Category Archives: Joanne Bischof

Review: The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

Title: The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Christian, Women’s Fiction
Length: 335 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


One wild and mysterious ghost town. Two second-chance love stories. And the century-old legacy that binds them together.

Upon arriving in Kenworthy, California, mail-order bride Juniper Cohen is met by the pounding of the gold mine, an untamable landscape, and her greatest surprise of all: the kind and loving man who awaits her. But when the mine proves empty of profit, and when Juniper’s husband, John, vanishes, Juniper is left to fend for herself and her young daughter in the dwindling boomtown that is now her home.

Juniper pens letters to her husband but fears she is waiting on a ghost. Perhaps worse, rumors abound claiming the man she loves could be an outlaw. Surviving in a ghost town requires trusting the kindness of a few remaining souls, including the one who can unlock the mystery of her husband’s disappearance—and Juniper’s survival depends not only upon these friends but also the strength of heart she must fight to maintain.

Present day. Trying to escape the heartache of his failed marriage, Johnny Sutherland throws himself into raising his children and restoring a hundred-year-old abandoned farmhouse in what was once known as Kenworthy, California, in the San Jacinto Mountains. While exploring its secrets he uncovers Juniper’s letters and is moved by the handwritten accounts that bear his name—and as a love story from the past touches his own world, Johnny might discover yet that hope and resilience go hand in hand.

With The Gold in These Hills, acclaimed and beloved author Joanne Bischof returns with an absorbing masterpiece of faith, perseverance, and love that changes the course of history.


The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof is a captivating Christian novel that seamlessly moves back and forth in time.

In 1902, Juniper Cohen fiercely misses her husband, John. She and their three-year-old daughter Bethany wait for his return but Juniper is beginning to lose hope. She has no idea where he is or what he is doing. With the mines closed in their small town, most everyone has moved away. She still ekes out a living washing clothes for the single men who decide to remain in Kenworthy. Juniper is a strong woman who left her family behind when she answered a mail order bride advertisement. She deeply loves her taciturn husband, but she is brokenhearted when she learns his deepest, most shameful secret. What their marriage survive in the aftermath of this shocking discovery?

In the present, Johnny Sutherland still coming to terms with his unexpected divorce. With his soon-to-be ex-wife keeping the family home, he purchases a historic home which is more than 100 years old. Johnny becomes interested in the home’s history as he renovates it and makes plans for some much needed updates. As he learns what happened to John and Jupiter, he slowly begins to recover from the stunning changes in his life. Johnny’s young children also help him heal as they navigate their parents’ separation with grace and his new home with curiosity and wonder.

The Gold in These Hills is an absolutely enthralling novel that is impossible to put down. Juniper’s situation is heartbreaking as she awaits word for John. She is positively floored by the revelations and she is uncertain about their future. Johnny’s story arc is compelling as he tries to make sense of life without his former wife. His interest in the history of his home proves to be vital to moving through his grief at the loss of his marriage. The secondary cast of characters is colorful and their circumstances add depth to the storyline. Joanne Bischof gently weaves elements of faith into both story arcs in a way that is natural and greatly enriches the overall story.

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Filed under Christian, Contemporary, Historical, Joanne Bischof, Rated B+, Review, The Gold in These Hills, Thomas Nelson Publishing, Women's Fiction