Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Joanne Bischof...almost one year later. And yeah, oddly enough, I'm sick again...

Last October I read Joanne Bischof's debut novel whilst holed up in my 3rd floor room at the lovely Hostel Santa Cruz in Sucre, Bolivia.

I was dealing with a seriously un-fun bout of altitude sickness for which I received house arrest from our director, the beloved Alex Muir.

You can read about that day here:

As a I mentioned in that post, I had to remain in one place and "rest". Yeah, who wants to rest in a beautiful place like Bolivia? Well, considering the Oscar worthy display of suffering my SUV mates were treated to as we descended from 15,000 feet, apparently I did.

So, I picked up Be Still My Soul and before I knew it, I wanted to hold poor Lonnie close and smite Gideon.

I loved her second book, Though My Heart Is Torn, and repeatedly begged, bribed and bartered for an unfinished copy of the final book in the series.

Here's the thing...Joanne cannot be bribed. She's FAR too sweet and nice. I had the honour of meeting her at ACFW and she is so calm and sweet and kind and I think I scared her...

But un-bribable????

I know, right?! COME ON!! Who has integrity and keeps her word to her publisher and doesn't sell her Word files for Dairy Milks? Huh? Joanne Bischof, that's who.

So, FINALLY I got my copy of My Hope Is Found and once I could actually sit down and read it, I gotta admit...

It was a tosser.


A tosser.

As in, "I'm so emotionally involved in this story that when X happened to X, I tossed the book and wailed!"

But you know that feeling, don't you? That "I'm too feeble to jump up and down and scream, so I toss the book instead" feeling.

As is expected, the storyworld is exquisite, the prose may as well have background music, it's that good. The characters are flesh and blood, the pain hurts and the joy is at least a half a box of Kleenex.

I am worn out and thankful for a book as good as My Hope Is Found. The ending is true Bischof. If you've read the first two books in this series, you'll know exactly what I mean.  And yes, I kept turning pages to see if there was more.

Joanne didn't earn a Christy nomination for Be Still My Soul because she's good, she earned it because she's brilliant and can tap the tiny, hidden places of the reader's heart and fill them with music.

Well done, Joanne, I give My Hope Is Found 5 Dairy Milks out of 5.


  1. Jennifer, This is such a great review. You are a natural-encourager. This was good for my heart today. Thank you. I think five out of five dairy milk bars is the best rating I've ever had!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad it was encouraging for you. And yes, the Dairy Milk Rating System is highly technical and you earned every square!!

  2. LOVE...reading now and I am hoping against hope that things will turn out the way I want. But I trust Joanne as an author, and I know whichever way she takes her readers, we won't forget our journey and we won't forget these Appalachian characters who are so realistic. I love the Dairy Milk rating system!!!

    1. LALALALA, not saying ANYTHING!!!

      You love the DMRS too? Hmmm, I'll remember that in a few weeks when God's Daughter gets her big day!

  3. I can't wait to read this one. It's been heavy on my mind and heart since Though My Heart is Torn. Joanne is AMAZING! (And a "tosser"? I'll have to remember that one! LOL!)

    1. Ohhhhh, it's GOOD!!!! And I need to put yours on my TBR pile. But I can't promise I won't toss them!

  4. I know, I'm three days late to the party, but I'm here. I loved Joanne's first book. I haven't been able to get my hands on the second one. Her third one is sitting here, in my TBR pile taunting me. I am so looking forward to reading it. :)

    Jennifer thanks for a great review. It makes me all the more eager to read more Joanne Bischof! You write a great review!

    1. Hey!! You kinda need to read #2 first to fully enjoy #3. But it won't smite you if you skip to #3.

      Thanks, I LOVED this book and I'm only too happy to sing Joanne's praises!