Daughters of Northern Shores – Joanne Bischof – Blackbird Mountain #2 – Thomas Nelson – Published 12 March 2019
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.
It was such a pleasure to return to the Norgaard family in Daughters of Northern Shores, the second book of the Sons of Blackbird Mountain series. I fell in love with Thor, Haakon and Jorgan, their close friends and the women they love in that first book. My heart had also broken a little with the tearing of both friendship, trust and brotherly bonds, so it was with relief that I could continue this wonderful story, return to this little group – some now married, others with children and more on the way – and all with healing, justice and a future to live out.
Haakon has been away from his family and home for four years. Four years of traveling has yet to fill him with the peace he is searching for, so he reluctantly decides it is time to go home and make amends for the hurt he caused. On Blackbird Mountain, Aven and Thor have started their life together. Both face looming challenges of health, while the Sorrel men return from their exile and threaten the peace and safety that had fallen on the area in their absence.
I am so very in love – with this series, with these beloved characters and with Bischof’s writing. It is so easy to fall into this story and setting with her lyrical, almost poetic phrases that are unique and so aptly capture the feel and time of the book. It makes me want to use words such as harken and beloved. It makes Daughters of Northern Shores even more romantic, adventurous and charming.
While primarily a tale of family, forgiveness, love and friendship, Daughters of Northern Shores has ample amounts of adventure, nail-biting suspense, heart-breaking scenes and moments of peace and joy. It is perfectly well rounded and simply a delight to read. I cannot recommend this series highly enough and I think it is high time I track down copies of Bischof’s other titles.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Genre: Christian historical.
Themes: Family, forgiveness, faith, love, romance, children, pregnancy, illness, hearing impairment.
Advisory: Sexual references, references to sexual relationships, rape and attempted rape. Drug and alcohol addition. Illness, injuries, Gunshot wounds, and death.
Published: 12 March 2019 by Thomas Nelson.
Format: Paperback, ebook, audiobook. 368 pages.