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Rhea Harmsen is a scientist, novelist and author of Language of the Spirit, a volume of selected poems. Harmsen was born in a family with a black father and a white mother at a time when interracial marriage was still illegal in some states. Her parents gave her a vision of world citizenship that informs her writing and her lifestyle and has caused her to reject traditional views of race and gender. She has published on issues of gender equality and race relations, with the hope of inspiring social change. Her article “Science in the Hands of Women: Present Barriers, Future Promise” appeared in World Order in 1998 and provides the foundation for the story line for her novel The Harvest of Reason. Harmsen holds a doctorate in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently resides in Puerto Rico.
on June 28, 2011 :
Every so often a voice comes along that can interpret complex, discordant, and difficult human issues with literary talent and elegance. Rhea Harmsen is one of these. "The Harvest of Reason" is not her only work. she has many yet unpublished novels and poetry, to my knowledge. I've heard her deliver glimpses of such, at public addresses. Getting to read this novel lets me know that honest discourse about meaningful human issues is being elevated to fine art. Maya Angelou, God bless her lovely soul, has nothing on Rhea Harmsen. Keep the outstanding work coming, I for one will stand in line to buy it.
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)
on April 01, 2011 :
A real page-turner! With a soul, too! I will mention the one drawback first - I had trouble following the highly technical scientific background material. That was in the beginning. But as the story unfolds, and we meet Maddie's amazing parents and get to know all the characters better, I didn't want it to end! I am hoping there is a sequel. By the way, her beautiful, almost idyllic religion is not fictional - it really exists! But I won't give away her secret unless she does first. This is SO much more than a romance. It shows a real woman coping with racism and sexism, but not at all in a bitter way. Her heart is too big for that. Both John and Maddie were two of my favorite characters in a long time! This was a real treat! Thank you Rhea!!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)