Here's a description of the book from the author's website:
"Gideon only ever cared
Now that Lonnie is his
wife, will he ever be
worthy of her heart?
Night’s chill tickled her skin. Lonnie pressed her hands together and glanced up. He was even more handsome up close. Having grown up the shy, awkward daughter of Joel Sawyer, she’d hardly spoken to any boy, let alone the one who had mothers whispering warnings in their daughter’s ears and fathers loading shotguns.
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 a 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 yearns 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?
Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia at the turn of the last century, Be Still My Soul weaves together the threads of yearning, hope, and redemption to form a tale that I hope will touch your heart, stir your senses, and evoke a greater understanding for the majestic God who created every hue and surface of the mountains I hold so dear."
If you love a story with a mountain setting, romantic tension, and wonderful characterization, Be Still My Soul is a satisfying read! Gideon's and Lonnie's tale is one full of challenges and suffering - from costly mistakes, to arduous traveling, to the pain of giving second chances, as well as the humility required to accept them. But the end result of it all is full of hope.
While the Appalachian-mountains setting is enough to attract me (personally) to this book, the quality that sets it apart is the growth of its two main characters. It's beautiful, in an initially tragic way, to see them go from a terrible place to a place of tenderness and maturity. Certainly not an easy or quick journey!
Lonnie is a sweet, naive girl who clings to her faith and the love of her aunt and sister to get her through a difficult home life. Gideon is a boy who enjoys living in the moment - but his self-centered ways and his misconceptions about the realities of manhood are destined to get him into trouble. When these two young people are required to marry, the path before them is anything but smooth.
Lonnie and Gideon have no idea what it will take to walk together - both literally and figuratively - as a married couple. But when they reach the point where there seems to be no hope left, love and peace might just find them in unexpected and challenging ways. An inspiring story!
*With thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing me with an ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
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