Review Time: The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

the-lady-and-the-lionheart-by-joanne-bischofThe Lady and the Lionheart is a poignant tale of circus performer, Charlie Lionheart, who in a desperate quest to find medical care for his sick niece, meets nurse Ella Beckley, a compassionate woman who bears wounds that have shattered her faith. Charlie has his own wounds, but his faith and love for his niece, Holland, gives him strength to sacrifice his own life to the “dark bondage of a sideshow.” The setting of the circus is as enchanting as it is mysterious and frightening. There is a magnetism between Charlie and Ella that deepens into friendship and much more, but just like the circus, there are endearing traits and darker secrets that keep these two from recognizing the redemption that God has for both of them as well as for a baby girl who has no understanding of the pain and heartache into which she was born. Charlie and Ella both suffer a type of bondage, but where Charlie’s is a physical one, Ella’s is a spiritual one, and this is where the story is hinged – to continue to live in bondage or to risk everything for freedom. Charlie may seem mysterious, and Ella timid, but their characters both please with their compassion, selflessness, and restraint. The story is satisfying on many levels.  For my local followers, I picked up this book because the story opens in Roanoke, Virginia, a place where I worked for many years and have actually traveled to watch the circus from time to time when it comes to town. Local readers will recognize some of the historical tidbits that the author includes in the story.  Enjoy!


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