Saturday, April 20, 2013

Be Still My Soul - A Book Review

From the Back: Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills.  Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith.  But when handsome ladies' man and bluegrass musician Gideon O'Riley steals and kiss, that one action seals her fate.  Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon - a man she barely knows and does not love.  Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon years for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.  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.  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?  Gideon only ever cared about himself.  Now that Lonnie is his wife, will he ever be worthy of her heart?

Synopsis:  Lonnie Sawyer is a 17 year-old girl in Appalachia who is growing up in a home with an abusive father.  Her only solace is her Aunt Sarah's house where she plans to move when she turns 18.  Gideon O'Riley is a young musician who steals a kiss from Lonnie on a walk home one night.  Lonnie's father sees and misconstrues the event.  He forces Lonnie and Gideon into a marriage neither of them want.  Leaving town to start a new life, Gideon and Lonnie set out on foot hoping to reach a town with job opportunities.  The journey proves difficult at best and at their weakest point, God steps in and provides a way out in Jebediah Bennett.  Jebediah stops Gideon before he can do something he'll regret.  Jebediah invites Gideon and Lonnie back to his home and invites them to stay a while.  They agree and settle into a tenuous relationship and routine.

My Review:  It took a little bit of time to get into this book but I'm so glad I did.  It's a sweet tale of grace and redemption.  I took an intense dislike to Gideon - he's an immature, insensitive clod who doesn't deserve someone as sweet as Lonnie.  That dislike lasted most of the book and in my opinion, that's the mark of a good author with good character development!  The Bennetts are a nice addition to the book, providing parental guidance to both Lonnie and Gideon.  The dialogue between characters seems more three-dimensional than most books - almost like watching a movie instead of reading a book.  The storyline moves along quite nicely with a healthy mix of drama and tragedy.  Bischof wraps the story nicely at the end.  This is a perfect book to lose yourself in on a rainy afternoon.

Score:  4.0 bookmarks out of 5.

Note 1:  Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review. 

Note 2:  I finished this book a couple months back but inadvertently neglected to post my review in a timely manner.

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