One of the main reasons that I decided to review this book was that it sounded different. Set in the Appalachian Mountains with a family just arrived from Norway.
From the description of the book, it was clear that this was going to be a book with some historical romance but with some strong Christian themes as well. I am not put off by Christian fiction as long as it doesn’t get preachy.
Over the years I’ve been really lucky with the Christian fiction books that I’ve read and they haven’t been too heavy handed. I am not familiar with this author so I felt like I was kind of taking a chance on this one, but the description of the book sounded too good to pass up.
I was intrigued by the summery of this book because the main character, Thor, sounds not only physically flawed, but emotionally flawed as well. I was eager to see his transformation and how this story was going to resolve.
Thor Norgaard hasn’t spoken to anyone in his twenty-eight years, but when the young widow he loves crosses an ocean to live on his Appalachian farm, this reclusive alcoholic will brave much more than words to heal her heart.
When Aven Norgaard leaves Norway to serve as housekeeper to her late husband’s cousins in Appalachia, she expects lads in need of care, not three grown men—each in need of a wife and bound by a powerful brotherhood. As the men carve out a living by brewing artisan liquor, young Haakon’s pursuit tempts Aven’s lonely spirit . . . but it is his deaf brother, Thor, whose silent strength shows her the depths of real love.
Unable to speak to any woman, Thor Norgaard never anticipates Aven will befriend him, let alone treat him as her safe harbor. Though hard cider is their livelihood and his greatest talent, he fights his way to sobriety with Haakon’s help, defying the bottle for Aven’s hand—only to face a battle of the heart that tests even the strongest bonds of brotherhood (summary from Goodreads).
This book was exceptionally well done. Making the main character, Thor, both deaf and an alcoholic made his character extremely complex and challenging to write. The author does an excellent job at making Thor both complex and sympathetic. The reader doesn’t necessarily feel sorry for him, but feels more that there is hope inside him. The complexity of the main characters totally kept me reading. Once I started, it was hard to put this book down.
I was impressed by the lyrical nature of the authors prose. It was captivating and elegant, I absolutely loved reading some of the passages in this book. The descriptions, romance and complex characters won me over wholeheartedly.
This book does have strong themes of redemption and faith as once would expect from Christian fiction, but I personally didn’t think it was preachy or too over the top for the casual Christian fiction reader like me.
This book took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. It was a book that tackled difficult issues such as alcoholism and yet as this book took shape, the beauty of the romance shined through the difficult content. It was and exceptional book to read and I would highly recommend it. I am curious now about the other books by this author! I also see that this is the first in a series and I can’t wait to read more with these characters!
Kindle Edition, 352 pagesPublished July 3rd 2018 by Thomas Nelson (first published July 2018)
- Review copy provided by: Author/Publisher in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.
- Recommendation: 5 out of 5
- Genre: Historic fiction, romance, Christian fiction
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