Tuesday, May 15, 2018

People and a Place to Cheer For and Cherish | Review of Sons of Blackbird Mountain

About the Book (from Thomas Nelson)

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.

Available July 3, 2018!

My Rating


My Review

Joanne Bischof excels at creating vivid atmospheres for her stories, and the setting, scenery, and emotions in Sons of Blackbird Mountain are rich and beautiful. I loved getting to know Aven, the three Norgaard brothers, their housekeeper, and the characters who either waltz gently or march harshly in and out of the orchards. There is a sweetness to most of the interactions, and you can't help but love the characters—hardships, weaknesses, and all.

I absolutely adore autumn and apple orchards and fresh apple cider; I have such fond memories from childhood of enjoying these things. So it makes this story extra delightful to experience the season of harvest with the characters, to read depictions of the trees, the names of the apples, and the joy of that first sip of apple cider.

But mixed in with the innocent moments are difficult struggles with fear, lust, uncertainty, and addiction to hard cider. None of the characters are spared from the painful realities of life and the hate or selfishness of others. I appreciated reading about the sacrifice, the tested faith, and the wrestling with sin and sorrow.

Toward the end, I did feel like a few big events seemed to happen rather close together; it felt like a lot of emotional upheaval for the main characters to face all at once. I wonder if a little bit more time between things might have been warranted...but I suppose life sometimes works that way in both the things we choose and the ones we can't foresee.

I also would have liked a bit deeper of a glimpse into Haakon's character earlier in the story, as Thor really steals the spotlight from the beginning. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. :) His character is compelling, charming, and intriguing, and readers will love following his journey, as I did.

Sons of Blackbird Mountain is another fresh and heartfelt historical novel from an incredible author, and she's brought together people and a place to cheer for and cherish.

*With thanks to Thomas Nelson through NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*

My Reviews of Other Joanne Bischof Books...
Be Still My Soul {Cadence of Grace, Book 1}
Though My Heart Is Torn {Cadence of Grace, Book 2}
This Quiet Sky {YA historical novella}

No comments: