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?"
"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.
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