“Sons of Blackbird Mountain” by Joanne Bischof

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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?”

Ah, this was a really lovely book. When one calls a book lovely, that does not mean there were never any painful moments in the story, but a book is lovely because it feels real and you enter into it with all your heart. That was this book!

In some ways it had the feel of a Seven Brides for Seven Brothers story which I loved! Each of the characters were original and so well portrayed. I have got to say, Jorgan was probably my favorite!

Honestly, it’s hard write a review for a book like this because it had so much depth and it’s hard to know on which part to focus. Aven’s struggle to deal with the events that had occurred in her past and not to let them cloud the present. The rivalry between a couple of the brothers, yet the love that was so evident. It was just so authentic.

Oh, and Thor’s battle to overcome alcoholism. So courageous and noble and a wonderful element of the story.

The whole arc of the story was just beautiful, and seemed to flow so naturally!

I will just mention a couple things that were slightly disappointing. One was that the author never came out strong against the evils of alcohol itself, but basically that one is to drink it in moderation. Secondly, it was hard for me to figure what the condition of the brothers actually was spiritually. They went to church once a month, and that only because their house keeper threatened mutiny if they didn’t. Yet there are times in the story where you see Thor seeking for deeper relationship with the Lord. It was just hard to know what their spiritual condition actually was.

There is also a rather disturbing scene near the end, which made me very sad, yet it is part of the story. It wasn’t super explicit, yet in some ways it wish it had been portrayed a little more vaguely.

Anyway, I feel like this review wasn’t as cohesive as I wanted it to be, but suffice it to say, such an excellent story, and I’m rating it 4 1/2 stars!

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

 

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