By Joanne Bischof
A Tale of Family, Brotherhood, and the Healing Power of Love
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 world?
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.
(Back cover summary from Thomas Nelson)
I had the pleasure of reading an early copy of Sons of Blackbird Mountain, and absolutely fell in love with this book. At the time of writing this review, I have already read it a second time, this time, taking the time to savor the story.
Sons of Blackbird Mountain first appealed to me because of the brothers’ Norwegian heritage. One of my great-great-greats…came over on the boat from Norway, so I’ve always been fascinated with that culture. Then the fact that Thor is deaf was ultra-intriguing. I’ve taken some sign language classes, so I was curious as to how Joanne would portray this character.
This story is as sweet and tangy by turns as the cider that Thor makes, and I think the effort put into this book was just as painstaking and loving. Sons of Blackbird Mountain really took my breath away. The description of the Appalachian mountain area (where I currently live) caught the beauty of this place. The romance made my heart sing, and I didn’t want to put this book down. Ever. It’s a cruel thing for an author to make a reader want to read as fast as possible, and yet savor for as long as she can. I wondered how Joanne would portray a hearing woman and a deaf man falling in love. I didn’t need to wonder, because I feel as if I’ve fallen for Thor just as hard. 😉 His struggle with his addiction felt real, and I felt the pain along with him.
This book is at the top of my best of 2018 reads. It’s real and raw in a way that I long for in the fiction I read. I am so ecstatic that there will be a second book following this one! I don’t think my heart could take it, leaving it as it is.
About the Author
Joanne Bischof is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children. Visit her online at JoanneBischof.com; Facebook: Author, JoanneBischof; Instagram: @JoanneBischof.
(Biography from Thomas Nelson)
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.