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The Gold in These Hills

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Two second-chance love stories, hope across the centuries, and the legacy that binds them together. Upon arriving at Kenworthy, California, mail-order-bride Juniper Cohen was met by the pounding of the gold mine, the rowdiness of its prospectors, and her greatest surprise of all: the love of the kind man who awaited her. But when the mine proves empty of profit, and when Ju Two second-chance love stories, hope across the centuries, and the legacy that binds them together. Upon arriving at Kenworthy, California, mail-order-bride Juniper Cohen was met by the pounding of the gold mine, the rowdiness of its prospectors, and her greatest surprise of all: the love of the kind man who awaited her. But when the mine proves empty of profit, and when Juniper’s husband vanishes, doubt and discouragement are as prevalent as the pioneers fleeing this dwindling boomtown. As winter blows in, Juniper pens a series of letters to her husband but fears she is waiting on a ghost—or worse, an outlaw. Carving out survival for her and her young daughter in a ghost town requires trusting in the kindness of a few remaining souls, including the one who can unlock the mystery of her husband’s disappearance. A century later, trying to escape the heartache of his failed marriage, Johnny Sutherland throws himself into raising his child and restoring a hundred-year-old abandoned farmhouse in California’s San Jacinto Mountains. While exploring its secrets he uncovers the letters Juniper wrote to her Dearest John and is moved by the handwritten accounts that bear his name. Having learned that truth and courage go hand in hand, Johnny dares to love again, and armed with lessons from the past, a modern-day romance unfolds in the very same mountains that once held a love story that touched history.


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Two second-chance love stories, hope across the centuries, and the legacy that binds them together. Upon arriving at Kenworthy, California, mail-order-bride Juniper Cohen was met by the pounding of the gold mine, the rowdiness of its prospectors, and her greatest surprise of all: the love of the kind man who awaited her. But when the mine proves empty of profit, and when Ju Two second-chance love stories, hope across the centuries, and the legacy that binds them together. Upon arriving at Kenworthy, California, mail-order-bride Juniper Cohen was met by the pounding of the gold mine, the rowdiness of its prospectors, and her greatest surprise of all: the love of the kind man who awaited her. But when the mine proves empty of profit, and when Juniper’s husband vanishes, doubt and discouragement are as prevalent as the pioneers fleeing this dwindling boomtown. As winter blows in, Juniper pens a series of letters to her husband but fears she is waiting on a ghost—or worse, an outlaw. Carving out survival for her and her young daughter in a ghost town requires trusting in the kindness of a few remaining souls, including the one who can unlock the mystery of her husband’s disappearance. A century later, trying to escape the heartache of his failed marriage, Johnny Sutherland throws himself into raising his child and restoring a hundred-year-old abandoned farmhouse in California’s San Jacinto Mountains. While exploring its secrets he uncovers the letters Juniper wrote to her Dearest John and is moved by the handwritten accounts that bear his name. Having learned that truth and courage go hand in hand, Johnny dares to love again, and armed with lessons from the past, a modern-day romance unfolds in the very same mountains that once held a love story that touched history.

30 review for The Gold in These Hills

  1. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    This book is a treasure. There are two parallel timelines connected by a house built for a goldmining town at the turn of the 20th century. Now in present time, Johnny is a soon-to-be divorced father and struggling to establish a new home for his young children. Bischof uses diary entries and letters to assist in unfolding the narrative from the perspectives of Juniper and John Cohen from the past and Johnny Sutherland from the present. The timing is beautifully executed and I was enthralled by This book is a treasure. There are two parallel timelines connected by a house built for a goldmining town at the turn of the 20th century. Now in present time, Johnny is a soon-to-be divorced father and struggling to establish a new home for his young children. Bischof uses diary entries and letters to assist in unfolding the narrative from the perspectives of Juniper and John Cohen from the past and Johnny Sutherland from the present. The timing is beautifully executed and I was enthralled by their stories. There is an overall message of hope and a reminder that the gold in these hills is not the kind that you can dig out of a mine. Hand this to fans of Rachel Hauck and Jennifer L. Wright. When he works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; When he turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him. But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:8-10 Thank you to Thomas Nelson and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I finish this in my favorite reading chair drinking my hot coffee wishing it didn’t end. It was so good. My favorite of Joanne Bischof for sure. It was captivating and captured all the beauty and vulnerability of life. It had two time lines and was very easy to follow. I love the way JB writes. This had character development and plot. The book grabbed me like a hug, pulling me in with a friendly, warm embrace. This enduring story was a gift. Her books never disappoint and this one was wonderful, I finish this in my favorite reading chair drinking my hot coffee wishing it didn’t end. It was so good. My favorite of Joanne Bischof for sure. It was captivating and captured all the beauty and vulnerability of life. It had two time lines and was very easy to follow. I love the way JB writes. This had character development and plot. The book grabbed me like a hug, pulling me in with a friendly, warm embrace. This enduring story was a gift. Her books never disappoint and this one was wonderful, her best yet. It lived up to the hype. I highly recommend reading this one if you love women’s fiction. Thanks Thomas Nelson via Netgalley.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dana Michael

