Daughters of Northern Shores

Daughters of Northern Shores

by Joanne Bischof

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780718099121
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 03/12/2019
Series: A Blackbird Mountain Novel Series , #2
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 172,630
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Joanne Bischof is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children. Visit her online at JoanneBischof.com; Facebook: Author, JoanneBischof; Instagram: @JoanneBischof.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

March 9, 1895 Blackbird Mountain, Virginia

BUILT OF BOAR DS AS BROAD AS A MAN'S BACK, the cidery had stood at the edge of this wooded farm for as many years as Thor Norgaard. That was thirty-two among knowing souls, but to others it meant countless summers and winters that this massive building had endured winds and rains on the northernmost reach of Blackbird Mountain. Much like the Norwegian men who had worked the press and jarred the drink. First Da. Then the three sons who had followed.

Yet gone from within these walls was the sweet aroma of fermenting drink. In its stead were apple butters, pie fillings, and vinegars. Another side of the business that could be dated back to Thor. So long as he'd been sober — four years and counting — the Norgaard family operation of making liquor had ground to a halt.

Straddling the highest peak of the cidery roof, Thor rammed a metal scraper beneath a sun-rotted shingle. It snapped loose, and with gloved hands he pitched it toward the ground. Just below, Jorgan gathered up the shards and tossed them into the bed of the wagon that three months ago had been parked aside the train station — the day Thor and Jorgan had vowed to keep a closer watch on everything in their domain.

Thor tossed down two more broken shingles. He would have aimed better toward his older brother, but it took all his effort to rip and balance. Knees clutched to the peak, he shoved the metal tool down and broke off another old shingle. The splintered fragments slid down the backside of the roof and hit the dirt.

Just beyond the nearest trees, Thor's wife and sister-in-law kept the children busy at play near the spring. He glimpsed them through the budding branches, ensuring they were safe. Behind him rose the house that was as massive as the cidery.

Finished with this section of roof, Thor crammed the handle of the tool under the back waistband of his pants. He brushed dust from his beard, ignoring all that covered the upper half of his winter underwear. The air was heavy with warming light and drying land, so he'd already shoved back the sleeves and unfastened the buttons at the top of his chest. A mild spring day that made for easier work.

Needing a swig of water, he released a sharp whistle, one he felt in the roof of his mouth instead of hearing.

Jorgan looked up and shaded his eyes from the sun.

Using three fingers to form a W, Thor tapped them to his lips in the hand sign for water.

Jorgan retrieved a jar from the wagon seat and started up the ladder. His shirt was as sweat stained as Thor's own, and while his hair was a lighter brown, it hung tied back in the same rough knot, the cords cut from the rawhide of the elk Thor had downed that autumn. The meat was all cured or canned and stored in the springhouse thanks to the hard work of their wives as well as Ida, the aged freedwoman and faithful housekeeper who had raised Thor and his brothers since birth. Though her wrinkled, dark skin shone in stark contrast to their own, she'd been as a mother to them. A woman they'd defend with as strong a zeal as the others.

Thor sidestepped to the lower portion of the roof, bent down, and gripped the metal lid on the water. His side had bothered him of late, and although he reached gingerly, a pain lanced through his middle. He winced and pressed a firm grip to the spot, but the pressure did little to help as he fumbled the jar. Jorgan steadied it, and as Thor braced against the throbbing to reach for the jar again, Jorgan eyed him with confusion. If he sensed Thor's discomfort, he didn't let on. Thor tried to improve the situation with a lopsided smile before gulping water down.

Having gutted enough wild game to know where a liver was, Thor rubbed the tender spot that had troubled him the last few weeks and that, as of right now, was a dish cloth wrung tight. The same kind of pain Da had suffered before Thor and his brothers dug his grave and marked it with a cross. One Thor might have seen from the cidery roof had he searched westward for the family plot. But he kept his focus diverted from that place, and when fear tramped through him, he shot out a slow breath and capped the lid on the water. This was no time to lose his calm. As it was, anxiety already stole his sleep. As fierce as this growing ache was a bewilderment, because unlike Da, Thor had sobered from an addiction to hard drink. He'd restored his health as best he could, so why was this spot bothering him now? Jorgan tapped him for his attention, and Thor watched his brother's mouth move amid a beard streaked in silver. "Let's switch places. You come on down."

Thor shook his head, understanding an act of kindness when he saw one. It lived in a person's eyes more than any words expressed. Something he wouldn't have learned had he been born with ears that were for more than decoration.

Thor clambered back to the peak, glad his brother couldn't see his grimace as he settled again. Jorgan returned to the ground, where he gathered more shingles. The man never probed too deep, but he was always there — sure and steady. An older brother who was as temperate and honest a leader as they came. As for their younger brother ...

Thor made it a point to think of Haakon as little as possible.

It was for the best that the runt was gone, but every so often the missing of Haakon hung around this farm like a blanket of memories and regret that would never be shed. It tried to drape itself around Thor now as he worked atop the building where he and Haakon had played as children and worked side by side as men. Determined not to let the past rear its head, Thor rammed his tool down and snapped off another worn shingle.

He had better things to do than think about Haakon. If he gave in, he'd only recall what Haakon had done to Aven. How he'd tried to force himself on her in a way no woman deserved. She had been Thor's bride-to-be four years ago, but Thor would have defended her whether her heart had been his or not.

