at the same time she slowly lets things unravel. The ending surprised me and I really liked it. The amazing setting, Scott Bean's strict rules and the unexpected behavior of all the children at the camp made the story for me. Tilly's uninhibited behavior and smart remarks often put a smile on my face. She's a force to be reckoned with and I loved her from the start. Tilly is delightfully unpredictable and I loved not being able to know what to expect. Harmony is a compelling multilayered story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this fantastic book.


  1. Story about the strength of love, the bonds of family, and how you survive the unthinkable. I love that. Awesome review, thank you for posting.

  2. I do enjoy books that use different characters to narrate the story. Getting different perspectives adds to the whole scenario.

  3. I love this review. I read this book last week and completely agree, awesome book!

  4. The structure sounds very cool!