    The Gold In These Hills by Joanne Bischof is a beautifully written book with a duel time line. The prose is poetic and rich in details. I'm not certain what I was expecting. But this tale in both time lines is heart wrenching. I found myself with tears in several of the chapters. With that said, the author ends the book with doses of hope. I had to ponder this book for a while. The world is messed up and things happen in life that we didn't ask for, or expect. I love how the author shows how tru The Gold In These Hills by Joanne Bischof is a beautifully written book with a duel time line. The prose is poetic and rich in details. I'm not certain what I was expecting. But this tale in both time lines is heart wrenching. I found myself with tears in several of the chapters. With that said, the author ends the book with doses of hope. I had to ponder this book for a while. The world is messed up and things happen in life that we didn't ask for, or expect. I love how the author shows how trusting in the Lord, we can put one foot in front of the other. And that was very encouraging.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Heather Wood

    "Pain. Hope. It seems to spring up from this place. It settles around the land like dew. It's in every creak of the stairs and every knot of the pine walls. It's a cry for home, and in some ways, for renewal. She and I... We've wanted the same things." Gold in These Hills is another heart rending book from Joanne Bischof, but this one felt more raw than her previous works. Based on the little that I know about the author, this book appears to be the result of her own journey and wrestling through "Pain. Hope. It seems to spring up from this place. It settles around the land like dew. It's in every creak of the stairs and every knot of the pine walls. It's a cry for home, and in some ways, for renewal. She and I... We've wanted the same things." Gold in These Hills is another heart rending book from Joanne Bischof, but this one felt more raw than her previous works. Based on the little that I know about the author, this book appears to be the result of her own journey and wrestling through pain. It had all the depth we're used to from her, with perhaps a bit more commentary. I loved this book for a lot of reasons. The truth was laid wide open - no vagueness, no question if it can be understood another way. TBH, this is rare from this particular publisher these days, and I applaud Bischof for not mincing words where it mattered. As a character-driven novel, there was no villain or side mystery other than the main plots from split time characters, making it my very favorite type of book. It was beautifully written, with poetic prose that reminded me also of Amanda Dykes' works. And I really loved that it didn't follow the typical Christian novel format, so I truly had no idea where the author was going. At the same time, I felt a little bit miffed that it didn't go how I wanted it to. By that, I mean that the historical character reached a point of reconciliation that I wanted to see more of. She had struggled so hard to get there that when it happened, I wanted to bask in that for awhile and unpack more of the interactions between her and SPOILER CHARACTER, but at that point the story shifts to her friend. It was as if the main character received her own peace so that she could then turn around and give to another. As a reader, I definitely would have preferred to spend more time on the main character's personal life. BUT WE DON'T ALWAYS GET WHAT WE WANT, DO WE? :( which was kind of that character's arc, but I just didn't want it to be mine too. :D The other thing I wanted more of is that there is a secondary character in the historical thread who performs a mind-blowingly major act of love and forgiveness, which we only see from the outside and I would have loved to hear him speak to his why. We know he is a Christian and can assume that is his why, but it's really not unpacked. Because of the poetic prose, some of the dialogue felt unnatural (maybe poetic people really speak this way?), but it's not necessarily a strike against the book because the author probably wrote it exactly how she intended. This is a beautiful book that speaks to real pain with light and truth and gives the reader a happy-enough ending, but mostly hope for their own life. I give it 4.5 stars based on the fact that I wanted to see more of the things I mentioned above. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Wendy W.

