Gideon O’Riley is rash, selfish, and even cruel.
When Lonnie’s father sees finds them kissing, he demands that Gideon marry Lonnie in order to preserve her virtue.
Forced to marry a man she does not love, Lonnie has to rely on her faith more than ever.
Lonnie proves himself to be more boy than man and soon Lonnie regrets ever meeting him.
Will they ever learn to be happy together?
Can Gideon ever grow up?
And can Lonnie learn to forgive him as much as the Bible says to forgive?
Some blogger friends of mine told me they really enjoyed this book, so I had high expectations for it. In some ways Be Still My Soul met them, in others it failed. First of all, Joanne Bischof has a sweet writing voice. I really liked the lines that Jebediah (a minor character) said on page 218 “Life’s short, Gid…It’s too short to be wastin’ time worrying. Too short to be wastin’ time runnin’.”
Page 337 lent words to what Gideon had been learning throughout the entire book. Now that he knew what it meant to care for others more than himself, he would do everything in his power to see it through.
However, at times I found her writing style somewhat awkward as well. Sometimes sentences would run into each other in a strange way. Or there would be a run on that ought not to be there.
Be Still My Soul had excellent character development. Lonnie was sweet, pretty, and had a lovely, quiet spirit. On the other hand Gideon was an unmitigated scoundrel. He was selfish in every way. His pride was often more important than his wife’s comfort, and he even went so far as to physically abuse her once. He made himself the victim in his own mind so that he wouldn't feel guilt for treating Lonnie so horribly. His insensitivity and self-centeredness proved to be major character flaws time and time again. When I couldn't think of another way that he could hurt poor Lonnie, Gideon found another creative approach to do it. He was a dynamic character, however, and slowly changed throughout the story. At the start of the book, he was quite a despicable, unlikeable character. However, I found myself liking him a little better by the end of the book. His soul had warmed toward the things of God, though there was never any outright conversion. But this is the first book in a trilogy, so there is still time for that.
I felt that some of the minor characters needed more of a voice sometimes. I really liked Jebediah and his wife, Elsie and felt that their part in the story could have been more developed. Sometimes Jebediah just kind of disappeared and the book gave no clue as to where he was. That bewildered me somewhat. I concluded that he must be off working his farm somewhere, but I wasn't quite sure.
The plot was rather simplistic since I was generally sure that everything would turn out all right because books like this usually do. There was some tragedy in the content of the story that was really sad. But I was kind of expecting something sad to happen since the mood of the book set me up for it. I felt as though the emotions in it were realistic as well as the characters. I was a little bored sometimes because the characters at certain points talked about nothing more than clothing and food. However, Be Still My Soul deals with hard subjects such as physical abuse and the death of a child.
I give Be Still My Soul 4 out of 5 stars. It was an enjoyable read, but