Be Still My Soul

Gina Hayes

1 Star

September 11, 2012

Be Still My Soul,The Cadence of Grace Series, Book 1 by Joanne Bischof. Or should we say "Cry of My Heart" as the former appears to be a remake of the latter. I really wanted to love this novel. I looked forward to it's arrival and started reading it that very night. Based on the books introduction, I anticipated a captivating, inspiring story of love developed against great odds. I was introduced to the young character of Lonnie Sawyer, a shy gentle girl who grew up with an abusive father in a cabin situated in the Appalachian Hills. I can't say what year the story takes place as I don't recall seeing this information given by the author. My best guess would be some time early in the 20th century. The plot of the story is that young Lonnie is forced, by her father, to marry Gideon, a local young man whom she barely knows, after the father sees Gideon kiss Lonnie, walking her home from a community event late one evening. The story starts out strong. The author gives interesting detail that helps draw the reader into the story. I was captivated for about the first seven chapters, despite finding it a little hard to believe Gideon's father was such a weak character that he would allow his son to be forced into a marriage where there was nothing to substantiate the young woman or her reputation had been "soiled", as her father claimed. Nevertheless, at that point, I was still hopeful for a good story, so I didn't dwell on that detail. Starting with chapter eight, however, the author started losing me. The premise for the story had been set and from this point on it seemed to me like the author ran out of momentum. I started to notice a choppiness in the writing combined with a lot of detail, much of which I felt was unnecessary and thus bored me. Often I questioned if the author was inserting unnecessary detail simply to find filler. Throughout the book there's a lack of dialog to draw us into the heart and mind of the character's. Instead the reader is told what the characters are doing with the periodic announcement that one of them has a feeling. However, there was a lack of something in the writing so that I didn't feel emotion with or for the characters. The author seems to favor the use of the phrase gnawing, chewing or biting at ones cheek or lip. The redundancy of the use of this phraseology quickly became irritating. Several chapters into the book we are introduced to an older couple who are to be key people in Lonnie and Gideon's lives. I think the authors intention is for us to see this couple as being a source of mature wisdom and guidance for the young couple. Jebediah is written to say and do things that are a far cry from sage wisdom and a good example. At times he sounded almost as immature as we were to believe Gideon to be. As for his wife, Elsie, we really don't get to know her, but what few words of wisdom she offers, they are not, in my estimation, good advice. I found these two characters to be disappointing. Overall I found this book to be a disappointment. To me the characters seemed somewhat inconsistent, immature and underdeveloped. The writing style was choppy. There was too much unnecessary detail thus rendering the read boring. There were details I questioned as believable and there was redundancy in phraseology. At best this might be an acceptable read for a very young teenager. I definitely do not recommend this book to a mature reader.