Sunday, January 5, 2014

Review of "My Hope is Found"

Rating: 4 Stars
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Review:  I found it impossible not to be drawn into the lives of Lonnie Sawyer and Gideon O'Riley in "Be Still My Soul." Joanne Bischof continued to tug on my heart strings in "Though My Heart is Torn" and the conclusion, "My Hope Is Found."  The titles themselves are lyrical; and when combined, they capture the essence of this emotional series.  After reading the first two stories of love discovered and lost, hope and promise are definitely needed for a satisfying conclusion.  Fortunately, Bischof delivers satisfaction and more in an emotionally engaging novel.  "My Hope Is Found" avoids redundancy and presents new conflicts and character growth.

Lonnie and Gideon face challenging choices of the heart, and there are multiple potential paths the plot can take.  Their journey to a happy ending mirrors the path they travel between Fancy Gap and Rocky Knob: rocky with peaks, valleys, and moments of beauty. A four-sided love story is bound to be complicated for everyone involved, especially when broken hearts are unavoidable. Bischof creates four characters who are each deserving of happiness.  Lonnie and Toby develop a sweet relationship and Toby continuously proves that he is a man of faith, patience, and integrity.  Despite her debut as a petulant young woman, Cassie matures into a likable young woman. Although my ultimate hope was that Lonnie and Gideon would reunite, it was a bittersweet hope, knowing that Toby and Cassie were destined for heartache. There seems to be potential for their two stories to continue and intersect, which would be a fitting spin-off from the "Cadence of Grace."

Throughout the series Gideon undergoes a significant transformation, finally becoming a man of greater faith and character.  Lonnie and Gideon have the chance to fall in love a second time in "My Hope is Found." Because Gideon has changed a great deal from the impetuous young man he was when he and Lonnie first married, their second love story is new and fresh.  Even sweeter too, considering their history and the pain experienced along the way.

Joanne Bischof gives readers a compelling series told with realism and a melody of hope and strength that creates a harmony throughout each novel.  "Be Still My Soul" and "My Hope Is Found" were my favorites of the series, but I highly recommend each novel and the love story that unfolds.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah. 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.

Summary from WaterBrook Multnomah: Gideon O’Riley has been given another chance at a life with Lonnie. But will the fight for her heart risk it all over again?

After finally finding love with his sweet bride Lonnie, Gideon’s heart was torn when a woman from his past claimed to be his true and rightful wife, forcing him away from his family. God’s merciful hand saw Gideon through the heartache, and with Cassie’s blessing, he is able to return home. But his journey back through the Blue Ridge Mountains will hold a trial he never anticipated.

Meanwhile, Lonnie determines to seal off her heart from Gideon, convinced he is lost to her forever. Strengthening her resolve to move on is her growing fondness for the handsome Scotsman, Toby McKee—the young reverend she has come to care for deeply. His proposal of marriage offers a bright future for her and her young son.

Yearning to allow joy back into her life, Lonnie must put aside the broken pieces of her heart that still love Gideon. When he returns to find her betrothed to another, he has to place his hope in God, trusting that the One who redeemed their love once can do it again

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