Thursday, August 30, 2012

Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof

Book Description:  First time novelist Joanne Bischof shares the story of Lonnie Sawyer, giving readers a look into this shy and innocent girl’s tumultuous life.

Used to fading into the background within her family and community among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills, Lonnie’s life is in for a dramatic change.

Growing up in a poor home with an abusive father, Lonnie clings to a quiet faith and the love of her aunt. However, when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss and attempts for more, this one action seals her fate. 

Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and doesn’t 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, Virginia.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.  As Gideon finally begins to see Lonnie’s true beauty, a shadow from his past and a twist of events threaten to separate him from her forever. 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?

My Review: Be Still My Soul is a debut novel by Joanne Bischof.  
The story is about Lonnie Sawyer a sweet and pretty young lady who has grown up in a family where her abusive father rules the roost.
Lonnie's family lives high upon an Appalachian  mountain where the closet neighbors are miles away.
When Lonnie's father refuses for her mother to sing at a local gathering he insists that Lonnie sing for the people.  Lonnie is terrified at the thought but goes ahead.  Her father leaves the party giving Lonnie permission to stay behind for a little visiting.  Lonnie does so and Gideon the handsome young man who played the banjo while Lonnie sung walks her home or rather climbs a mountain with her to her cabin.  When he leaves Lonnie at the door he asks for a kiss but Lonnie, having never kissed a man before says no.  But as Gideon begins walking away she rethinks that small requests and call so Gideon.  She tells him. "You can kiss me goodnight if you want. If you want to."  Big Mistake!  Gideon wants more and Lonnie literally has to fight him off.  Her pa finds out that Gideon walked her home instead of Oliver and comes unglued.  Pa figures the "worst" happened and that Lonnie is "soiled."  Pa insists that Gideon marry Lonnie.  
Poor Lonnie!  Somewhere between a mother who is an enabler and a pa who is abusive she clings to her faith.  But now her faith must be even stronger as she must marry Gideon.  Gideon marries Lonnie and for all his gruff he actually seems to care for Lonnie.
Actually, Gideon has a hard time at his own home and once he marries Lonnie he sees this as an opportunity to leave and begin his own life with Lonnie.
An interesting fast paced read that is filled with faith and grace.
*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah Books*
Meet 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 for more!

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