Saturday, August 10, 2013

Book Review: Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof

This review is for the first fifteen chapters of the book.

It may be due to the layout of the kindle format, but I'm having trouble working my way through this story and decided to go ahead and review it and come back to it later.

The premise-- boy and girl forced by girl's father to get married after being falsely accused of improper conduct, seemed interesting if not original, so I gave it a try, and sadly have been disappointed so far. I think the author has a great idea, but could have dug just a bit deeper and gotten a better story.

Often it's difficult to tell which perspective is being used. I'll pull an example of this from my current place in the book in chapter sixteen. Lonnie and Gideon are traveling through the forest, when a stranger levels a gun on them (parenthesis is mine).

"Her (Lonnie's) gaze lifted as high as his (the man with the gun) plaid coat, and she nodded. Fear filled Gideon's eyes, and Lonnnie felt her body relax, more grateful than she could express for the sudden change in power. Gideon swallowed."

If I'm in Lonnie's head, which I think I am, and if Lonnie's gaze is on the man's plaid coat, then how does she know that fear filled Gideon's eyes? She is looking at the man, not at Gideon. We are also given Lonnie's thoughts- she is grateful that there is a change in power from the overbearing Gideon to the man with the gun, which again makes me assume we are in Lonnie's head. But, again, how does Lonnie know that Gideon swallows unless it is a very loud swallow?
Maybe this is how the book is meant to be, but I think this has a lot to do with why I'm having trouble getting through the story-- I have a hard time knowing who's perspective I'm in, and just when I think I know, I get a piece of information that the perspective character would not have.

As for characterization, I'm sure that redeeming qualities manifest later in the story, but at this point there is nothing likable about Gideon, the male protagonist, which makes me dislike reading his scenes; however, the female protagonist, Lonnie, is likeable and her emotions are conveyed well enough that I am able to sympathize with her. Overall the character development itself is not bad.

I also have to commend the cover artist for a beautiful design, which I think was also part of what drew me to select this book (I can't help it, sometimes I do judge a book by its cover!).

I love the blogging for books program through which I received a free copy of this book, and look forward to a more enjoyable read next time! This one's just not my cup of tea!



I did eventually finish reading this book and I'm afraid my opinion is little changed. It seemed to take  a very long time to get anywhere, and when something did happen it was usually predictable. Many people seem to think highly of this book, but it just wasn't my thing.

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