cover image Sons of Blackbird Mountain

Sons of Blackbird Mountain

Joanne Bischof. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-71809-910-7

Bischof (The Lady and the Lionheart) transports readers to late 19th-century Appalachian Virginia in this moving historical romance. Aven Norgaard was 17 years old when she escaped her Irish workhouse by marrying a Norwegian man she had never met. Four years later, she is a widow—her one lifeline is her late husband’s aunt who invited her to America. After making the perilous journey across the Atlantic, she discovers that the aunt has died, and only her late husband’s cousins remain: Jorgan, Thor (a deaf man who reads lips and communicates via sign and writing), and Haakon. Little does Aven know that Thor has been intrigued by her ever since he received his cousin’s wedding photo. While she wants to be kind to Thor because of his ailment, Aven lost her husband to alcoholism, so Thor’s own addiction to the bottle makes her wary. Jorgan, the oldest, is engaged, but the younger two brothers expand their long-standing sibling rivalry by vying for Aven’s affection. In order to win the devout Aven over, Thor decides to battle his addiction by turning to God, a difficult task for a man whose family business is making hard cider. With fine historical details and stark prose that fits the story, Bischof skillfully weaves a tale of love and redemption in rough Appalachia. (July)