Rhe’s Bookshelf – Be Still My Soul

Hi everyone.  It is time for another review from the bookshelf here at Cammo Style Love.  This time I am reading another Christian novel.  I’ve not read too many Christian novels, not since my days of reading Mandie (which btw if you’re looking for a great kids series these are amazing!), but I decided to give them a shot.  As I’m writing this review I’m still a little bit torn about how I feel about this book.  It’s written well and there is a very deep and emotional story.  However I ended up being slightly conflicted when all was said and done.  Before I get into that, let me give you a run down of the book.

“Night’s chill tickled her skin. Lonnie pressed her hands together and glanced up. He was even more handsome up close. Having grown up the shy, awkward daughter of Joel Sawyer, she’d hardly spoken to any boy, let alone the one who had mothers whispering warnings in their daughter’s ears and fathers loading shotguns.

Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith.  But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate. 

Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing  Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.

Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life.  What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?

I received this book as a before sale, unedited, preview copy, which was a first for me.  Kinda cool and very exciting!  It is slated for release October 2012.

How I felt after reading the book changed once I started to actually think about what I was going to write down.  When taken apart, some of the details take new form.  I don’t particularly want to ruin the book that might want to read it later, but I have issue with this description.  Reading this you see the phrase, “steals a kiss”.  In the book it actually plays out more like he’s trying to take advantage of her, and later on in the book appears to be “accidentally” abusive.  Although I’m not really sure how accidental it really is.  You could argue that the physical part might have been but the way he treated her was horrid.   The story line moved very quickly, and while I get that for movies..but in books you have the ability to pass implied time.  This wasn’t really the case and I would have appreciated that a little bit.  The author did a marvelous job discussing the realities of abusive households, and the ability of God to change people, and in showing that Faith is an amazing thing.  I realize that the time in which this book takes place is different then present day.  Things were done differently and the honor of family wasn’t something to be trifled with.  Arranged marriages happened all the time and women had nothing to say in the matter.  People had to learn to be in love.  I understand all of that.  Even still I wish it had been arranged a bit better in order to make the reader more comfortable with it.  It did end happy and well, and there was some romance to it.  God can conquer all.  Love is a powerful thing. 

It’s not a terrible book, but its not the best book.  There is much to be learned about this time in history and how life was back then.  Its a strong testament to faith and how it can change anyone.  Although I feel that for many people it may be too hard to separate some of the things that occur in the book from the world we live in now, compared to then.  A portion of the author’s audience may be lost as a result.

I give it 2 1/2 out of 5 stars

 I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  I was not compensated in any other way for a positive review.  My opinions are my own, take ’em or leave ’em

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