At a flash of color in the distance, Thor viewed the lane where the women strolled with the children in tow, all damp and happy from the spring — a bit of fun with warmer days on the rise. More important, near enough to the homestead that the women were within hollering distance. Something Thor and Jorgan had insisted upon since that winter's day when the doctor from the train depot had declared the Sorrels' return. No one had seen hide nor hair of the Klansmen yet, but it didn't mean they weren't around.

When the women wished to venture off, they agreed not to go so far that Thor and Jorgan couldn't come to their aid. While Thor wouldn't be able to hear them call, no one kept a better ear out for the family than Jorgan. And for Thor ... Well, there was a reason he'd stationed himself up on the ridgeline of the roof.

Aven waved as she crossed the yard with the others. Her copper-colored braid was as noticeable as the swimming ensemble she wore of boy's knickers and an old shirt. The belt she used to cinch around her waist had been abandoned now that her belly swelled full with child. Her bare ankles and feet were nearly as fair as the snow that had melted from the yard just weeks back. Thor smiled at the sight of his Irish bride and unborn babe.

Fay walked beside Aven with eleven-month-old Bjørn on her hip and three-year-old Sigurd skipping along. Dressed in a bathing costume that Aven had given her, Fay's white-blonde hair was as light as Bjørn's curls. The babe clung to his mother, chubby legs showing from beneath his soggy nightshirt. Energetic Sigurd held tight to Aven's hand, skipping beside his aunt beneath a clear, blue sky. He appeared to be laughing, and it must have been loud because the chickens startled in their coop with the same liveliness.

Below, Jorgan stood as unmoving as the pines, watching his family with pride. Thor didn't blame him. If he had young sons such as Bjørn and Sigurd, the same contentment would be hard to contain. He felt it even now — but it was of an unknowing anticipation. Due to be born later in the summer, boy or girl, it mattered not to him. He only wanted to hold and know the life Aven had made with him and that the Lord had seen fit to bless them with. A life they had longed for during years of uncertainty, made more heartrending by Aven's tears and his own silent longing that he'd tried not to burden her with.

And now, even though the babe could be born Deaf as he had been, Aven only asserted that she would love the child with all her might, as she loved him.

With Aven heading inside, Thor descended the ladder. He tugged off his gloves and followed Jorgan across the yard. Soil crumbled fertile beneath their boots, land that just asked to be tilled and planted, but they farmed little. His orchards — now that was another matter. Of the 327 acres that spread before them, a third sustained apple trees. Several varieties already budded with unfurled blossoms across acreage that was not only Thor's haven and sanctuary but the family's livelihood.

In place of the hard cider that had supported the family for decades was now fresh, unfermented drink that they sold around the county each fall. That which couldn't be distributed in short fashion was crafted into jams and jellies by the women who teased that their innocent concoctions made more than the liquor ever had. But Thor kept the ledgers and knew they spoke in jest. His liquor had been fine, and he and his brothers had lived like kings. But although the money box didn't hold the surplus it once had, he and Jorgan were richer than they'd ever been as bachelors.

In a flash, three-year-old Sigurd darted nearer, pinning his tiny form around Thor's leg. Thor caught the boy up and locked the child in a playful hold while Sigurd squirmed and giggled. Thor felt the vibrations from the scrawny chest against his forearm. Small hands pulled at the very place, but Thor's strength was no match for his captive. He hefted his nephew over his shoulder like a sack of grain and toted him toward the house. Sigurd was laughing so hard Thor worried he couldn't breathe, so he set him right side up on the porch. The boy pleaded for him to do it again, but Bjørn lunged from his mother's arms. Thor caught the pudgy babe and, resting him in the crook of his arm, nuzzled a creamy shoulder like a hungry bear.

There was that same sensation again — the unmistakable feel of a child's laughter. Except this time it was smaller and squishier.

Feeling a chuckle rise in his own chest, Thor handed Bjørn over to Jorgan. The moment he did, pain squeezed his side. He regretted every drop of liquor he'd ever drunk as the spot throbbed. If he could do it all over again — starting with his first indulgence at twelve — he would. He would tell that boy from long ago to put the pint of cider down, vowing that liquor wouldn't drown out despair. It would worsen it, because not only had he spent nearly two decades enslaved to the bottle, he now faced down a whole new agony.

As his side unclenched, Thor knew he'd have to mind the roughhousing. With Jorgan observing him, Thor gave a final pat to his nephew's diapered bottom and strode into the kitchen. Ida was there, seated at the table in the center of the snug space where she sorted the latest arrival of mail from town. Nearly seventy, the housekeeper was slight of frame, but scrappy enough to have raised him and his brothers from boyhood.

With the mail sitting beside her plate of half-eaten spice cake, Thor rifled through the envelopes, searching for a response to his letter for the Bureau of Research and Resource for the Deaf and Dumb. Instead, he unearthed only bills and a few new orders for their cider products.

Ida offered a smile of assurance. "Somethin'll come soon." She squeezed his hand in her knobby one, driving home that hope.

Thor nodded his gratitude and stepped into the great room feeling a heaviness that this wait brought. While he didn't know what he'd receive from the bureau, he had penned a letter to its return address, requesting it to be forwarded to Dr. Kent. Inside had been an apology for his abrupt demeanor along with a request for any additional information the doctor could recall about the Sorrel men that day.

