‘Sons of Blackbird Mountain’: A Tender Romance with Hope



Author: Joanne Bischof
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2018
Series: Blackbird Mountain, Book One
Genre: Fiction; Historical, Romance
Source: Publisher provided – thank you!
Rating: ★★★★★

SONS OF BLACKBIRD MOUNTAIN by Joanne Bischof | Book Review

THE STORY | Travelling a long way on very little, Aven makes her way to her late husband’s family home in the Appalachia Mountains. Once there, she discovers the letters she receives from her husband’s aunt are misleading. Expecting to help his aunt care for his three young cousins, instead Aven finds her long-distance friend has passed away and her husband’s cousins are a long way from being children.Sons of Blackbird Mountain

Feeling lost, Aven isn’t quite sure where she fits into this all-male world. She finds the brothers – Thor, Jorgan and the youngest, Haakon, kind and welcoming, but she struggles with feeling like she belongs.

When her presence causes a rift between brothers, Aven must rediscover her heart, and home.

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REVIEW | No matter the plot or arena, anytime I come across a new promotional webpage with a new novel by Joanne Bischof, my curiosity is stirs. Each of the novels she pens is poignant in unexplained ways. Her latest, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is no different. With its tender, thought-provoking story, the novel is easily something historical fiction fans will appreciate.
Like Joanne’s prior novels, there are mounds of layers to Sons of Blackbird Mountain. Unlike most fiction in this genre, this one features a kind of character struggle I don’t ever see. As the story unfolds, we experience the heart-stopping struggle of one man’s mental and physical pain. It’s
a really interesting characterization for more reasons than one, but beyond his personal daemons, it’s also interesting to read about a deaf character. How this story (and the entire novel) gently unveils itself is heartbreakingly beautiful.

The two-person perspective switch off is sometimes a difficult thing to read, and I’m sure to write, but the author manages this task with ease and grace. She gives each of the characters a great deal of personality though it’s Aven who tugs at the heart.

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Her story is about a woman who seeks people and a place to feel safe. Her character is a memorable, vulnerable heroine who carries the story to its completion in a manner that suits Bischof’s writing, and the “voice” readers know her by. These characters, like a seasoned reader would anticipate, work their way into our hearts and don’t let go. They’re beautiful and broken in equal parts, but it’s the jagged edges of their characterizations that make them special.

Heartbreaking in places you don’t expect and heartwarming in ways you anticipate, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a novel not to be passed over. It’s a signature Joanne Bischof novel that weaves in and out of happiness and bittersweet revelations. It’s a keeper shelf historical that keeps an invested reader, and heals the broken pieces of the beautiful souls that live in its pages. ♥

Content note: There is one “tense” moment involving a man holding a woman against her will (physically) that might rate PG13 for some readers. There’s also a tiny bit of innuendo between married couples.

Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon—whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.

Having fled the farm after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s which is already at stake through a grave illness brought to him as the first prick of warfare.

Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for. – Goodreads

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Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book; all opinions are my own.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much!! I love a good historical fiction novel if I'm in the right mood. It's great when an author can make dual POVs work!

    1. Me too, Tracy. Although historical fiction is "touch and go" for me. It has to be the right story and author, which is weird since I adore BBC period drama. :)

  2. I keep seeing good things about this book! I've never read any of the author's novels before, but I'd like to give it a try sometime. Thanks for the review! As always, it was great reading.

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