Monday, September 3, 2012

Review of "Be Still My Soul" by Joanne Bischof

Rating: 4 Stars
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Summary from Waterbrook Multnomah: Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith.  But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate.  

Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing  Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.

Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life.  What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?

Gideon only ever cared about himself. Now that Lonnie is his wife, will he ever be worthy of her heart?

Click HERE for more information.

Review: Be Still My Soul is a strong beginning to Joanne Bischof''s The Cadence of Grace Series.  Bischof avoids a cliche plot and creates a love story that is a blend of both pain and gentleness. The balance results in a story that is hard to put down.  The Appalachian Mountains form a scenic backdrop, harboring unexpected dangers, but also unexpected blessings that transform the lives of both Lonnie and Gideon.

Lonnie and Gideon have vastly different personalities, and their relationship struggles add interest, heartbreak, and depth to the plot.  Lonnie is a very endearing character, as gentle as the fog rolling between the mountains. She exemplifies quiet faith and strength. It is easy to sympathize with her plight as her life takes unexpected paths.  Gideon begins as a much less likable character, and his growth throughout the novel provides extra depth.  From the beginning, Gideon is an untamed, self-centered young man who is more focused on his own desires, regardless of their expense to others.  His disregard for Lonnie after their marriage is painful to observe, but makes Gideon's slow transformation much more meaningful.  In the last 20 pages of Be Still My Soul, I questioned if the novel would have a resolution.  Fortunately it does, but I was expecting a bit more. After the number of difficulties they have already faced in their short marriage, a strong current of hope and happiness is just beginning to flow in the last pages. I hope to see more of Gideon and Lonnie in the next novel, Though My Heart is Torn.

Click HERE to read chapter one.

About the Author: Married to her first sweetheart, Joanne Bischof lives in the mountains of Southern California where she keeps busy making messes with their home-schooled children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, writing, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life. Be Still My Soul is her first novel.  Visit Joanne's website:

I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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