After climbing both flights of stairs to the third-floor attic that was his and Aven's bedroom, Thor found his wife toweling her hair. The spring had to be freezing, and while he doubted she meant to get so wet, Bjørn could splash like nothing else. It was no surprise when Aven paced to him and slid her arms beneath his own, pulling herself close to his chest. Thor wrapped her up and, at her shiver, bound his arms tighter. When she settled her forehead against his shoulder, he tipped his head down and kissed her damp hair.

He felt her brush fingertips against his sleeve where engrained into the skin of his upper arm lay a scar that marked their first days of knowing one another. The beginning of this life together. With no way to speak such thoughts, he smoothed a thumb across the back of her neck, pressing the long, wet locks aside. What the doctor had marked on the form was all truth. Oral Failure. Except at times, here with his wife, Thor put voice to the first two letters of her name.

"Av —" He sensed the fragment was scant compared to what she was meant to be called, but he breathed it between them when his tenderness for her overruled even his incapacity with speech. That he'd spoken it now had Aven pulling away enough for him to see that her cheeks were rosier.

Thor smiled. She did as well, and with her needing to dress, he drew the curtains. While once a bunkhouse for him and his younger brother, this room had been refashioned to suit a bride's needs, now housing two mismatched reading chairs beside a stand of shelves laden with books. The family cradle rested beside the bed, and framed pictures sat about thanks to Aven's thoughtful efforts. But four pinholes on the far wall would always remind him of Haakon and the dusty map of the world that had once hung there.

After Haakon's fleeing, Thor had boxed up everything from the far half of this room and stored it away to bring Aven added peace. It had seemed to work, but Thor wasn't certain. Rarely did Aven speak of his younger brother, and she seemed to prefer it that way.

Having discarded all but her damp shift, Aven fetched a dry one from the dresser. As Thor watched her, memories of the past fell away. In their stead lingered the comforting presence of his wife. A chill shuddered her frame, so he fetched a blanket from the foot of the bed and draped it around her and her wet shift, pulling the knitted yarn snug beneath her chin. She smiled and rose onto her tiptoes for a kiss. He rubbed his hands up and down her arms, then touched the firm curve of her stomach. A tiny foot or knee pressed against his palm. Aven's eyes brightened with the sensation, and Thor savored it all. Savored everything God had blessed him with.

But as he did, he was overwhelmed with the need to sit down. Seeming puzzled, Aven watched him settle on the edge of the bed. Thor ran a hand across his forehead and had to work hard not to think of Da's cross on the distant hill or the pain setting up camp in his gut. Of the growing ache in his joints and what seemed like a trace of a fever.

Aven touched his beard, tipping his head up before she spoke. "Are you feeling unwell?" The worry in her eyes deepened.

Need rest better. He'd been working too hard was all. Once the roof was done, he'd slow his pace and be right as rain again. Parched, Thor made his sign again for water, entreating Aven for help. He followed it with the word for eat by pressing closed fingertips to his mouth.

"Of course." With a trace of alarm, she fetched a humble gown from the back of the chair and began to dress.

He'd go down himself, but the thought of two flights of stairs was more than he could handle right now. That frightened him more than he wanted to admit. Thor swallowed a dry taste in his mouth and prayed with all that was in him that this ache was just temporary. And if it wasn't, that God would see fit to help him through.

CHAPTER 2

March 10, 1895 Kristiansand, Norway

"HAAAKKOOON NOORGGAAAR R D!"

At the faraway shout from his best friend and fellow seaman, Haakon opened his eyes to find that he wasn't on the ship. He was in a barn. Though the boarded walls creaked in March's winds, there was a pair of goats staring at him from the left while on his right lay the warm, soft form of a Norwegian woman. Mind still foggy about the night before, Haakon turned his head to see young Widow Jönsson blessedly asleep, her blonde hair barely visible above the supple furs she had carried here under starlight.

A situation that would normally conjure pleasurable memories, but this maiden was different because, if he wasn't mistaken ...

