Thursday, March 10, 2016

Book Review: Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund

Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund
Beacons of Hope #3
Bethany House Publishers

My Rating

Goodreads Synopsis

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.

My Thoughts

The lighthouse was lovely, as always. That's the single most outstanding setting in Ms. Hedlund's Beacons of Hope series that I continue to enjoy. I grew up on the Oregon coast, with countless lighthouses, so it's always fun and nostalgic to read a novel that includes a lighthouse.

I think it's time to speak life to Christian historic romance writers. You can do this.

Ms. Hedlund, I have read some amazing stories by you. The Preacher's Bride? Oh my gosh, that is the best book ever, one of my top favorites because it is so authentic and REAL. You are a talented and skilled writer. So I know that you can create fiction of lasting quality, that really means something to your readers.

Don't give up. Don't just assume that you can't offer depth to a story or that you have to work with a cookie-cutter formula of romance. Be brave. Be different. Make the relationships and characters real because I've seen you do it before.

Undaunted Hope was not the book for me. But I don't want to go into the reason because I am now trying to speak life to brothers and sisters in Christ instead of judging harshly.

Ms. Hedlund, keep trying. Do something different than what you have been for the last couple of years. Maybe try returning to the story and characterization you designed back when you wrote The Preacher's Bride. Because where you're going now is not a good use of your remarkable talents and abilities. Prove me right. I know you can do it.

Be authentic. Be genuine. Write characters that put the Lord first and themselves second, whose thoughts aren't all wrapped up in themselves and their romantic entanglements. Be the cut above the rest that I know you are.

*I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.


  1. Oh, I so agree with your analysis. I haven't read this book myself, but I mean your thoughts about Christian fiction in general. There's so much cookie-cutter material out there. I sometimes wonder if it has something to do with the fact that the well-known authors seem to bring out a new book each year or even more and don't really take the time for their new stories?

    1. It's always possible that they're being rushed to produce. Honestly, I'm not sure of the reason, but I know that most of these writers have it in them to produce really quality work. I'd like to see a return to the art of literature, for something to be on par maybe with some of the greats and not just dim imitations of them. Don't be Jane Eyre or Pride & Prejudice. Be your own story that has just as much impact. That's what I hope and pray Christian authors will discover.

    2. What I often find is that the first books of the authors have more quality and originality than the later ones. However, I'm now reading A noble groom by Jody Hedlund, which I really love so far.


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