Historical Fiction Book Review: Sons of Blackbird Mountain


Publisher's Description

"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."

My Review

Sons of Blackbird Mountain, by Joanne Bischof, is a thoroughly breathtaking novel. Ms. Bischof’s writing style is achingly beautiful, strengthened by a lyrical quality that is quietly profound. Within every word and phrase there is deep meaning and thoughtful purpose. Carefully detailed and remarkably descriptive, this is a novel to be savored and treasured.
 
Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a novel that offers a unique and touching story of loss, redemption, love, and family. Rustic cabins, apple orchards, freshwater ponds, and wooded hillsides allow the story to grow richly from the landscape of its Appalachian setting even amidst the hurt and uncertainty of life in the South in the decades following the Civil War. The well-developed characters are simply captivating and abound with authenticity and vulnerability. Their insecurities, their fears, their needs, and their desires are wholly believable, heart-wrenching, and inspiring. The opportunities, the choices, and the trials that the characters endure are intricately developed, and from them there unfolds a story that is thoroughly enriching and endearing. 

Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a novel that artfully balances hope and despair, perseverance and struggle, and faithfulness and uncertainty. With unflinching skill, the author explores raw emotions, painful experiences, and deep hurt. Yet, this journey through and beyond despair and heartache is significantly strengthened and uplifted by meaningful moments of grace and gentle reminders that hope, restoration, healing, and reconciliation are made possible through God’s mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love.

I truly cannot write enough kind thoughts about this book. As a reader, I desire to learn, to be challenged, to be comforted, to be entertained, and to be inspired. Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a book that easily fulfilled each of those desires leaving me in awe of how much Ms. Bischof was able to accomplish with written words on paper. This is a book that I will gladly share with others and reread often. It is with a full and thankful heart that I sincerely recommend this novel.

My Reflection

There are no easy solutions for the characters in this story. With honesty and humility, they struggle with the consequences of their choices, their mistakes, their expectations, and their insecurities. They fight desperately to grasp the healing and the hope that might be found within their heartbreak. But it is within that search for hope and healing that the significant themes of this novel encourage and inspire. The characters persevere. They fight for redemption and freedom. And in so doing, they become an inspiration, and their story becomes one of encouragement and hope. They show that even though life can be very hard, God’s strength, grace, and forgiveness are always available to make the process of healing and restoration possible. 
 
This novel does a beautiful job of reflecting upon the fact that God, our creator and savior, is also the ultimate restorer who so very often creates beautiful things out of the shattered fragments and damaged pieces of our lives. With unconditional love and infinite grace, he repairs and refines the broken places, redeeming them and remaking them into treasures that have purpose and value. 

I found it very uplifting and encouraging to journey with the characters in this book as they endeavored to find healing for what had been broken, forgiveness for what had been hurt, and restoration for what had been lost.

About the Author

"A Christy and Carol Award winner, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader's heartstrings. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children. Connet with her at www.joannebischof.com, on INSTAGRAM @joannebischof, and on
FACEBOOK Author, Joanne Bischo." --Biography from Joanne Bischof's author page on Amazon.com.

Click her to purchase a copy of this novel for yourself. 

*I was given a copy of this book from the publisher. A review was not required. The review I have written contains opinions that are entirely my own. 

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