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Daughters of Northern Shores"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Joanne Bischof.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Daughters of Northern Shores 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Bringingupbooks 3 months ago
There are some stories that are hard or emotional reads, but they end up sticking with you and really settling in as one of your favorites, and that is how I feel about this book. It is emotional, gripping, and complex, but full of redemption, forgiveness, and courage. This story had me anxious for 98% of the book as the characters deal with feuding neighbors, past hurts, and Thor who becomes seriously ill. I loved this book in a different way than Sons of Blackbird Mountain, but I really think that it was exceptionally written and pulled off the hard task of redeeming a character that I truly felt might have been beyond redemption.
Empm1128 17 days ago
This sequel to Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a continuation of the story of Thor & Aven and Haakon. I think you need to have read the first book in order to really enjoy and understand Daughters. This is mostly the story of Haakon’s return and his quest for forgiveness and redemption in the eyes of his family. Not sure where the Daughters in the title comes from since Aven is from Ireland? There is a bit of suspense and adventure near the end. I do recommend this one! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
RobinWillson 19 days ago
". . . a washing that only grief could do. One that cleansed away a fragile sort of rest so that what remained was the courage to seek joy and peace in the arms of the Lord amid a storm." 1894-95 Virginia. The second book of the series. You can enjoy this story without reading the first book, but you won't get the true depth of the feelings and really understand the why of it all. The men's heritage is Norway, and they're proud of Norse bloodlines. The girls come from different areas (Aven is from Ireland). Haakan, one of the brothers, has been away after the explosive exit he made in the previous book. He is tortured by what had happened, and looks for relief in different outlets. Addiction runs in some members of this family. He has been a sailor, sailing to many different countries, but loving the land of their heritage the most. He decides to go back home to Virginia and try to make things right with his family, only to learn that his brother Thor is seriously ill. The struggle to rid themselves of the feuding neighbors, fighting for their very lives, combined with the stress of the previous happenings is told with such a great depth. The author describes what it is like for a deaf person and addiction so thoroughly, in such detail, that it tears you apart. But lessons in faith and how God uses even the dark places in our lives for good weave throughout this book. I love this series. It will make a wonderful addition to any library! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. 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.” #DaughtersofNorthernShores #JoanneBischof #NetGalley #BooksYouCanFeelGoodAbout
Windi 19 days ago
I don't usually read a book in a series if I haven't read the first one, but having heard so much about Joanne Bischof from other authors I enjoy, I thought why not? Daughters of the Northern Shores was a good solid read. I enjoyed the characters, the plot, and the pace at which the story moved. She spent enough time developing the back story on the characters that I didn't feel lost (not having read the first book). I was confused by the title though, as the book seemed to focus more on the brothers of the family than of the wives, sisters, and other female characters. Again, not having read the first book, that might make more sense to me if I had. This was a great story, telling of the strength of the bond of brothers, and the women in their lives who grounded them. The great rip that can happen in that bond when one betrays the others and leaves...….and the redemption and restoration upon his return; though not without great struggle and a whole lot of pain - and forgiveness. I feel the author did great justice to the struggles and realities of the deaf, and authentically portrayed the language of communication between the deaf member of the family and the hearing. 3 stars because it was solid, kept my interest, and I will definitely look for more by this author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson publishers for the advance digital copy - and the introduction to a new (to me) author.
Jaquelyn 24 days ago
I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to read this book. I anticipated it like my favorite dessert; I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, but I also wanted to savor every moment. The depth of characters Bischof writes takes my breath away. I find myself thinking about them when I should be sleeping. They are absolutely some of my favorite characters ever written. Thor is one of a kind in every way. I first met him in Sons of Blackbird Mountain, and have been in love with him since. Aven has his heart though, so I guess I’ll have to share. His brothers Jorgan and Hakkan were also easy to love, though they each have their faults. Daughters of the Northern Shore took me on a journey from the frozen shores of Norway and back to an apple orchard on Blackbird mountain. I loved every moment. Bischof had me laughing, holding my breath, and crying. I can’t recommend this book enough. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers and Netgalley and was in no way forced to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
patiotoole 3 months ago
This story is just so amazing. I honestly didn’t want it to end. I did not want to leave Thor or Haakon or Jorgen or Aven or Ida or Fay or even Peter, Tess and Kjersti. Honestly!! I was so invested into it (on both Audible and Kindle) and part of me wanted to just keep reading while still savoring every bit of it throughout, not wanting to leave their lives -- until I actually found myself thinking “Well, I’ll get to really know each of them in heaven someday"...and then I remembered. Lol! But I do look forward to getting to know Joanne Bischof someday on those far off shores. Joanne's writing is incredible and this series was more than I could have hoped for — even though I still find myself wishing for more stories from the Norgaards of Blackbird Mountain. This is a talent that is truly inspirational and beyond words. I honestly woke up at 5:30 a.m. this morning still thinking about all of them...and truly missing them. It's actually hard to move on to another book . . .
dana michael 3 months ago
Y'all! This book! I can't even think of the words to describe how I feel right now. This book is amazing. I love those Norgaard men! If I could be any fictional character, it would be Aven. Why? Thor! Swoon! I love these characters. This book with the back drop of the Appalachian mountains in 1895 has romance, action and a beautiful story of redemption. I loved Sons of Blackbird Mountain and I love this book too. I don't know if there will be any more after this book, but I certainly hope so. These characters have a place in my heart. I found myself laughing out loud and crying. This book has all the feels. Do yourself a favor and click that one button to buy. You won't regret it. *I was given a copy of this book by Thomas Nelson Publishers. I was not under any obligation to leave a review. This is my honest to goodness opinion.