    The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof is a beautifully written, historical saga set in two timelines, one in the early 1900s and the other in present day. This is a story about grief, patience, and forgiveness. Juniper Cohen and her daughter Bethany, are alone in the town of Kenworthy, California after her husband, John disappeared. The mining town is dying after the discovery the mine had been salted and is not a viable gold mine after all. Juniper’s life is hard as she takes in laundry fro The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof is a beautifully written, historical saga set in two timelines, one in the early 1900s and the other in present day. This is a story about grief, patience, and forgiveness. Juniper Cohen and her daughter Bethany, are alone in the town of Kenworthy, California after her husband, John disappeared. The mining town is dying after the discovery the mine had been salted and is not a viable gold mine after all. Juniper’s life is hard as she takes in laundry from the remaining townsfolks as she awaits word from her husband, who suddenly disappeared after the discovery of the salted mine. She has a friend, Edie, who runs the mercantile and eventually takes on a border, Mrs. Parsons, who was the schoolteacher until the school shut down due to lack of students. In the present-day timeline, Johnny Sutherland is still reeling from his separation from his wife and their impending divorce. In order to provide a home for their two children and hope for shared custody, Johnny buys an old farmhouse. He discovers historical treasures in the old barn and works to discover the history of the farmhouse. I sure enjoyed this historical saga. The use of the alternating timelines helped the book’s pacing, however, it did get a bit bogged down in historical details in the middle. But, the ending is very worth it to get to. The characters in both timelines have to deal with grief and learn patience and understanding. This deeply emotional tale will tug at your heart and the characters feel like they are living with you through their journey. The historical details in the book brought me an understanding of the history of the gold mines in California and the Cahuilla tribe that I never knew before reading this book. I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel McMillan

    With priceless vulnerability, Bischof paints her most evocatively brave, heart-wrenching and masterful work yet. Slices of the author's heart puncture each page of piece of this historical fiction. Gripping and monumental -- underscored by deft research and empathy to boot-- The Gold in These Hills is a glorious song of love and loss destined to wring out the hardest of hearts and leave readers happily --and bittersweetly--hanging on every well-chosen word. With priceless vulnerability, Bischof paints her most evocatively brave, heart-wrenching and masterful work yet. Slices of the author's heart puncture each page of piece of this historical fiction. Gripping and monumental -- underscored by deft research and empathy to boot-- The Gold in These Hills is a glorious song of love and loss destined to wring out the hardest of hearts and leave readers happily --and bittersweetly--hanging on every well-chosen word.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karen R

    A beautifully written and impactful dual-timeline story. Bischof is a gifted writer. Her characters are vivid and I cared about every one of them. I felt their hopes and heartache in my soul. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pepper Basham

    As usual, Joanne Bischof weaves a tale so deep, one is left ruminating on it long after closing the final page. Though it took me a little while to become invested in the story, the perseverance was worth it because this dual timeline unfolds with beautiful tenderness like a sunrise waking the day. The historical storyline, in particular, breathed with such aching beauty as pain and bitterness gave way to the deeper and more secure healing of forgiveness. It is always amazing to me how fingerpri As usual, Joanne Bischof weaves a tale so deep, one is left ruminating on it long after closing the final page. Though it took me a little while to become invested in the story, the perseverance was worth it because this dual timeline unfolds with beautiful tenderness like a sunrise waking the day. The historical storyline, in particular, breathed with such aching beauty as pain and bitterness gave way to the deeper and more secure healing of forgiveness. It is always amazing to me how fingerprints from the past can reach out to touch us in the present. Lovely story.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heather Gilbert

    A poignant dual-time novel that effortlessly drew me into the storyline. I so enjoyed the unusual Old West setting, which felt very alive with detail. Bischof's poetic prose shines through in this book as it does in her others. I enjoyed getting to know each of these characters, in particular the firebrand Edie. The modern-day divorce scenario felt realistic, and it underscored the events that occurred in the past--in particular, Juniper's period of waiting and not knowing what was coming next. A poignant dual-time novel that effortlessly drew me into the storyline. I so enjoyed the unusual Old West setting, which felt very alive with detail. Bischof's poetic prose shines through in this book as it does in her others. I enjoyed getting to know each of these characters, in particular the firebrand Edie. The modern-day divorce scenario felt realistic, and it underscored the events that occurred in the past--in particular, Juniper's period of waiting and not knowing what was coming next. Another memorable tale of loss and love by Bischof. *I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are totally my own.*

