Book Review (+Giveaway!): Sons of Blackbird Mountain

16 Jul

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About the Book

sons of blackbird mountain

Title: Sons of Blackbird Mountain

Author: Joanne Bischof

Genre: Historical Romance

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?

A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Bischof JoanneJOANNE BISCHOF is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children. Visit her online at, Facebook: Author, JoanneBischof, Instagram: @JoanneBischof.


My Impressions:

Sons of Blackbird Pond will go down as one of the best books I have read in 2018. The world of the late 1800s Appalachia comes alive in this beautifully written and richly detailed novel. This one really made an impression on me — I will be thinking about it for a long time. It gets the very rare very highly recommended rating from me.

Bischof has done her homework. The setting of the novel is an apple farm and cidery in the mountains of Virginia. This reader could almost smell the rich aromas of apples, cider, and woodsmoke. Vividly told with a wealth of historic detail, the novel explores the family dynamics and the community relationships of the Norgaard family. Former slaves and plantation owners are part of the mix, and Bischof presents an unvarnished narrative of those tensions. Of Norwegian heritage and the sons of immigrants, the three Norgaard brothers work together to make a life that is in many ways very fulfilling, but in others, especially for Thor and Haakon, lacks the essentials of what brings joy. A love triangle develops between these two and the widowed wife of a cousin who arrives on their doorstep from Norway. Her presence is a welcome addition to the family, yet brings to a head the complex rivalry of the two brothers. Characterization is strong. The characters’ flaws make them so very real, and I couldn’t help loving them like family too. One theme of the novel is the need to be heard and is poignantly portrayed by Thor who has been deaf from birth. The silence that he endures is a good representation of all who struggle to be heard by men and by God.

While the novel at times takes a dark turn, the overall story is one of hope. Sons of Blackbird Mountain is just the first book in the series, and I look forward to revisiting the Norgaards in Daughters of Northern Shores due out next March. In the meantime, I may have to schedule a re-reading; this one deserves to be savored again and again. Also, I know you’ll want to talk about this book, so grab some friends to read it together.

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit and Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)





Guest Video from Joanne Bischof

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, July 5

Carpe Diem, July 5


All-of-a-kind Mom, July 6

The Power of Words, July 6

Among the Reads, July 6

Fiction Aficionado, July 7

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 7

A Baker’s Perspective, July 7

History, Mystery & Faith, July 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, July 8

Luv’N Lambert Life, July 8

Cordially Barbara, July 9

Kathleen Denly, July 9

Reading Is My SuperPower, July 9

Faithfully Bookish, July 10

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, July 10

Simple Harvest Reads, July 10 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Novels corner, July 11

Inklings and notions, July 11

Just Commonly, July 11

Two Points of Interest, July 11

Maureen’s Musings, July 12

Book by Book, July 12

To Everything A Season, July 12

Inspiration Clothesline, July 13

With a Joyful Noise, July 13

Pause for Tales, July 13

Radiant Light, July 13

The Christian Fiction Girl, July 14

Remembrancy, July 14

proud to be an autism mom, July 14

Just the Write Escape, July 15

Bibliophile Reviews, July 15

Vicky sluiter, July 15

By The Book, July 16

Texas Book-aholic, July 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 16

Janices book reviews, July 17

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 17

Bigreadersite, July 17

Connie’s History Classroom, July 18

amandainpa, July 18

Seasons of Opportunities, July 18

Reader’s cozy corner, July 18



To celebrate her tour, Joanne is giving away:

Grand prize of a country crate, a jar of apple butter, a bag of gummy berries, journal, bath salts, honey spoons, copper earrings, and a blackbird sign!!

Click the link to enter.

9 Responses to “Book Review (+Giveaway!): Sons of Blackbird Mountain”

  1. susiesellnergmailcom July 16, 2018 at 4:10 am #

    Everyone wants to be loved, so I can imagine the brothers desiring Aven’s affection and love. I’m eager to read this book. Since I grew up in Virginia, the setting appeals to me as well.

  2. Raechel July 16, 2018 at 6:31 am #

    Thank you for sharing your review! I can’t wait to read this book. 🙂

  3. bellesmoma16 July 16, 2018 at 11:00 am #

    Great review! I, too, felt this is one of the best of 2018!!!

    • rbclibrary July 16, 2018 at 4:28 pm #

      Thx! It’s going to be hard to beat.

  4. Jessica Baker July 16, 2018 at 1:32 pm #

    This was such a fantastic book!!!

  5. Carrie July 16, 2018 at 2:47 pm #

    Excellent review, my friend! 🙂

    • rbclibrary July 16, 2018 at 4:27 pm #


  6. Chanel M. July 19, 2018 at 11:01 pm #

    Great review! I think everyone is unanimous in saying this is one of the best of 2018. I love reading about the themes, setting and complex yet authentic characters the author created in her book with each review. I’ll really anxious to read this for myself.


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