Sunday, February 3, 2013

My Review of Though My Heart is Torn

Here's a description of the book from Waterbrook Multnomah:

"Gideon O’Riley has two wives—but he doesn’t know it.

Settling into a simple life in the majestic Blue Ridge mountains, Lonnie and Gideon O’Riley have finally found happiness after the rocky start to their marriage. The roguish bluegrass musician has fallen in love with his gentle wife and the God she serves, and Lonnie rests secure in his tenderness for her and their young son. A heartless ruse interupts their peace, bringing them back to Rocky Knob—and forces them to face the claims of Cassie Allan, a woman who says she is Gideon’s rightful wife.

As Gideon wades into the depths of his past choices, Lonnie is stunned by the revelations. She has no choice but to navigate this new path, knowing that surviving the devastating blow will take every ounce of strength she has.

While Gideon’s guilt and his bitterness towards Cassie threatens to burn up his fledgling faith, Lonnie wrestles to find the courage to trust the God who brought them together in the first place. Will their hard-earned love be able to conquer all?

Lonnie only wanted her husband’s love. Now that he belongs to another, can she surrender Gideon to a God with a bigger plan?"

My Rating

Spring

My Review

"The Cadence of Grace" series continues with more of its beautiful but isolated setting, and even more relational hardships, in Though My Heart is Torn. The title is certainly apt, as my heart was torn for various reasons over and over again as I read this sequel to Gideon and Lonnie's story (begun in Be Still My Soul).

Bischof sets the scenes with simple, yet simply lovely, descriptions of the mountains and the weather and the characters' homes. But as rough as each of those might be in turn, the truly rugged nature of this book comes in its main focus - the drama of secrets unfolding and desires being denied.

For some, this story might be a little much. Hope is scattered amid the anger and the sorrow and the loss and the heartache, but it is often overwhelmed by the latter feelings. There are many poignant scenes, yet I think the volume of them at times keeps the pace rather slow and the mind too shocked to let everything sink into the heart.

What Gideon and Lonnie (and others!) go through is utterly frustrating and painful, and I was surprised that I didn't cry more, because I definitely felt like I ought to! (It might just have been my mood, though!) At one reunion scene I did shed a tear - the secondary characters are, in general, wonderfully depicted, and that scene involving one of them touched my heart.

Even though the way this story is rounded out defines this as the middle book in the series, with another installment to follow, I still was blessed by the way the characters are given such depth. I love the understanding and the compassion Bischof's stories foster, despite the emotional whirlwind the reader has to endure!

When all is said and done, at the conclusion of Though My Heart is Torn I was left with curiosity and a big sense of trepidation at how this story will continue. I'm concerned for the characters, and my heart is torn between the possibilities. If you loved Be Still My Soul or if you are touched by the perseverance and faith of well-drawn characters through trials, consider trying out this sequel. But be prepared to endure distressing situations and the wait for the third book!

*With thanks to the author for providing me with an ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Note: This book will be released April 2, 2013.

Would you consider ranking my review? Thank you!

10 comments:

Julie said...

I rated it for you Amber. This is definitely not a book for me LOL! I don't like a lot of drama and if things are left up in the air then it is even worse. Ack! So question: Were you ever tempted to read the end of the book just to find out how it all turns out? Confession: I do that a lot when I can't stand the tension! I know it is horrible but I need to find out if it is all worth reading! I need the "happily ever after" :)

Linda Maendel said...

Amber, your reviews are always thorough and insightful! Keep up the good work!

Amber S. said...

Julie,

Thank you! Yes, there is a lot of drama in this book...but the characterization is quite beautiful! Have you read the first book? I'm not sure how the third book is going to be, but maybe it will help to read all 3 when they're all available?

As to your question, I'm generally not tempted to skip to the end... I do, however, sometimes skip ahead and skim through upcoming chapters to either decide whether I want to keep reading at that time or to assure myself that more romance/excitement is coming, LOL! It's quite a bad habit, and I really shouldn't do it! Unless it's a book I've decided not to read all the way through, I still have to go back and read up to the point I skipped ahead to, so why do I do it? *sigh*

I recall author Michelle Griep mentioning that she skipped to the end of a certain book to make sure things came out the way she hoped they would, so you're definitely not alone! I generally like to keep the suspense/surprise until the end, but if I start skipping too far in my quest for excitement, I can be in trouble... ;)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Linda,

Aww, thank you so much! I really appreciate your encouraging words. :)

~Amber

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

LOLOL I'm so glad to know I'm not the only person who reads the ending first, I do it all the time. This series sounds so good, I've been reading about it everywhere, I soooo need more days in the week so I can read all the books I want to read!

Thanks so much for the review!

xoxo,
Renee C.

Amber S. said...

Renee,

It's always nice to know we're not alone. :) Joanne has a lovely writing style - I would be curious to see your thoughts on the series! And I know what you mean... So many books, so little time!

Thank you for stopping by and reading my review! :)

~Amber

Bluerose said...

Great review! I'm thinking I'm just a bit to emotional for this series.

I'm smiling that so many people read to the end first! ;) I can never do it(maybe once or twice, in case I'm forgetting an instance). I do know someone at my church that ALWAYS reads the ending first. :)

Amber S. said...

Bluerose,

Thank you! It is definitely an emotional series... I'm really curious how Joanne is going to wrap it all up in the third book!

And yes, it's so interesting to hear about people's reading habits! ;)

Glad you stopped by!

~Amber

Rachelle Rea said...

I'm in the middle of this one now, too, and I agree with you that it is deep...yet lovely. :) I love this author. :)

Amber S. said...

Rachelle,

I love Joanne's writing, as well! :)

Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!

~Amber