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Monday, March 11, 2013

"Be Still My Soul" by Joanne Bischof

This book really drew me in.  The story line is creative and unlike any book I've been presented before.  A woman (Lonnie) in the early twentieth century is forced into a "shot gun wedding" by her father after he suspects her purity has been tainted.  The twist is that Lonnie isn't some whore.  She is a young girl (17) who was nearly raped by a smooth-talking mandolin player (Gideon).  When her father catches Gideon all over Lonnie, he runs to get his shotgun.  Yet her father does not see when Lonnie pushes Gideon away.  Convinced that Lonnie and Gideon have been stealing kisses together and even intercourse, Lonnie's father pushes his daughter into a marriage.

Fearful of the man she is marrying, Lonnie has twisted emotions.  Matters become worse as Gideon--a ladies' man--is bitter than he is now tied down to one woman.  In his bitterness, he even becomes abusive towards Lonnie and plays with her emotions.  This book is so gripping, and it will pull you in.  It even made me cry at times, which is unusual for me.  The drama is intense yet plausible.  In other words, the reader doesn't often feel the story is "scripted" or that "this would never happen in real life." The story comes to life as the reader gets transplanted to a time long ago where two souls dance a dark dance of marriage.

What I also liked was how the book sometimes changed perspective.  In other words, sometimes we'd read from Lonnie's perspective, and other times we'd read from Gideon's perspective.  As the characters morph over time and pages, we see their characters morphing and their psychology progressing.  You literally feel like you are inside their heads, which is not an easy feat for an author to do.  Full of twists and turns, readers will not find this book predictable.  For those that think this book may be too depressing, I will mention that the book ends happily.  However, the suspense is clear as the happy ending is not revealed quite literally until the last few pages of the book.  I won't ruin the story for you by telling you all the details, but rest assured this is a book you don't want to pass up.  

Also, I wanted to quickly mention that I had an advanced reading copy to review.  I found no grammatical errors.

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