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    For fans of dual timeline stories, here is another one to add to your reading list. I so enjoyed that the setting was the same in the past as in the present, a house built by a wealthy man in a town that had become a ghost town. In the present, the main character was restoring and living in that same house. I was very moved by the reality that the main characters, Juniper from the past and Johnny from the future, were living lives that were filled with a sense of both helplessness for their situa For fans of dual timeline stories, here is another one to add to your reading list. I so enjoyed that the setting was the same in the past as in the present, a house built by a wealthy man in a town that had become a ghost town. In the present, the main character was restoring and living in that same house. I was very moved by the reality that the main characters, Juniper from the past and Johnny from the future, were living lives that were filled with a sense of both helplessness for their situations and grief for what they had lost. Yet, as the story progressed, the author did a good job of helping them to realize that they needed to lean on God. And all the while, both characters just kept moving forward and doing the best that they could do as they pushed through circumstances that were out of their control and definitely not what they envisioned their lives would look like. I really enjoyed watching the historical details unfold, both while reading the firsthand story of the past and then seeing the contemporary characters piece together bits of the past from letters, diaries, and photographs. The author wrapped things up nicely, and although it was a difficult and often painful journey to read about, I felt hope as I turned the last page. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. You can read this review on my blog: https://brittreadsfiction.wordpress.c...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    1902 - Juniper is waiting for her husband to return, she doesn’t even know if he will return, she doesn’t know if he is still alive. She met her husband as a mail-order bride but has come to love John. They have one daughter, Bethany, and while she waits for him to return, she writes letters to him. She feels his betrayal with the mine, with everything she thought to be the truth. Present time - Johnny Sutherland doesn’t want his marriage to dissolve but his former wife, Emily has already moved o 1902 - Juniper is waiting for her husband to return, she doesn’t even know if he will return, she doesn’t know if he is still alive. She met her husband as a mail-order bride but has come to love John. They have one daughter, Bethany, and while she waits for him to return, she writes letters to him. She feels his betrayal with the mine, with everything she thought to be the truth. Present time - Johnny Sutherland doesn’t want his marriage to dissolve but his former wife, Emily has already moved on. He has recently bought a house in Kenworthy, California with the intention to flip this house, it’s what he does. He is grieving what he can’t have anymore, he adores his two young children, he simply delights in them. Both Johnny and Juniper have had to make hard decisions, and then they need to move forward after those choices have been made. This was simply a lovely story about forgiveness, love, and trust in what we don’t understand. This story is beautiful. Gratitude to Thomas Nelson and Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Joanne Bischof has written a beautiful story of forgiveness, perseverance, love and loss. This is a dual timeline novel, both of which contain rich, extremely well developed characters. In fact, while most would simply call this a romance, I would suggest this borders on literary fiction as well. I strongly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy books focused on character development. Both plot lines literally revolve around this. Readers should not pick up this book looking for a fast pace o Joanne Bischof has written a beautiful story of forgiveness, perseverance, love and loss. This is a dual timeline novel, both of which contain rich, extremely well developed characters. In fact, while most would simply call this a romance, I would suggest this borders on literary fiction as well. I strongly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy books focused on character development. Both plot lines literally revolve around this. Readers should not pick up this book looking for a fast pace or swoon worthy romance. This is a book about characters who feel real and relatable, giving readers the opportunity to walk the storyline with them, closely. If you are such a reader, I hope you thoroughly enjoy The Gold in These Hills. This gets a solid 3.5 from me. I received a complementary copy of this book. Opinions expressed are entirely my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Turansky

    Joanne Bischof has such a gift for creating memorable characters and building a beautiful story-world. I loved this time-slip novel set in the early 1900s and present day California with heartfelt themes of God's care and healing from brokenness. Her writing is lyrical, almost poetic, and I savored each scene. Well written and highly recommended! Joanne Bischof has such a gift for creating memorable characters and building a beautiful story-world. I loved this time-slip novel set in the early 1900s and present day California with heartfelt themes of God's care and healing from brokenness. Her writing is lyrical, almost poetic, and I savored each scene. Well written and highly recommended!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    3.5 Joanne Bischof is a favorite of mine and I never tire of reading her good books. She is a little different in this one, but her work is always good. Recommended. My thanks to Thomas Nelson for a copy of this book via Net Galley.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

    Beyond us, the mine is silent-the work of disassembling the stamp mill ceased for this day. Some of the newcomers have even gathered at the edge of the work yard, watching what is happening below. They've pulled off their hats, standing as centennials, a respect that people say doesn't exist in the West between the white and those who lived here a thousand years before. Yet it exists this day, and I am only sorry it has taken the loss of a life to spark such unity. I pray it is a legacy that wil Beyond us, the mine is silent-the work of disassembling the stamp mill ceased for this day. Some of the newcomers have even gathered at the edge of the work yard, watching what is happening below. They've pulled off their hats, standing as centennials, a respect that people say doesn't exist in the West between the white and those who lived here a thousand years before. Yet it exists this day, and I am only sorry it has taken the loss of a life to spark such unity. I pray it is a legacy that will linger on. They say there is no gold in these hills. But as a father lays dirt over a wooden box, there suddenly is. A thoughtful historical fiction based in the early turn of the century in the mountains of California. Men and women looking for gold, looking for promises of a better life. It is more brought to life because of the legacy it left to the current time of Johnny Sutherland. A man trying to make his marriage work. He has purchased an old Cabin in the mountains of California that was occupied by Juniper Cohen who came to California as a mail-order bride and is now waiting for her husband to come home to her and their young child. The narration goes back and forth between Juniper and Johnny and the trials they face. The hardships of marriage, life, and going forward. Their lives are intertwined 100 years later because of their suffering and more important the hope that they found. Faith is an important factor and it shows the humanity of suffering. How to forgive and to go on. Friendship in marriage and how marriage can be idolized. Faith is putting away our idols of expectations and finding redemption. Juniper and Johnny both did with different outcomes. The author is a seasoned story teller and brought what is really important. A reminder of the "gold" we have in our own lives and in our relationships with others and with God. What faith looks like in the mundane and not having to have all the answers. We cannot live this life in joy without faith. A special thank you to Thomas Nelson Fiction and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    sincerely

