About the Book
Title: Sons of Blackbird Mountain
Author: Joanne Bischof
Genre: Historical Romance
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.
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Author
JOANNE BISCHOF is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children.
Guest Video from Joanne Bischof
The Sons of Blackbird Mountain is wonderful. It’s captivating and highly engaging. I absolutely love Aven and Thor — they are such wonderfully written characters and I will miss them as I move on to my next read. I especially love the subordinate characters in this novel — Ida, Cora, Al, Georgie, Tess, Jorgan, Haakon — because together they create such a wonderful and unique family. Truly, The Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a really great book.
Addiction is a mean beast, and Mrs. Bischof did an excellent and very realistic job of portraying this in her story. Thor is a wonderful hero, but he is plagued with a terrible addiction to alcohol. I won’t tell you why he suffers from this addiction because I don’t want to ruin any part of this story, but I will say that trauma, especially trauma in the earlier years of peoples’ lives, can really wreak havoc. When trauma strikes we all have our unique ways to deal. Mine is to run away. I love to get in my car and escape. For a small amount of time, I pretend like the trauma isn’t happening. If I don’t do this, I get very overwhelmed and shut down in a way that makes me virtually useless.
Unfortunately for many, dealing with trauma means escaping through a bottle or a pill or a needle. My middle brother (I have three) began drinking when he was in his teens in high school. He mostly drank at parties on the weekend, and seemed to be your typical teenage stereotype. In his early 20s, my brother became engaged to a lovely young lady. She actually became a wonderful friend of mine, too! Unfortunately, she died in a car accident. It was absolutely devastating and it destroyed my brother. He turned to the bottle hard and became a very angry drunk. My brother is 5’10, and at that time was playing soccer like every single day. He was STRONG. When he got angry drunk he was terrifying to be around. It felt like in his worst, angriest, drunkest moments he became taller and stronger — like the Hulk. It feels this way with Thor in The Sons of Blackbird Mountain. I’m not going to lie, I had some serious flashbacks while reading this book. If Thor didn’t get clean in this novel, I would have had to put the book down for good. Mrs. Bischof’s very realistic portrayal of alcohol addiction came painfully close to home for me! BUT, I applaud her for her truth telling. I applaud her for not covering it up or making it less of a deal than it actually is.
I also applaud Mrs. Bischof for choosing to make her hero deaf. It is a unique perspective that I don’t see too often in any literature. Thor is kind, caring, honest, and hardworking, but he is also struggling and broken. I very much love his need to do the right thing, especially by Aven. This made me fall for him quite a bit! My heart broke for Thor a few times, particularly as he deals with his addiction, but also in those moments when he feels less than because of his deafness and muteness. A few times, I wanted to reach in to the book and give him a hug, tell him everything was going to be okay!
I was fascinated by the use of sign language within this story, and I had no idea about the boarding schools for deaf/mute kids. Thor’s flashbacks to his boarding school reminded me a bit of Jane Eyre and Jane’s time at Lowood Institute. Another aspect I had never considered is the frustration of nighttime to a deaf person, especially a deaf person from the late 1800s when night-time light consisted of a candle or the moon. How annoying it would be to be cut out of a conversation simply because it’s dark and you can’t see faces clearly enough to read their lips. I truly had no idea, and I appreciate that Mrs. Bischof has brought this topic to my awareness. It’s an excellent reminder that humans are not one-size-fits-all, and that we need to be a bit more mindful of what others may be going through.
The Sons of Blackbird Mountain is an exquisite story that I HIGHLY recommend. If you are looking for a novel to escape into that’s fast-paced, highly engaging, well-written, eye-opening, and poignant than The Sons of Blackbird Mountain is the book for you.
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
To celebrate her tour, Joanne is giving away:
Grand Prize: a country crate, a jar of apple butter, a bag of gummy berries, journal, bath salts, honey spoons, copper earrings, and a blackbird sign!!
Click below to enter.
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