The Book Worm: Review: Undaunted Hope

Friday, December 29, 2017

Review: Undaunted Hope

Book Review: Undaunted Hope, by Jody Hedlund, 5 stars


Tessa Taylor arrives in 1870s Upper Peninsula, Michigan, planning to serve as a new teacher to the town. Much to her dismay, however, she immediately learns that there was a mistake, that the town had requested a male teacher. Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since they won't be able to locate a new teacher before then, and Tessa can't help but say she is in his debt. Little does she know that Percival will indeed keep track of all that she owes him.
Determined to become indispensable, Tessa throws herself into teaching, and soon the children of the widowed lighthouse keeper have decided she's the right match for their grieving father. Their uncle and assistant light keeper, Alex Bjorklund, has his own feelings for Tessa. As the two brothers begin competing for her hand, Tessa increasingly feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her.

Genre: historical romance

Publication date: December 2015

Mature content: no

Review: There are books that the moment you start reading you know you're not going to love, there are books that start on the wrong foot but that grow on you as the story progresses. And there are books that capture your attention - and your heart - from the very first line and never let go. This is one of them.

Undaunted Hope is book three in the Beacons of Hope series by Jody Hedlund. I loved both previous books (Love Unexpected and Hearts Made Whole) and this one was no exception. It's a powerful and gripping story that you will have a hard time putting down. One that imprints on you the hard life of miners in north Michigan in the 19th century: how men, women and children lived - and often died - in deplorable conditions, fighting against mother nature and the unfairness of those who should lead them but instead exploited them. Even if it's a bit on the longish side, the characters are so compelling and there are so many twists in the plot that you will actually be sad to see it end.

In Undaunted Hope we get to meet Tessa Taylor (from book two) again, this time as the main character. I didn't like her much when I read Hearts Made Whole, she was a selfish and sometimes rude teenager back then, but in Undaunted Hope she has certainly grown to be a hardworking and honest young woman. I also love the fact that the wooden cross that we hear about first in book one is passed forward in the other two books.

Undaunted Hope is, like the others in the series, a book about second chances, about handling losses and trusting that God always has a plan. The plot is perhaps a bit heavier on the romance than the previous books, especially given Alex and Tessa's strong physical attraction, but it's still a clean, Christian romance. It's a beautiful book and I fully recommend it.

Happy readings and happy new year,

the book worm, book blog

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