That said, Echo pulled me in from its enchanting beginning to its tightly wrapped conclusion. But it is all the parts in the middle that kept me reading. This book is a thick one, heavy to hold, but Author Ryan masterfully weaves three stories into its pages (really four stories).
The thing is: just when you attach yourself to a character, he or she goes away. Each of the three major storylines lures the reader to the precipice and then stops. Stops! Just when the reader is at the edge of his seat, just when all is about to be lost or gained, this thing screeches to a complete stop, and the next story begins. The reader is forced to put faith in the author that each cliffhanger will be resolved in the end.
From the author's discussion guide:
Otto’s extraordinary encounter the day he is lost in a forbidden forest involves him in a strange destiny—a quest given to him by three mysterious sisters, a prophecy, and a very special harmonica. Many years later, the lives of three young people become entwined with that same harmonica. Friedrich must find a way to escape with his father from the growing menace of Nazi Germany, but how can they do that when things are getting more dangerous every day? Mike is desperate to find a better place for himself and his younger brother than the orphanage where they live near Philadelphia, but perhaps the solution, when it comes, is too good to be true. Ivy longs for her migrant family to have a permanent home in the farming country of California, but does it have to be at the expense of another family’s misfortune? What is the secret of the mysterious harmonica that comes into each of these lives, and how will it help to fulfill a promise made long before they were born?