Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Sons of Blackbird Mountain - My Review

This is the first book I have read by Joanne Bischof, and it is an amazing book!  Before I even get to the end of my review, I already have to say that I recommend reading this story.  The characters are so complex and interesting, and the storyline is entrancing.  It was very difficult to put this book down, because I wanted to know what happened next in each character’s journey, which of course was a constant surprise.  This book is filled with joy, pain, sorrow, love, hate, and growth—making it an adventure equal to life, yet still takes the reader to another place and time.

Aven Norgaard makes the journey across the Atlantic from Norway to Virginia.  Her husband is gone, and she hopes to find a new home in the welcoming arms of his family in America.  Yet she truly does not know what she will find there, and indeed, what she discovers is quite different from what she expected.  Upon entering the homestead, more sorrow hits her, and she must learn to cope with more changes in her life.  Why must grief always be a part of her journey?  After being introduced to her husband’s brothers, Aven sets out to find her place.  What must she do now?  And does she have the strength to find it? 

Thor Norgaard is quite different from the rest of his brothers, but that is what makes him unique.  He might communicate differently, but he feels and understands the same as anyone else would.  He has dealt with pain, love, and loss throughout his life, yet he has had to deal with it silently.  Will anyone ever really hear him or understand the difficulties he faces?  There are so many challenges he must conquer, yet shame and regret fill his days.  He hates some of the things he has done, and he hopes that one day he will be able to make things right.

The other brothers and individuals in this book are so well written that the reader will come to understand the issues they face, and what it must have been like to live in the hills of Virginia in the late 1800’s.  As some characters try to move forward, certain characters cannot seem to forget the past, which causes strife in the county.  Will these people find a way to make life work after a war that has left them broken?  And will others be able to ask for forgiveness?  Can there really be peace between those who have been hurt beyond measure? 

If you love adventure and stories that showcase history in a relatable way, then you will love this book.  And if you have read this story, let me know in the comments below.  Happy reading! 

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to TLC Book Tours for my copy.

After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of nineteenth-century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred-acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.

But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.

As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers' longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar place?

A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.

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An ECPA Christy Award winner and an ACFW Carol Award winner, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. Joanne’s 2016 novel, THE LADY AND THE LIONHEART, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from Romantic Times Book Reviews among other critical acclaim. 
Joanne has a long-standing passion for romance and a budding fervor for theology. She is more and more awed by how wondrously the two go hand in hand. She lives in the mountains of southern California with her three children and is represented by Sandra Bishop of Transatlantic Literary Agency.
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