    "The harsh truth about a ghost town is that you’re not supposed to still live here." A year ago I went out on a limb and claimed I had found my book of the year. In July 😂 guess what? I was completely right. And well, I'm doing it again. When you know, you know. The Gold in These Hills opens in the early 1900s. I immediately felt the desperation, isolation and determination of our main heroine, Juniper Cohen. Juniper is raising her daughter in a ghost town. She was originally brought to the moun "The harsh truth about a ghost town is that you’re not supposed to still live here." A year ago I went out on a limb and claimed I had found my book of the year. In July 😂 guess what? I was completely right. And well, I'm doing it again. When you know, you know. The Gold in These Hills opens in the early 1900s. I immediately felt the desperation, isolation and determination of our main heroine, Juniper Cohen. Juniper is raising her daughter in a ghost town. She was originally brought to the mountains of California during a boom, as a mail-order-bride. Now nearly everyone has disappeared, including her husband, and Juniper is left holding the pieces, merely trying to survive. Faithful to her husband, despite how the circumstances may seem, she pens letters to him in his absence, simultaneously longing for his heart, but fearful of the truth. A century later, Johnny Sutherland is wounded in these same mountains. His heart has been shattered by a painful divorce and he is trying his best to move on. In his newly acquired farmhouse, he finds Juniper's letters which give him reason to see hope in the darkness and a future for himself that he thought had been lost forever. I savored every single line of this book. I had never even heard of this author until now, but boy is she on my radar now. Joanne Bischoff has it going on, I am telling you! For those of you who have followed me for a while, you will know how big of a deal this is when I say it. Are you ready? Okay here goes. The Gold in These Hills is like Amy Harmon and Charles Martin MIXED TOGETHER. And for the Christian, this book is theologically sound. Helloooooo to seeing Romans 5:8 used at a massive turning point in the story. Bravo, Bischoff 👏 To the non-Christian, this book is still one to savor. The characters' faith is raw, disciplined and a wonderful depiction of humility and forgiveness. If I have one complaint, it is simply that I wanted 200-300 more pages 😂 Thank you to @tnzfiction and @netgalley for the eARC. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own. This story is out August 31! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK. ALL MY STARS AND A SPOT ON THE FOREVER SHELF: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐+❤ ⚠️ TW: stillbirth

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    RTC… closer to publication date.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rachelle Cobb

    If you’re as unsure as I was about the current trend of dual-timeline sagas, start with this one. TW: infant loss

  19. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    When I think of what word best describes The Gold in These Hills, the word that comes to mind is: gentle. This book is a soft and gentle tale of sadness, loss and grief but more importantly, hope. There can never be too many books to remind us to hope, so this book is a welcome addition to a world that so desperately needs it. This story is a gentle reminder that everything may not turn out how we wish but everything is going to be alright so long as we don't give up hope in the One who is watch When I think of what word best describes The Gold in These Hills, the word that comes to mind is: gentle. This book is a soft and gentle tale of sadness, loss and grief but more importantly, hope. There can never be too many books to remind us to hope, so this book is a welcome addition to a world that so desperately needs it. This story is a gentle reminder that everything may not turn out how we wish but everything is going to be alright so long as we don't give up hope in the One who is watching over us and holds our lives in His hands. Of all the books I've read so far that centre around divorce, I've found that they're always told from the female perspective and the men are never painted in a complimentary light. So it was special to read it from a male viewpoint and to be reminded that men feel pain and emotions just as deeply as women and can shed as many tears. Joanne Bischof's characters are always so heart-brokenly strong and so very real. This story reads like a real journal, a devotional and a story all melded together, a combination that made it feel very personal to read. The ending wasn't a wonderful happily-ever-after but a quiet yet satisfying everything's-going-to-be-alright which just felt so perfect.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Scott

