Friday, January 22, 2016

Jody Hedlund's "Undaunted Hope" - a dramatic tale of the U.P.

Cover ArtIn the final Beacons of Hope novel, Tessa Taylor travels to the far reaches of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to teach school, only to discover a poorer, more spiritless community than she could have anticipated. Trapped under the thumb of the chief clerk of the mine, the townspeople put up with all manner of injustices for the sake of their homes and employment. In the face of the darkness, Tessa provides a beacon of hope, garnering respect and admiration - especially from two good men fighting for her hand. But anyone in this town who takes a stand must pay the consequences for their defiance . . .

It's nice to see that Tessa's character hasn't changed completely from Hearts Made Whole, though thankfully she is older and wiser. She's still too flirtatious for her own good, but with a stronger understanding of the importance of a woman's reputation, she is much more careful than in her impetuous youth. Alex and Michael are both great guys, so I don't like how she leads them on (or rather, fails to make her position clear) when she knows she has no intention of marrying. Though to be fair, her flirting makes for witty dialogue.

I really like how the series is brought full circle, though the impact of it is much stronger if one has read the entire series, starting with the novella. The villain is wonderfully despicable (with one very slight redemptive quality), and the setting and history well-researched, as always.

Thank you Bethany House for providing a free book in exchange for a review; I was not required to make the review positive, and all opinions are my own.

Beacons of Hope
0.5. "Out of the Storm"
1. Love Unexpected
2. Hearts Made Whole 
3. Undaunted Hope

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