Be Still My Soul {Review and Giveaway}

Be Still My Soul is the debut novel by Joanne Bischof, and the first in what will be her Cadence of Grace series. As the book opens, we meet Lonnie Sawyer, an almost-eighteen year old girl living with her family in the hills of Appalachia a little over a century ago. Although she does not have a boyfriend, she is forced into marriage by her father after Gideon O’Riley, a bluegrass musician and the local ladies’ man, steals a kiss one evening.

Lonnie finds herself an unwelcome addition to the O’Riley household, and it’s not long before Gideon decides they will strike out on their own to find a future somewhere else. The long journey goes from difficult to perilous, culminating in a providential encounter with an older couple who offer them not only food and shelter, but also a place to find their footing as man and wife.

This book is a story of journeys, both physical and spiritual. As Lonnie leaves her parent’s house and then even her home in Rocky Knob, she is also moving from being a girl to a woman, as well as a wife and mother. Gideon has a parallel journey, although it is filled with more twists and turns as he fights against his situation in life as well as against the call of God to surrender to His plan.

I truly enjoyed this sweet story. The Appalachian setting and dialogue rang very true, and the combination of plot action and character development seemed well-balanced. It was heartwarming to see how this older couple was put in the younger couple’s life and made up for the lack of warmth and caring from their earlier lives.

Joanne Bischof is a fresh voice in the world of inspirational, historical fiction, and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this genre of books. You can learn more about Joanne and even read the first chapter of the book at her website.

We have one copy of Be Still My Soul to share with one of you. To enter, please use the rafflecopter below to enter. We’ll announce the winner here in our book column on October 15. US residents only.

The winner of Love Anthony is Susan Pertierra, and you still have another week to enter to win Bilingual is Better.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. PinkyPlatz says

    I like the idea that the plot includes an older couple in addition to a romantic younger couple. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Merry says

    Be Still My Soul sounds different than the usual shotgun marriage stories. I like the young couple having caring mentors to teach them about life and love.

    • says

      Merry, it brings a smile to my face to hear that the story sounds a little different than other shotgun wedding stories. That’s my hope! Also, with the mentors in Lonnie and Gideon’s life…I really wanted to show that we can rarely do it on our own. :) Blessings!

  3. says


    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review “Be Still My Soul”! I absolutely enjoyed reading your thoughts as well as all of the comments from this great group! It’s such a pleasure.

    • says

      Angie, so glad you think so too! I really wanted to showcase the entanglement of heartache and hope that touches on the region of those days. I hope Be Still My Soul does it the justice it deserves. “)

  4. Cindi says

    The time period, the main characters and that this
    wonderful book is the first in a series…
    Many thanks, Cindi

  5. chris says

    I’m currently reading a book set in small towns in Kentucky/Indiana during the first half of the 20th century. I love this genre!

  6. Maryann says

    I like the setting and time in history and would also be interested in reading how the older couple mentors and is an example to this younger couple

    • says

      Maryann, it’s such a pleasure to hear what has you interested. The mentor relationship in the story was really something I wanted to bring forward and hope it encourages readers of all ages. :)

  7. Carolyn Ann Colley (Griffith, Smith) says

    the first thing that caught my eye was that this is about a girl from Appalachia, I’m an Appalachian myself. Sounds like a great book.

    • says

      Carolyn, it’s such pleasure to meet an Appalachian girl. Oh the stories, I bet you can tell :) I hope that Lonnie and Gideon’s story do honor and justice to this special region, especially to someone who grew up there.

      • Carolyn Ann Colley (Griffith, Smith) says

        Thanks Joanne, most people laugh at the way we talk around here, but that what we grew up in. You are right, with the stories from around here and most of them are true.

  8. Anita Yancey says

    The fact that the book takes place in Appalachia really interests me. I am orginally from that area myself. Thanks for having this giveaway.

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