    The setting of this story was the most interesting part for me. I'm fascinated with ghost towns and the Old West. By reading this book, I learned things about mines that I never known before. Such as the term 'salting' and what it entails. I love that I can learn through fiction! I really felt for Juniper, the historical heroine. Being one of the very few women in a struggling mining town, she faces a lot of struggles. This book is a little different than the author's other works, but her style The setting of this story was the most interesting part for me. I'm fascinated with ghost towns and the Old West. By reading this book, I learned things about mines that I never known before. Such as the term 'salting' and what it entails. I love that I can learn through fiction! I really felt for Juniper, the historical heroine. Being one of the very few women in a struggling mining town, she faces a lot of struggles. This book is a little different than the author's other works, but her style still shines through with beautiful imagery and a thought-provoking picture of redemption. *I received this story from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Karen R

    A beautifully written, thought provoking story set along a dual timeline. This author pens such lyrical, almost prose-like lines that had me stopping and rereading them before moving on. The landscape descriptions were like word pictures, setting the mood. This isn't a happy, light read, but one that is punctuated with hope in the midst of deep loss and trials. The characters from the past and present share the same setting, with the history being revealed through journal entries and letters, o A beautifully written, thought provoking story set along a dual timeline. This author pens such lyrical, almost prose-like lines that had me stopping and rereading them before moving on. The landscape descriptions were like word pictures, setting the mood. This isn't a happy, light read, but one that is punctuated with hope in the midst of deep loss and trials. The characters from the past and present share the same setting, with the history being revealed through journal entries and letters, old photos and glimpses into the town's past. Though quite different, their life experiences parallel each other in many ways. The author seems well acquainted with grief as she accurately describes what the characters are feeling and how they move through it. After recently losing a parent, I could identify well with their soul struggles. They have hope through their faith and true friendships, light in their darkness shines through, and the ending leaves the reader with the feeling that they will keep moving forward in a good direction. An excellent book, well-written, appealing to readers who like character driven stories set in the past and present. A contemplative read, not to be hurried through, but savored. 5 stars (An ebook was provided by the author via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    In this time slip novel, Joanne Bischof weaves a tale of love, loss, and ghost towns. The Gold in These Hills is beautifully written, lyrical without being wordy, and full of emotion. Both of the timelines will draw you in and have you falling in love with the characters. And the setting will have you googling mining ghost towns. Sad to think of an entire town completely torn down with barely anything left to even recognize it was there at all. People lived there, loved there, lost there, spent In this time slip novel, Joanne Bischof weaves a tale of love, loss, and ghost towns. The Gold in These Hills is beautifully written, lyrical without being wordy, and full of emotion. Both of the timelines will draw you in and have you falling in love with the characters. And the setting will have you googling mining ghost towns. Sad to think of an entire town completely torn down with barely anything left to even recognize it was there at all. People lived there, loved there, lost there, spent years of their lives there...and it can all be gone in a few decades of time. Makes you realize just how much of our lives really are just a vapor in the wind! This book will have you examining many aspects of life and the imprint that we leave. Very, very well done! I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    JoAnn

    The Gold in These Hill is a beautifully written dual time line novel. A very good plot and well crafted characters . The two time periods are woven together perfectly. I recommend this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kate Heinz

    Thank you to Joanne Bischof, Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read The Gold in These Hills. My thoughts are my own. Review First off, happy belated birthday to The Gold in These Hills, released August 31, 2021! I grew up in the shadow of the mountains featured in Joanne Bischof's latest release The Gold in These Hills. Bischof writes about this area subtly, so much so I didn't think very much of it at first. I wandered through the beginning chapters wondering if she w Thank you to Joanne Bischof, Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read The Gold in These Hills. My thoughts are my own. Review First off, happy belated birthday to The Gold in These Hills, released August 31, 2021! I grew up in the shadow of the mountains featured in Joanne Bischof's latest release The Gold in These Hills. Bischof writes about this area subtly, so much so I didn't think very much of it at first. I wandered through the beginning chapters wondering if she was referring to the area I was raised. When she mentioned "Mountain Center" and one of her main characters headed into "the valley" to Home Depot, that's when I knew I had to explore more. Researcher by nature, I took to the Internet to confirm this theory. Sure enough, Kenworthy existed in the mountains above where I lived. How cool to explore the long lost past of a Southern California ghost town…one I had no clue even existed. And I must admit, I also didn't know that people salted mines as a way to dupe investors and to make money under false pretenses. Although scandalous and a little baffling, what an incredible piece of history, one I'm sure not many know about. Analysis I've read several of Bischof's books over the years, including her Cadence of Grace series. She wrote the Cadence of Grace series early on in her career. As an aspiring writer myself, some of these stories felt a little…"and this happened…and then this happened". However as a burgeoning author, Bischof created a dramatic tale in three installments that I will not soon forget. Even to this day, I think about everything that happened to the characters and how Bischof weaved something unique and incredible together. But, her writing felt young back then. Fast forward to 2021 and the release of The Gold in These Hills. Bischof challenges herself on multiple levels. First, her two main characters exist in two separate time periods. I would imagine that creating a deep and thoughtful book with multiple timelines would be difficult to do. And, Bischof accepts the challenge and succeeds brilliantly. Both June and Johnny read as multi-dimensional characters, lacking nothing in their description or their stories. I feel like this novel expertly shows Bischof's maturity as a writer. The way she pens June's and Johnny's stories shows great care, thought, research and a great love of writing. Finally, from the novels I've read, Bischof loves to use first person. This gives her writing an incredibly deep and personal quality. Poignant and compelling, her writing calls to you. The author shows herself through in her writing, allowing the reader into her personal space. Unlike many novels, the middle does not slow down. Bischof writes with grace and the fluidity of a mountain stream, a constant pace that is kept going by several different and intriguing story lines. It will definitely hold your attention as it did mine! Bottom Line If you want to read a dual timeline novel that shows the difficulties of the Wild West, surrounded in the history and mystery of California's past, and that discusses the celebrations and struggles of life then and now, get your copy now!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Lynch