OntoHerBookshelf 3 months ago
Oooh, Haakon. I fell in love with the first novel, Sons of Blackbird Mountain, and the ending left me longing for more of Haakon’s tale. This story brings that and so much more. My heart ached for Haakon as he drifted, a prodigal longing for a home he no longer thinks he can have. I thought Joanne did a great job handling Haakon’s past actions, his grief over them, and the healing that needed to take place for reconciliation to happen. It wasn’t an easy thing, and it would have cheapened the story if it was. Joanne’s prose is heavy with meaning, and not a single word is put on the page without deep intent. This isn’t a novel to breeze through, but one to savor and enjoy. This story will sink deep within and settle down into the places of the reader’s soul that long for redemption, reconciliation, and peace with both God and man. I am not a crier, but the end of this book had me sniffing back tears. And that’s all I can say without giving away spoilers! The only drawback for me was, I wished I was given more of a look into the woman who captured Haakon’s attention, to get to see her point of view. Daughters of Northern Shores is a satisfying, though heart-rending conclusion to the questions that were left over from book one. If you do decide to read these books, be aware, they’ll leave you longing to return again and again to Blackbird Mountain and the sons and daughters who found their home there. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
PianoLady831 3 months ago
Daughters of Northern Shores is another outstanding epic by Joanne Bischof, one for my “best of the best” list, and impossible for me to adequately review with any words of mine. This novel is filled with exquisite romance, emotion, poignancy, suspense and adventure. Anything that Bischof writes is excellent, but for me, she shines best in Appalachian settings. My ancestors lived in the southern foothills of the Appalachians, so I’m well acquainted with the area and its people that she brings to life. What author would ever be inspired to create a Deaf hero? Or a hero who was almost – not quite – but almost guilty of rape? But Thor and Aven’s romance is like no other, making me think that true, deep feelings can be better expressed without words. And as for Haakon, I have to question if I sometimes think that God’s ability to transform and restore has limits. This is what Bischof does so well, create overtly flawed characters and make you care deeply about them, yearning for their redemption with all your heart. Book #1, Sons of Blackbird Mountain, concluded with what seemed to be an irreparable tear in relationships, but with elements reminiscent of the biblical Prodigal Son and even Jacob and Esau, Bischof creates a beautiful tale of repentance, forgiveness, grace and restoration. This story begins four years after Haakon’s flight, and is bookended with scenes involving a young Norwegian woman he met while at sea, one who casts great influence upon him… “Perhaps her insinuation for him to rise to a greater challenge had been a beseeching for him to thread wholeness and restitution into whatever wrong had sent him to the far side of the world.” The same four years have brought much happiness to Thor and Aven, but all that is in question with Haakon’s return and the reemergence of the family feud with the evil Sorrell family. This story is one that I wanted to read quickly, yet slowly so as to savor each word and nuance. The characters from this whole series will long live in my memory. Very highly recommended. I received a copy of this book through Prism Book Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Phyllis_H 3 months ago
A riveting story of changed lives, good versus evil and forgiveness Daughters of Northern Shores is a riveting continuation of the story of the Norgaard family of Blackbird Mountain that was difficult to put down. Spanning almost a year in time, though the greater part of the story takes place on Blackbird Mountain, it also brings the reader to Norway and on an ocean voyage aboard an ice ship. I was again swept away as author Joanne Bischof poured out her heart on these pages with tender and hopeful melancholy. I was nearly brought to tears many times throughout the story, both for sadness and for joy. The beautiful prose wrapped around my heart and caused me to experience each characters' emotions, their pains, their fears, and their dreams. The biting of the Northern winds caused me to shiver; the fragrance of the apple orchards caused my tummy to rumble. If you have not read Sons of Blackbird Mountain, you should read that before continuing this review as there are spoilers for that book here. There are no spoilers for this story in the review. I am amazed at how one who is not Deaf so capably made me feel like I had an inkling of the kind of isolation Thor would have experienced in his deafness, despite the way his family did all they could to include him. And yet Thor is not one to be pitied. His strength of character and the love Aven has for him warm my heart. The prodigal journey Haakon traveled as he ran away from the sure wrath of his brothers after his atrocious behavior and the certain revenge to be sought by the Sorrel family for the destruction he wrought on their property had him squandering his life and living in a way that would cause such grief to his family. And yet in his self-imposed isolation, he had a friend who was a steady, Christian influence in his life. Unlike the Prodigal Son, he returns, not out of the need for physical fulfillment but for forgiveness. And unlike the Prodigal, he has no father to return to who will welcome him with open arms; only the brother whose wife he wronged in such a terrible way. Daughters of Northern Shores is a story of changed lives, of love of family, of good versus evil, and of forgiveness. Though I classify it as a romance, it is so much more. What is often thought of as romance finds very little place here. The confrontation with the Sorrels is narrated in great detail. The author's description of the events of that terrible night contained in such great detail I felt like I was watching a movie. And yet despite the bullets, knives, and other weapons, it was not overly violent or bloody. I loved learning more about the ice trade and the ways and places the ice was transported. Having read enough period novels to know that the English had ice in the summer, I always wondered how they got it. I was surprised to learn some of the other places the ice traveled. This is a must-read book and is already on my list of candidates for Best of 2019! Read with a Preview and Guest Post at AmongTheReads.net I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.
AE2 3 months ago
