5 Stars Out Of 5
One of the best books I have ever read
November 8, 2016
The Lady and the Lionheart is the first book I have ever read by Joanne Bischof, but it has most definitely made me a forever fan of her work. I have never read a novel that has so moved meand Ive read a LOT of books in my lifetimebut this story that Joanne perfectly wove together still has me all torn up days after I started it. I laughed, I cried (sobbed really), and I fell in love with Charlie, Ella, and little Holland in a way I never expected. When I first heard about this novel, I had a feeling about it right away. Therefore, I quickly added it to my list of books to purchase, but I never, EVER expected it to be the most heart-wrenching, touching, beautiful, lovely, impossible-to-fully-describe story that I now know it to be. If I dont get to read another book for the rest of my life, I will be glad to know that The Lady and the Lionheart was my last, because it will be the freshest in my memory and is a wonderful novel to finish with.
As hard as I try, I cannot come up with words to describe Charlie Lionheart. He is beyond explanation, beyond imagination, and beyond perfect. No, I dont mean perfect in the literal sense, because he clearly makes mistakes, but I have never encountered a more perfect hero. I dont want to spoil a bit of this story because I want everyone to read it and experience it for themselves, but I want you to know your heart will break over Charlie and how we find him at the beginning of this novel. I sobbed, literally sobbed over his treatment and the pain and humiliation he has to endure, and I sobbed even more as I realized how undeserving he was, how sweet and wonderful and kind of a man he truly was underneath all of his marks that I wish never had to be permanent.
Im trying and failing at finding the words to describe such a man, and all that he gave to have baby Holland as his own, and the only thing I can relate it to is Jesus and the humiliation and torment He suffered. While I know the two cant truly be compared, I dont think Ive ever seen a better human representation of just a slice of what he gave so that we could be free from our chains. As someone who cannot imagine Charlies sacrifice and all that it took from him, I cant fathom someone ever going through worse just for people who might never thank him for it. So, not only to I praise Joanne for creating such a perfect, selfless character in Charlie, I thank her for touching me so deeply, and for giving me what I felt like was just a taste of all that my Savior suffered.
Ella Beckley has also suffered much when we meet her at the beginning of this story, although hers is of a much different kind. My heart went out to her as well, but I was so completely unable to comprehend all that Charlie faced that I think I couldnt emotionally take in her pain as well. I did feel it on a surface level, and I did cry for her too, but I wish I could have really grasped it as much as I ought. I have just been so emotionally drainedin a good way mind youat the hands of this story, that I am literally dying to read it again so that I can grasp all that I missed. Believe me, I will just as soon as Ive caught up with some of my other reading, hopefully in the next few weeks, because I know I couldnt take it all in the way I wanted to.
Anyway, Ella is such a sweet character as well, and I loved her incessant questions and bright, plucky spirit, and the way that she broke down Charlies walls. The two of them together was by far the sweetest, most perfect, meant-to-be relationship that I have ever read, and possibly even ever seen, in a very long time. The way that they accepted each other with all of their scars and brokenness was enough to get me crying all over again, and I couldnt describe to you how much I wanted them to be together. But, like I said earlier, crying wasnt the only thing I did while reading this novel, and I did laugh a lot over Ellas fear of Charlies lions.
All in all, this book was wonderful, fantastic, amazing, and all kinds of words that havent even been invented yet, and I HIGHLY, like cannot even tell you how highly I recommend this novel. You will not be disappointed, so go pick up this book!!! As for me, I cant imagine not giving The Lady and the Lionheart all five bookshelves, and you can bet it has a place on my all-time favorites list, as it is by far one of the top three books I have ever read. Joanne hit it out of the park with this one, and you can most definitely believe that I will be reading more of her novels in the future.