“Sons of Blackbird Mountain” by Joanne Bischof

“Sons of Blackbird Mountain” by Joanne Bischof is a beautifully written novel.  Set in the aftermath of the Civil War, the story takes place on Blackbird Mountain.  Jorgan, Thor and Haakan Norgaard make their living on a piece of land populated by apple trees.  Thor’s job is to make the cider that the brothers sell to their neighbors and businesses.  In Thor’s case, the cider is an addiction that he has tried to kick before without success.  During those times he goes through a horrible withdrawal that takes a toll on the whole homestead.

Aven Norgaard has come from Norway at the invitation of their aunt Dorothe, to join the family helping to care for the “little” boys, as she thinks they are.  When she arrives, alone, with nowhere else to turn, they take her in as she is their cousin’s widow.  Her presence lights a fire under two of the brothers, each smitten in their own way with her gentle ways.

Making things harder for everyone is the fact that Thor has been deaf since birth.  When small, he was sent to a boarding school for the deaf and dumb where he learned American Sign Language and also how to read lips.  He is a tortured soul that Aven’s presence seems to quiet.  Haakan, too, is drawn to Aven.  So what should she do?

I thought Ms. Bisdchof’s characters were extremely well defined.  Her grasp of the difficulties that deaf persons experience every day was handled with care and compassion.  I think the story itself was well developed too.  There was love, compassion, trials and tribulation that each and every one of them experienced that brought the reader to tears at times.  I thought this was a beautiful story full of beautiful people.  Well done.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley.com.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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