Haakon Norgaard fled his beloved home on Blackbird Mountain after attacking his brother Thor's beloved, Aven, and has spent the past four years working on sailing crews around the Atlantic. Running away hasn't made it possible for him to forget what he has done, though, and the time comes for him to stop running and try to make amends. Returning home, however, will be the most difficult thing he's ever done, as it means owning up to what he has done and trying to regain the trust that he has shattered. When he returns, he finds Thor and Aven wed and expecting a child--but Thor is also deathly ill and their enemies, the Sorrels, have made it clear that they're ready for a fight to end their longstanding feud. While the family doesn't exactly welcome Haakon with open arms, they need his strength and expertise to protect their home and one another. Ah! I loved Joanne Bischof's writing style. It flows so well, with wonderful descriptions and great word choices. I also love her characters, with flaws right alongside their strengths. These characters just capture your heart--from Thor, with his deafness and his strength and his tenderness, to Haakon with his wildness that can't quite overshadow that deep-down goodness, to Aven who loves fiercely and faces life with such courage--and you just can't help but root for them and be swept up in their stories. I loved the first book in this series, and I"m glad to be able to emphatically state that this book is just as lovely and enjoyable to read. One of the best books of 2019! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
BethErin 3 months ago
Story after story, Bischof masterfully captures the work of the Maker’s hand in the essence of life’s fullness, depth, and frailty. No doubt about it, this Norgaard family has my heart! While Jorgan amply fills the role of level-headed first-born, Thor and Haakon might as well be called thunder and lightning due to their deeply passionate and, at one time or another, achingly sorrowful dispositions. The author authentically portrays this family that extends beyond blood, multiple families living and working together on the same land and even under the same roof, and all the ups and downs that exist in that culture. The Blackbird Mountain series is saturated with culture, knowledge, and awe-inspiring landscapes but it’s the heart of the stories that make these books unforgettable and precious. I cannot recommend these books highly enough. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
swissgranny 3 months ago
With the characteristic, delicious prose I’ve come to expect from Joanne Bischof, Daughters of Northern Shores picks up where Sons of Blackbird Mountain left off. While this book can be read as a standalone, it will be much more enjoyable if Sons of Blackbird Mountain is read first to get the backstory. It was so enjoyable to return to Blackbird Mountain and revisit the Norgaard family. Bischof is a master at creating broken, hurting, deeply layered characters, and Haakon fits this description well. After four years spent at sea, he returns home hoping to make amends with his family. When he finds them in peril, his protective instincts kick in. Although I was uncertain how the author was going to redeem Haakon from his youthful actions, she pulled it off magnificently, and I was cheering for him to get his happily ever after. I was hoping for a bit more focus on Haakon and Kjersti’s relationship, but that was the only small disappointment I had. All of the characters were so vividly painted that they came alive on the page, and I could feel the mounting tension as the tale progressed. This powerful and gripping story is filled with adventure, intrigue, suspense, and romance, but there are also uplifting messages of redemption, courage, importance of family, and the healing that only God can provide. I’m looking forward to more from this fantastic author. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.
TheBeccaFiles 4 months ago
Just recently I reviewed Sons of Blackbird Mountain, the first book in this series. I mentioned that it was a difficult read for me because of my dislike for the male characters. I’m happy to say that even though they still aren’t my favorites, they grew on me more the further I went into this book. This is a series I would definitely recommend be read in order since there’s a lot of backstory that would be missed if you were to miss the beginning. While the story held my attention and I read it rather quickly, I wasn’t completely thrilled with it. The story was fast paced but felt like it fell short with depth and satisfying conclusions. I failed to connect with the story as much as I’d hoped I would. I Without spoiling specifics on any scenes, I struggled with the event near the conclusion. One thing I was surprisingly pleased with in this book, was that I was more intrigued with Haakon’s character. In the first book he was easily my least favorite character, but I appreciated seeing him mature more in this story and express genuine remorse for the actions in his past. It makes me curious how his story will continue. So with mixed feelings about the book I can share that while I didn’t love it, there were parts I did like. I’d still recommend it to historical fiction fans. I know that different readers will connect more with different stories. Even though I didn’t connect as much as I hoped I would, I still consider it worth the read. *I received a copy of this book through Prism Book Tours. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
BrittanyMc 4 months ago
Daughters of Northern Shores was a beautiful, captivating tale that, once again, reminded me of how much I love the characters from this series. I do highly recommend reading Sons of Blackbird Mountain before beginning this book. The drastic change that has taken place in Haakon and the depth of the forgiveness he is seeking is clear when both stories are read in order. Other situations that occurred in book one have repurcussions, as well, in Daughters of Northern Shores. Both stories weave together a life on Blackbird Mountain that is not easily forgotten once the last page is turned. It was such a joy to return to these characters and experience their love and laughter, along with their worries and trials. The author does such an amazing job of writing in a beautiful style that captures the pace of life on the mountain. I loved seeing what was happening in all of the brothers’ lives and witnessing again the deep love between Thor and Aven. This book left me feeling a deep happiness as I turned the last page. Sons of Blackbird Mountain and Daughters of Northern Shores are books that I plan to re-read many times in the future. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous 4 months ago
