|Be Still My Soul|
Multnomah Publishing, 2012
Reviewed by Diana Flowers
Fabulous Debut Novel!
In her debut novel, Be Still My Soul, author Joanne Bischof, takes us on a compelling, emotionally stirring journey amongst the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian Mountains -- a vividly beautiful land yielding a wealth of resources, but surrounded by poverty and simplistic living.
Lonnie Sawyer is a shy, innocent young woman, who after being physically abused by her father for years, is yearning for the day she turns eighteen and can move in with her loving Aunt Sarah. It is through Aunt Sarah that she learns of God and the beautiful scriptures that bring comfort to her lonely life. After a night of friends and family singing and playing instruments in the woods, Lonnie finds herself pressured into being escorted home in the moonlight by handsome ladies' man, Gideon O'Riley. It is a decision and a night that changes her destiny forever, and one that Lonnie lives to regret many times over.
Gideon finds himself forced into a marriage he doesn't want and feels frustrated by the sudden responsibilities thrust upon him. Yearning for a fresh start, he forces Lonnie on a long and arduous journey away from her home and everything that she is familiar with. Lonnie is almost destroyed by Gideon's callousness, but is determined to hold onto her faith through it all. But when Gideon commits an unthinkable act, will her unwavering faith be enough to forgive him? Can a couple with naught but the clothes on their backs survive in the unforgiving Appalachian hills?
I am quite taken aback by Joanne Bischof's first novel! There is definitely nothing amateurish about it! It is amazingly well written and I finished it rather quickly because I simply could not put it down. The characters were well developed and realistic, and I love the way Gideon evolves throughout the book. I simply thought him intolerable at first, but had to realize that alot of young men forced into the same situation would have reacted the same way. With a truly moving, spiritual thread throughout and a strong, heartrending plot, this one will have you literally burning the midnight oil! Very nicely done, Joanne Bischof!
I received an ARC of this novel by Mulnomah Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion.
GIVEAWAY: Your choice of one of Joanne's books! Answer the question and leave your email address to be entered in the contest.
QUESTION: Lonnie was forced to suffer serious repercussions because of an act she wasn't even guilty of committing. Has this ever happened to you?