Inspirational Stories of Love, Faith & Family Set in 19th Century America

Book Review — Daughters of Northern Shores

About the Book


Title: Daughters of Northern Shores
Series Info: Blackbird Mountain #2
Author: Joanne Bischof
Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Book Info: Paperback & ebook, 368 pages, released March 12, 2019 by Thomas Nelson


Heartache and regret, boldness and sacrifice. What will restoration cost the beloved Norgaard family?

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 Haaken 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.

From Christy Award–winning author Joanne Bischof comes Daughters of Northern Shores: the highly anticipated sequel to her moving novel Sons of Blackbird Mountain.


My Thoughts

It’s been way too long since I’ve finished a book that has left me as satisfied as Daughters of Northern Shores or one that made my writers heart cry out to the Lord wishing I could weave words as well as the author whose story I’d just finished. Daughters of Northern Shores is all that and more.

I’ll begin by stating that just like my last review, I hadn’t read the first installment in the series, Sons of Blackbird Mountain. That is a tragedy I intend to soon rectify. While you can easily pick up and enjoy Daughters of Northern Shores as a stand alone, I don’t recommend it. Not because you won’t be able to understand the plot or will struggle to familiarize yourself with the characters, but because I’m positive you will have cheated yourself out of a profoundly amazing reading experience.

I was completely enthralled with Bischoff’s characters. From the hearing impaired, Thor, to his younger brother, Haakon, the prodigal who has returned home seeking forgiveness and a new start with the family he left behind. I’ve never read a story with a deaf main character and wondered how that would work since he had no spoken dialogue. I have to say, Thor captured my heart with his wisdom, spiritual strength, and devoted heart for Aven. I was immediately drawn to Haakon and his courage to return home and face the mistakes he’d made and right the wrongs he’d committed against his family members. Nothing like a bad boy who turns his life around to win this romance reader’s heart.

The women in this story don’t take a back seat either. Aven, Thor’s wife, is as gentle as they come, yet she possesses a determined spirit that serves her well as she faces many challenges, including a contagious illness that threatens her unborn child. Ida and Cora, freedwomen who live on the Norgaard property, display profound courage when monstrous evil returns and places everyone on the Norgaard’s farm in imminent danger. It is Cora’s deep faith and her willingness to speak boldly that steers Haakon back to his faith

Daughters of Northern Shores is so well-written that the Norgaard’s Appalachian farm comes to life with beautiful descriptions the reader can see and smell vividly. Filled with the type of rich historical details, my history-loving, nerd girl heart was filled to the brim. The author’s beautiful prose sing like the melody of a well-written symphony and will leave you desperately wanting more from this writer and the story world she has created for us.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a favorable review. All opinions are my own.


Spiritual Takeaway

I loved that Daughters of Northern Shores explored themes of forgiveness and grace. The prodigal Haakon encounters the consequences of breaking his brothers trust when he returns. While surprised to see him again after four years with no word of his whereabouts, all are cautiously optimistic and hope his arrival signals Haakon’s willingness to restore bonds with the family, not merely to collect his inheritance, a small plot of land on the Norgaard farm.

I like that Bischoff didn’t make the family too eager to welcome Haakon into their good graces, but instead made him earn their trust. Forgiveness and trust are not one in the same. As believers we are encouraged to give forgiveness as freely as Christ has given it to us, whether or not the offender seeks it or changes their behavior. It is an act of obedience between the believer and God. Trust however is earned over time through altered behavior and a determination by the offender to change their attitude and actions. Bischoff writes a beautifully believable transformation in Haakon, one that both the family and the reader can embrace as authentic.


Links for Purchase

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Other Books in the Series

Title: Sons of Blackbird Mountain
Series Info: Blackbird Mountain #1
Author: Joanne Bischof
Genre: Historical Romance

Book Info: Paperback & ebook, 339 pages, released July 3rd, 2018 by Thomas Nelson

From the bestselling award-winning author of The Lady and the Lionheart

“Beloved author Joanne Bischof doesn’t disappoint with her latest beautifully written, heartrending tale . . . a quick favorite for historical romance readers.” —Elizabeth Byler Younts, author of The Solace of Water

A Tale of Family, Brotherhood, and the Healing Power of Love

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.

Praise for Sons of Blackbird Mountain:

“Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a quiet gem of a historical romance. Refreshingly real and honest in its depiction of flawed but lovable individuals, it introduces characters readers will want to meet again.” – CBA Market

“. . . the novel provides an interesting glimpse of the time period and some complex social issues among neighbors in an area still recovering from the Civil War.” – Historical Novels Review

“VERDICT Christy- and Carol Award-winning author Bischof (The Lady and the Lionheart) creates endearing characters and a heartwarming story line in this unforgettable novel about the power of family, love, and the true meaning of home. Fans of Kristy Cambron, Julie Klassen, and Susan Meissner will love this one.” – Library Journal

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About the Author

Joanne 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.

Picture courtesy of https://joannebischof.com

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Giveaway

One winner will receive a print copy of DAUGHTERS OF NORTHERN SHORES and a Thomas Nelson/Zondervan custom tote bag (book and bag shown are examples, not actual prize)

US only

Ends March 20, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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3 Comments

  1. Joan Arning

    Love Appalachians! I definitely want to read this book!

    • romancinghistory

      It really is a wonderful read, Joan. Come back and let me know what you think when you’re done!

  2. Kathy Bailey

    Oh Kelly this looks good, think I’ll check it out. I love a saga!
    Kathy Bailey

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