It’s been way too long since I’ve finished a book that has left me as satisfied as Daughters of Northern Shores or one that made my writers heart cry out to the Lord wishing I could weave words as well as the author whose story I’d just finished. Daughters of Northern Shores is all that and more. I was completely enthralled with Bischoff’s characters. From the hearing impaired, Thor, to his younger brother, Haakon, the prodigal who has returned home seeking forgiveness and a new start with the family he left behind. I’ve never read a story with a deaf main character and wondered how that would work since he had no spoken dialogue. I have to say, Thor captured my heart with his wisdom, spiritual strength, and devoted heart for Aven. I was immediately drawn to Haakon and his courage to return home and face the mistakes he’d made and right the wrongs he’d committed against his family members. Nothing like a bad boy who turns his life around to win this romance reader’s heart. The women in this story don’t take a back seat either. Aven, Thor’s wife, is as gentle as they come, yet she possesses a determined spirit that serves her well as she faces many challenges, including a contagious illness that threatens her unborn child. Ida and Cora, freedwomen who live on the Norgaard property, display profound courage when monstrous evil returns and places everyone on the Norgaard’s farm in imminent danger. It is Cora’s deep faith and her willingness to speak boldly that steers Haakon back to his faith Daughters of Northern Shores is so well-written that the Norgaard’s Appalachian farm comes to life with beautiful descriptions the reader can see and smell vividly. Filled with the type of rich historical details, my history-loving, nerd girl heart was filled to the brim. The author’s beautiful prose sing like the melody of a well-written symphony and will leave you desperately wanting more from this writer and the story world she has created for us. I loved that Daughters of Northern Shores explored themes of forgiveness and grace. The prodigal Haakon encounters the consequences of breaking his brothers trust when he returns. While surprised to see him again after four years with no word of his whereabouts, all are cautiously optimistic and hope his arrival signals Haakon’s willingness to restore bonds with the family, not merely to collect his inheritance, a small plot of land on the Norgaard farm. I like that Bischoff didn’t make the family too eager to welcome Haakon into their good graces, but instead made him earn their trust. Forgiveness and trust are not one in the same. As believers we are encouraged to give forgiveness as freely as Christ has given it to us, whether or not the offender seeks it or changes their behavior. It is an act of obedience between the believer and God. Trust however is earned over time through altered behavior and a determination by the offender to change their attitude and actions. Bischoff writes a beautifully believable transformation in Haakon, one that both the family and the reader can embrace as authentic. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous 4 months ago
The Daughters of Northern Shores By Joanne Bischof The Daughters of Northern Shores is the sequel to Sons of Blackbird Mountain. I read this book as a stand-alone novel however I guaranty that within the first few pages you’ll want to read the first book. The back story is presented in the first chapter to catch you up, however. Daughters of Northern Shores continues following the Norgaard brothers in rural Appalachia. I enjoyed this book and I think you will as well. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion which I share here. Continue the review here: https://simplyannehere.wordpress.com
sandralb 4 months ago
The first book I ever read by Joanne was Sons Of Blackbird Mountain, I was hocked. I had to try and find everything that she has ever written, so I could read them too. I was excited when I saw the second book Daughters of Northern Shore would soon be available. I was totally thrilled when I was picked by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, to read a complimentary copy. Joanne did not disappoint. This book was everything I expected and more. I feel in love with all of the characters in the first book to this series. Her people are so real they feel like family. I deeply admire her writing. She gives us authentic people with real problems and flaws. Joanne is not afraid to tackle some serous issues. Her books are wonderful, but I would not call them light and fluffy, and that's okay. I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone, so I won't go into any details. I will just say I found myself often in tears and pulling for each of these characters. I always know to have tissues handy when I read one of Joanne Bischof's novels. I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson the publisher through NetGally. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
TrishRobertson 4 months ago
Book hangovers are real my friends, and this story has left a lasting impression. I finished reading it (much to my dismay, as I didn't want it to end) a couple days ago and have been trying to gather my thoughts into a coherent manner in which to do this fantastic story justice with my words. An impossible task! This story picks up right where we left off and primarily follows Haakon. If summed up in one line, I'd have to say that it is Haakon's redemption story. From heartache to abundant grace we see a beautiful story unfold. One that reminds us that we all sin and fall short, and are in desperate need of grace.  I enjoyed every moment spent with the dynamic characters of this story. Picking up the book was like stepping through a time portal and entering the world flawless depicted on the pages. If you haven't yet, you will want to be sure and read Sons of Blackbird Mountain. Both of these stories will completely weave themselves around your heart! (I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
CameraCourt 4 months ago
I have come to expect a story from the pen of Joanne Bischof to be one that slices straight to the heart with its truth and tenderness. Daughters of Northern Shores is no exception. With its return of beloved characters and a message of trust at its center, it is one I will cherish upon recalling (and REREADING!). With a balance of poignancy and vivid life, the story unfolds as one tentatively hopeful yet confronting pain, broken trust, trials, and jealousies of life. The rift left unsettled at the end of Sons of Blackbird Mountain is brought to light with Haakon’s wanderings and, eventually, steps to mend it. And oh, what a heart-trial that is!!! His prodigal journey is aided with wisdom from beloved women and the hesitant restoration of his brotherly relationships. While Haakon seeks his place on Blackbird Mountain, Thor and Aven contend with fears and joys of their own. Again, Joanne Bischof handles subjects such as Thor’s Deafness, prejudice, and even childbirth with a delicate and reverent approach, honest when necessary and revelatory in manner with others. Reading this story is like witnessing the lives of the Norgaard family, being a part of their sorrows and sharing in their hope – most importantly, their trust in a Savior to see them through even the hardest of battles. Daughters of Northern shores is a novel to treasure and one to make you think of the impact just one person can have. It is an encouraging story that reminds the reader to hope when there is no clear path ahead. And, to hold family and friends dear, always extending grace. Thank you to Prism Book Tours and Netgalley for the review copy. This is my honest review.
jess_baker_614 4 months ago