    I wasn’t completely sure what to expect from The Gold in These Hills, but I was thoroughly pleased with this read! This book is a slow read. It’s reflective and thought-provoking, which is absolutely perfect since the plot has such an emphasis on patience. Juniper and Johnny both find themselves in seasons of waiting, and although both struggle with sitting still, the lessons they learn during these times are valuable to them as well as to readers. I am an incredibly impatient person, so I can al I wasn’t completely sure what to expect from The Gold in These Hills, but I was thoroughly pleased with this read! This book is a slow read. It’s reflective and thought-provoking, which is absolutely perfect since the plot has such an emphasis on patience. Juniper and Johnny both find themselves in seasons of waiting, and although both struggle with sitting still, the lessons they learn during these times are valuable to them as well as to readers. I am an incredibly impatient person, so I can always use reminders to slow down and wait on God’s timing, and Bischof does a fantastic job of showing how wonderfully God can work in those slower moments. Both Johnny and Juniper are well-developed characters, and I enjoyed the stories presented in each timeline. I’m always a fan of dual timelines that connect with each other, and I thought the intertwining of the narratives was done in such a way that each character had their own story that reflected the other’s while still keeping the stories balanced. The two storylines reflect each other in their themes of heartbreak, forgiveness, and friendship, and Bischof has created strong secondary characters that help give the stories heart and hope. Johnny’s children allow him to reflect on what’s truly important in his life, and he is definitely a good father. Juniper’s determined yet kind nature allows her to make the best of her hard situation but also means she’s there for others whenever she can provide a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on. As I said, both main characters are well fleshed-out, and I really enjoyed getting to know both of them and seeing how they grew over the course of the novel. I also liked learning more about gold mining, carpentry, and the Cahuilla people. I had little to no knowledge on these topics, and I love when a good story also teaches me something! The setting is vividly depicted and creates the perfect backdrop and situation for exploring these topics and for introducing readers to a unique time period and an Indian tribe with which most people will likely be unfamiliar. The Gold in These Hills is the type of story that provides ample opportunity for self-reflection and just generally makes one think about his or her life and circumstances. Juniper and Johnny’s journeys are hard but rewarding, and their faith, although shaky at times, helps show the importance of waiting on God and allowing Him to work in our lives. Although the slower pace of the plot may not be for everyone, I will definitely be recommending this book. Thanks to NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    Poignant. Introspective. Heartrending. Immersive. Joanne Bischof takes readers on quite a journey in The Gold in These Hills. She parallels the lives of Juniper Cohen at the turn of the twentieth century with modern day Johnny Sutherland. Two very different time periods and yet these characters have much in common as they deal with hardship and life circumstances not of their choosing. The Gold in These Hills is so artistically written, at times it reads like poetry. There are many truthful insig Poignant. Introspective. Heartrending. Immersive. Joanne Bischof takes readers on quite a journey in The Gold in These Hills. She parallels the lives of Juniper Cohen at the turn of the twentieth century with modern day Johnny Sutherland. Two very different time periods and yet these characters have much in common as they deal with hardship and life circumstances not of their choosing. The Gold in These Hills is so artistically written, at times it reads like poetry. There are many truthful insights overflowing the pages of this book. Some of my favorites reveal too much, so I'll just mention a few more timeless quotes: ~"We hear news of tragedy in newspapers or on the wind, and rarely does it affect us until it reaches inside our homes." ~"..there is no easy way to harness that hope. To even see it at times. Even so, it is there." ~"I guess the secret to life just might boil down to counting our blessings one moment at a time." Through it all, the lessons learned through the characters experiences can apply to the life journey readers themselves are traveling. It may challenge a person's perspective on what they value and what they think of as true blessings. Well done, Joanne Bischof! I appreciate a copy of The Gold in These Hills, from Thomas Nelson, through Netgalley, being made available for review. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own. ~

