Be Still my Soul
By Joanne Bischof
Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
(From the back cover)
About This 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.
This book is set in a time period as well as an area where the culture of the time was more backwards. Lonnie was young, innocent and just out to find romance when she allows womanizer and flirt, Gideon, to kiss her good night after walking her home. Unknown to her, her father sees the kiss, but the not the punch to the jaw that followed it.
Forced at the point of a shotgun to marry, Gideon and Lonnie are both miserable, Gideon is just a jerk. Violent, manipulative, and naively cruel, he uses Lonnie and keeps her around only because he is forced to. He believes she is only there to irritate him and sees no value in her at all, other than to be used for what he wants. Lonnie doesn’t take it sitting down though, but still, too tired to defend herself, God brings an angel of mercy into their lives to save both of them.
The author really had me pulled into the story from the beginning! I am not sure how common shotgun weddings were in that area or time period, but I would think in the culture of that area, it would make them more common. I struggled with a few facets of the book, but was glad that she basically gave him no options to continue treating her the way he did after she realized she had another option. I felt like she was so young, she really didn’t know how to handle it, which was fairly true to life. The other facet of the book I struggled with was that she got pregnant so fast and was supposedly sick already when she would have only been like barely 5 weeks pregnant. The author however, did an excellent job with the labor scene, but struggled to actually convey a good timeline of how far along she was.
Overall, the writing in this book was well written, the story was fascinating, and the culture very well conveyed.
I hesitated with the idea that abusive men can turn around, love their wives, but I think the lesson we can learn and take from this is they cannot do it on their own.
First off their wives have to step up and be ready to make boundaries and second of all, there has to be someone willing to make them accountable for what they have done and not allow it. I loved Jeb! He was the impersonation of what all abused woman dream of! A father figure with a shotgun and a willingness to make the guy pay if he doesn’t follow through! If only there were more Jeb’s in the world, I think more Lonnie’s would be saved…
I believe Gideon was redeemable because his wickedness was more of just doing what he thought was normal and right. He was not taught well by his parents on how to treat women.
So, to wrap up the world’s longest book review…. this was a worthwhile book to read, when you think about the full picture and not just as a romantic story.
“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.”