Ever since I read (and loved) Sons of Blackbird Mountain I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Daughters of Northern Shores. I know that is dangerous in the reading world. Sometimes I have so much hype over a book coming out that it’s almost like I’m setting myself up for disappointment. Maybe the book doesn’t meet my satisfaction, the characters don’t do what I think they’ll do, or it’s like a bad movie sequel (which really bother me for the record). Let me just say that this is not AT ALL the case with this book! Thor is a character that I cannot get enough of. His strength, loyalty, and just ultimate swoon factor is enough to melt the ice off of my driveway. He’s deaf, yes. But not once in the book did I ever feel like that was at the forefront of my mind. And isn’t that the point? In today’s society people just want to blend in, without their disabilities standing out. Joanne Bischof did an amazing job in making Thor fit in. Yes there are times of struggle. But the majority of the time I was just connecting with Thor, much like I did in the first book. I know the premise of this book is to concentrate of Haakan, and while I did enjoy reading about him, it was really Thor who had my attention. I was so happy to be back at Blackbird Mountain. The setting, the characters, the plot lines – I could go on and on. Joanne Bischof has created a beautiful series here, with a lovely picture of forgiveness – something we could all learn from. Highly recommend reading this book, but make sure you read Sons of Blackbird Mountain first! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Faye_reviews 4 months ago
Four years have past since Haakon Norgaard left Blackbird Mountain and set sail for the exotic coasts and frozen lands of his forefathers. But he can't shake the memories that haunt him, and the scars in need of forgiveness. Back home, the remaining Norgaard brothers have built a thriving business without their renown cider, focused on raising their families. But when a mysterious illness leaves Thor fighting for his life, and the Sorrels' return bring a darkness back to the mountain. Can a house divided band together to protect what they each hold dear? Picking up in the aftermath of the previous novel, Aven and Thor have made a beautiful life together, their marriage only deepening their bond. Haakon is a wandering and restless soul, he has travelled the world and still feels the call of home on Blackbird Mountain and the need to make things right, while on the other side of the world a woman lives who he can't seem to forget. In four years a lot has changed, yet many of the same ghosts still haunt the Norgaard family. Deftly and almost musically, the wild beauty, and stark danger of mountain living is brought to life through verdant descriptions, poetic and evocative. Ms. Bischof manages to always find the right words to elicit the heartaches and pain of the characters, painting a picture with words one of the best examples of showing rather than telling. I loved the way that she handled communication between the various characters, showing body language that speaks volumes, as well as the more abrupt structure of sign language. Though times have changed, old feuds and sins still haunt the brothers. Haakon is the star of this book, a prodigal son returned home with a less open-armed welcome than the biblical wayward son. he fights to show his loyalty to a family that has largely disowned him. But blood is thicker than water, and Haakon knows that they need him more than even they might know, he is determined to make amends. Well loved by the children, he still has his charm. I liked seeing how he had matured through years of labor at sea, in some ways worse and in some better. Daughters of Northern Shores is an appalachian epic of family, the bonds of blood, the ties of friendship, anchors of love, and the human condition. Peter is one of my favorite characters for how far he's come and how he has become so dear. Set in the years before the turn of the 20th century, we see the rumblings of life on the mountain beginning to change. Riveting and evocative, this was a gripping read for various reasons, that had me stealing moments to read amidst a busy day. Highly recommend, and an absolute must read if you enjoyed Sons of Blackbird Mountain. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in hopes that I would review it. All opinions are my own. I only recommend books that I personally enjoyed and believe would be enjoyed by my readers.
bmrawlins 4 months ago
I thoroughly enjoyed the merging of the Northern Shores to the Appalachians. Thor and Aven return, along with Haakon, Jorgan and Fay and many other characters we fell in love with in Blackbird Mountain. Life has moved on since we last read about our beloved friends. There are many blessings and points of redemption, despite the return of the Sorrels who threaten it all. The struggles they all face are very genuine and well depicted. Some twists and turns kept me engaged until the end and true to form for Joanne Bischof, the grace of Jesus was ever present. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
LibMom 4 months ago
Daughters of Northern Shores, the second book in Joanne Bischof's Blackbird Mountain series, focuses more fully, but not exclusively, on younger brother Haakon. Reading the first book, Sons of Blackbird Mountain, is imperative to understanding much of what happens in this book. During the course of the book, the hate which previously played a prominent role continues to drive the story as the Norgaard family with the nearby Sorrell family. Love and the bonds of family and friends are tested through sickness and in health and with the return of the black sheep of the family who becomes the Prodigal Son. Daughters of Northern Shores is a much darker story than the first in the series yet the story cannot be fully told without that aspect. As such, it is not cheerful pioneer romance. That said, it does end on a happy note and leaves the reader eager to read the hopefully forthcoming third volume in the series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book Daughters of Northern Shores from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley. 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.
Mauri 4 months ago
Four years have passed since the end of the book SONS OF BLACKBIRD MOUNTAIN. Jorgan and Fay have two young sons, Thor and Aven are expecting a baby in a few months. Haakon, the youngest Norgaard brother, has spent these years laboring on ships in the North Atlantic ice trade after fleeing his homeland in shame. When his best friend on the ship decides to return home to America, Haakon decides the time is right for him too. It is time to mend things with his family. He arrives at a time of trouble. The Sorrel men have come back for revenge. DAUGHTERS OF NORTHERN SHORES is a moving story of a young, reckless man trying to atone for his sins, rediscovering the value of brothers, and re-connecting with God. Though there are many memorable characters, one that really has a impact is Peter Sorrel. In the first book he took a stand against the violence and hatred of the men in his family, taking a beating from his father. He became a trusted friend to the Norgaards, working for them and helping to protect them and the freed slaves who live on their land. He also helped look after the Sorrel women who wanted no part of the hatred of the men. As Haakon spends more time with his family, he longs for a wife and children of his own, in particular a young widow in Norway with five children. This is a hard to forget historical romance that I highly recommend. I received a complementary copy of the book but that did not influence my opinion. All thoughts are my own.