Running from the mistakes of her past, Tessa Taylor heads to the uppermost reaches of Michigan, planning to serve as the new teacher to the children of miners. She quickly learns the town had requested a male teacher, but Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since it’s too late to replace her. Tessa can’t help but thank him and say she is in his debt.
Determined to make herself irreplaceable once spring thaw arrives, Tessa throws herself into her work, and soon two students have decided Miss Taylor is the right match for their grieving father. At the same time, charming assistant lightkeeper Alex Bjorklund makes his interest known, surprising Tessa, who has never had men fight for her hand before. But not all is well as she feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her.
Some authors can always be counted on for a solid story, rich historic details, outstanding characters, and unique settings. Jody Hedlund is one such author and Undaunted Hope is one such novel.
What I Loved: The characters in this novel are outstanding. Tessa is easily the type of heroine that you want to root for. Throw in a couple of heart-stealing children, not one but two amazing heroes, and a complex villain that you will love to hate.
The villain, alone, is one that deserves a standing ovation. He’s so completely evil, and yet we find a tender side to him when dealing with his simple-minded brother. This complex character helps set the stage and keeps the story turning.
I love to get my hands on a good love triangle and this one certainly caught my attention. The trouble with love triangles, and the reason they’re so much fun to read, is that any man can win and the bumps and tension along the way make the story what it is. Normally, the reader has a good idea of who the “good” guy is and knows how to root for the true hero, but that wasn’t so with Jody’s work in Undaunted Hope. She brings to life TWO great heroes, deserving of the girl. I was so conflicted as I tried to figure out who I really wanted to come out on top.
Another shining star in Undaunted Hope is the rich historic setting. I enjoyed living along the dangerous frozen lake in Michigan, as well as exploring a mining town soaked in despair and poverty.
Rating and Recommendation: I’m happy to give this one 5 stars and I look forward to revisiting her older novels since Jody is still rather new to me. I recommend this book to those who enjoy a good, clean, page-turning Christian Historical novel.
~I received a free copy of the novel from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.