Monday, November 25, 2013
Joanne Bischof's "My Hope is Found"
In the final novel of The Cadence of Grace trilogy by Joanne Bischof, My Hope is Found, Gideon is finally free to come back to his true wife Lonnie, after Cassie releases him from their marriage. However, never expecting to see Gideon again, Lonnie has begun handing her heart over to a young preacher - Toby McKee. When Gideon returns, the men naturally take an instant dislike to each other, and Lonnie must choose which is best for her and her son. As for Gideon, he must be prepared to do what is best for them too - even if it means giving her to another man.
One could read this novel as a stand alone, as it is a full, well thought-out story, but I do not recommend doing so - read the full series! If one has not read the first two of the trilogy, the impact of this novel is greatly lessened - there is so much back-story to Gideon and Lonnie's relationship that this novel can only give a barest glimpse of all they have been through individually and as a couple. This book is the final leg of a very long, tempestuous journey in faith, hope, and love. They start out the series as little more than children to eventually become the mature man and woman found in this book.
Of all three books of the trilogy, this was the only one in which Lonnie frustrated me. Granted, it is the only one in which she truly is given a choice in which direction her life will go, something with which she has had little experience in her life, so I suppose she ought to take her time to make the wiser decision. However, I felt it was unfair to both men to keep them dangling for so long. I can see why after being beaten down so often when it comes to Gideon that she would be hesitant to yet again give him another chance, and Toby is a really good man who loves her child and sister like they were his own. But Gideon was her first love and father of her child, while Toby does not have that history. Each one makes sense in his own way to be her husband.
In general I really liked Toby McKee, and in almost any other situation I would be rooting for him; he is a wonderful man: a preacher, accepting of a woman with a tarnished reputation, not afraid to stand up for himself, willing to pray for his enemies in spite of how much he'd rather pray them off a cliff, and yet he is still humanly imperfect. The only problem is that Gideon has come so far for Lonnie's sake, and I feel like one just can't take her away from him - that those two belong together.
While I thought that Gideon had made amazing inroads in the previous two books, this one proved he could go farther yet - to wholly surrender himself, his dreams, and his family to God. Sure, he still has a hot temper and does idiotic things on occasion, but he overcomes so much - he is truly a new creation in the Lord, and that changes how he loves. He learns what true love is: unconditional, sacrificial love to do what is best for the other person, not taking into account selfish desires, but loving as God loves.
Again, Bischof thoroughly thinks through the story line, taking into account issues that would really affect them - Lonnie's tarnished reputation, Gideon's history with selfishness and lying, his marriage with Cassie that has proven so difficult to dissolve. It isn't easy for them, and it would not be for any real people. 4.5 stars for the novel. Individually these are good books and worth a high rating, but as a trilogy, when all three books are taken into account together, they deserves a full 5 stars.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. I was not required to make it positive; all opinions are my own.
The Cadence of Grace
Be Still My Soul
Though My Heart is Torn
My Hope is Found
Read chapter one!
More info on the book from WaterBrook Multnomah