Review: The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

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.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.


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.

Purchase your own copy here.


Picture courtesy of

Joanne Bischof is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children.


About Brittany

As a homeschooling mom and avid reader, I get great joy through reading and reviewing books. I focus my reading and my reviews on Christian fiction, primarily Christian romantic fiction. I also review sweet, clean fiction. I hope you will find my reviews helpful in your decisions on what books to read.
This entry was posted in book, book review, Christian Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Review: The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

  1. Lelia “ Lucy” Reynolds says:

    Would love to read this. ❤️

  2. carylkane says:

    Brittany, Thank you for sharing your wonderful review! I enjoy Joanne Bischof’s novels.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.