My Hope is Found (Book #3 of The Cadence of Grace series) by Joanne Bischof
My Hope is Found is the third book in the Cadence of Grace trilogy. My review of the second book in this series, Though My Heart is Torn, can be read here.. This book is best read after reading the first two books in the series, or at least the second book where Gideon and Lonnie have become close.
In book one, Gideon is a mountain man with musical talent. He is also a man who lives by his desires without restraint. He meets Lonnie Sawyer to whom he is eventually forced to marry. He does not appreciate the jewel she is until she gives birth to his son.
In book two, unforeseen circumstances tear Lonnie and Gideon apart just as their relationship is blossoming and growing. Gideon finds himself married to another woman and Lonnie is now a single mom with an infant. She returns to live with Jebediah and Elsie, an elderly couple who own a farm. In the ensuing months, she forces herself to move on at least outwardly. A young Scottish pastor comes visiting and they become good friends. But he wants to be more than friends.
In book three, Gideon returns to Lonnie after his wife releases him. However, because of legal entanglements, he is still married and not free to win Lonnie back. Instead, he is forced to watch as Lonnie is courted by another man, one whom he considers to be better for her than himself. Gideon has much more to learn about life, loving, and forgiveness, however. Can he learn to accept his limitations, place Lonnie’s welfare before his own, and lean on God for the peace he so desperately needs?
Author Joanne Bischof is one of the best authors I have read this year for writing soul stirring character-driven Christian fiction. Her ability to grasp deep inner conflict and flesh it out to grab the reader’s heart and shake it up amazes me. The reader can’t help but be touched by the depths of such conflicts and even apply the lessons learned to their own struggles.
The author writes in such a way as to draw our respect for Gideon in his turmoil. I have read many books where the author fails to rally their readers around a character while they quake in their weaknesses. Too often, the character loses the reader’s empathy at that point. But in this series, I saw the author present a truly unlikeable person and redeem him until he becomes personable–even a good man. Then she shoves him into the fire and demonstrates how, by the Grace of God, he is transformed into a great man. There are no surprises or abrupt unexplained changes of heart. The reader can follow this transformation step by step. In a sense, I felt as if I were a friend accompanying Gideon on his journey. I didn’t have to be told that he was making good; I could see it for myself. That is talented writing.
Ms. Bischof also increases the tension by allowing Lonnie’s new suitor to be a believable and attractive person whom the reader believes could be a wonderful father for Jason, Lonnie’s son, a great brother-in-law for Addie, and a help to Jebediah and Elsie.
Be sure to have a box of tissues with you as you read this book. And if you are anything like me, you are going to love the ending scenes of this series. I highly recommend not only the book, but the entire series to those who enjoy great storytelling and character development.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Blogging for Books, a service of Waterbrook Multnomah Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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