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book was beautiful and poignant but so. hard. So. raw. There is so much pain in this book and it hurt to read many times. I hurt with these characters who were betrayed and had their hearts broken by the ones who were supposed to love them the most. I felt the pain of trying to figure out how to forgive and mend or just move on where restoration was not possible. The questions and hopelessness that they feel are what we all feel when we are going through the worst things in life. And they d This book was beautiful and poignant but so. hard. So. raw. There is so much pain in this book and it hurt to read many times. I hurt with these characters who were betrayed and had their hearts broken by the ones who were supposed to love them the most. I felt the pain of trying to figure out how to forgive and mend or just move on where restoration was not possible. The questions and hopelessness that they feel are what we all feel when we are going through the worst things in life. And they don't get all the answers. Things are not perfectly wrapped up in the end but they see some light... and maybe that's enough. There were certain things I knew had to occur at some point in the past because of what was happening in the present. Certain people had to come into existence for our present-day to be what it is. I liked that we get to know all the pieces and connections and details, even though our characters don't. I honestly don't know how to rate this book. I gave it four stars because it doesn't seem fair to mark it any lower just because it is painful. Don't be fooled, there is hope to be found within the pages, but this is not a light book. It's very, very heavy. A beautiful kind of heavy. That makes no sense, I know, but if you read it, maybe you'll understand. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and a favorable review was not required.

  28. 4 out of 5

    DeAnna

    Told in a dual timeline, this is a story about forgiveness and grace within marriage and friendship. Juniper is waiting for her husband to return in an early 1900’s ghost town in California during the gold rush. Johnny is broken-hearted after divorce and navigating life as a single parent while renovating the house Juniper and her family lived in nearly two hundred years before. This story paints such a real picture of what grace looks like in a marriage. You won’t find fairytale love here. Afte Told in a dual timeline, this is a story about forgiveness and grace within marriage and friendship. Juniper is waiting for her husband to return in an early 1900’s ghost town in California during the gold rush. Johnny is broken-hearted after divorce and navigating life as a single parent while renovating the house Juniper and her family lived in nearly two hundred years before. This story paints such a real picture of what grace looks like in a marriage. You won’t find fairytale love here. After Juniper learns the truth about her husband’s long absence she must decide if she will hold resentment toward him or work hard toward forgiveness. Johnny struggles to forgive the one he loves most as she leaves him and starts life with someone else. The author puts into beautiful perspective the undeserving grace believers receive from Christ and gently reminds us how amazing it is when we choose to follow His example in our relationships with others. 4/5 ⭐️ - I really enjoyed this one. Thank you to @netgalley and @thomasnelson - I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katie Lindsey

    5 stars! Joanne Bischoff never disappoints with her immersing story telling and beautiful, poetic prose. 1800s gold mine closed down and her husband missing. Juniper strives everyday to provide for herself and her young daughter. Always hoping that her beloved husband will return soon. 100 years into the future a man buys the homestead that belong to John and Juniper. With an excellent weaving back and forth between time periods we come to understand all the characters better and their journey thro 5 stars! Joanne Bischoff never disappoints with her immersing story telling and beautiful, poetic prose. 1800s gold mine closed down and her husband missing. Juniper strives everyday to provide for herself and her young daughter. Always hoping that her beloved husband will return soon. 100 years into the future a man buys the homestead that belong to John and Juniper. With an excellent weaving back and forth between time periods we come to understand all the characters better and their journey through life and their faith. I received a complimentary copy from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Judith Welbaum

    I have to admit, I usually don’t go for split time novels, but this one was so captivating. It was so easy to follow and it really pulled on my heart stings, and this author is very good at doing that. Faith, love, forgiveness and redemption was beautifully written. Joanne writes so deep and with such passion, that I just wanted to know everything about the characters, and I wanted to feel each heart ache and each hope. I had tears in my eyes a few times. Her books speaks volumes to me, helps me I have to admit, I usually don’t go for split time novels, but this one was so captivating. It was so easy to follow and it really pulled on my heart stings, and this author is very good at doing that. Faith, love, forgiveness and redemption was beautifully written. Joanne writes so deep and with such passion, that I just wanted to know everything about the characters, and I wanted to feel each heart ache and each hope. I had tears in my eyes a few times. Her books speaks volumes to me, helps me grow, inspires me, and truly touch’s my heart. Don’t miss this one.

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