My Review of “Be Still My Soul”
“Be Still My Soul” is Joanne Bischof’s debut novel, and first book in The Cadence of Grace series. Lonnie Sawyer of Rocky Knob was a shy, innocent sort. Her home high atop the hills of the Appalachians was a cold fearful place, living under the anger and abuse of her father. Lonnie was never very outgoing, keeping only ever to the background during the towns musical gatherings. Everything changed the day her father forced her to sing before the town during a bluegrass festival. Lonnie’s sudden appearance grabs at the attention of Gideon O’Riley, the mandolin player, and towns ladies man. Lonnie never suspected allowing Gideon to walk her home that night would forever change her fate.
When her father suspects the worse after witnessing a kiss between the two that night, Lonnie is forced into a marriage with Gideon. After Gideon makes a drastic decision to leave Rocky Knob, Lonnie finds herself on a harsh journey with a husband she barely knows. Gideon’s struggles to accept his role, and responsibilities, causing him to feel both rage and resentment toward his new wife. Having no where to go Lonnie can only cling to her silent faith, and God’s promises through His word, with hopes that God will hear her silent prayers.
When Lonnie’s prayers are answered by an unexpected encounter with an older couple, who were more then happy to welcome the two into their home, the newly weds must decide if they are going to give up their pasts and find God’s plan in their future. With two hearts torn, and their future forced upon them, can Lonnie and Gideon find it in their hearts to trust God? Joanne Bischof did a good job of bringing to life the struggles and lifestyle of those in the 1900’s. For being a debut novel I felt it was really well written and would definitely read “Though My Heart is Torn”, the second book of her series.
Though I found it slow to catch onto at first, about a quarter way through the book I found myself sacrificing precious sleep in order to learn what the next chapter had in plan for Lonnie and Gideon. Joanne did not play into the typical ‘Happily Ever After’ story line This book held so many unexpected trials and heartbreaks which, though at times it was hard to read through them, it made it more realistic. For isn’t that how it is sometimes, you long for life to deliver you that fairy tale, but instead it hands you yet another trial to overcome. Hardships are a part of life, and Lonnie and Gideon had their fair share. It’s when you put your fate in God’s hand instead of your own that you find, though maybe not a fairy tale, but happiness can be found.
-I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.