Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

January 11, 2016

Undaunted Hope {Jody Hedlund}

Undaunted Hope {Jody Hedlund}
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:
What a great book! As soon as Tessa stepped into town I began to fall in love with the characters that make up this book.

Tessa is determined to be independent and to prove to herself and everyone around her that she can be a successful school teacher. She has a huge heart and it shows in her willingness to work double time to educate the community she is trying to become a part of. She seems like such a lovable woman, and it is easy to see why the kids – and the lightkeeper family – fall in love with her so quickly. Tessa is one to follow her heart first and think later. Although this is a great quality, it tends to get her into a bit of a hard spot with the leaders in town. But it is through immense love and determination that we get to see her rise above and end up in a wonderful place.

Alex and Michael both won my heart as well. It was obvious from the early pages that they both found themselves falling in love with Tessa, and the actions that they take to try to win her over made me giggle on more than one occasion. They love Michael’s children and both work so hard to provide for the family. We get to see them fight light typical brothers, but we also get to see their willing to sacrifice their life and their happiness just to make the other one happy. I struggled throughout the book with trying to decide which one of the brothers I wanted to “win” Tessa, but I loved the way this book wrapped up their story.

Throughout this book we get to see a community doing its best to simply survive. But we also get to see God working through the people of the community to show His love and His willingness to take care of His people. Although there is sadness and unfortunate events, there are also stories of survival and miracles. We get to see God work in His mysterious ways to bring the guilty to justice and provide success to those who trusted Him and did the right thing.

I absolutely loved this book. I recommend it for your reading list. Although it is the third book in a series, it can easily be read as a stand alone book. Be sure and grab your copy, or request it from your library. It is one you will want to read over and over again.

Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of nine novels, including Captured By Love, Rebellious Heart, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award and INSPYs Award. She received a bachelor’s from Taylor University and a master’s from University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Currently she makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.

She has the wonderful privilege of teaching her crew of 5 children at home. In between grading math papers and giving spelling tests, she occasionally does a load of laundry and washes dishes. When she’s not busy being a mama, you can find her in front of her laptop working on another of her page-turning stories. She loves reading almost as much as she loves writing, especially when it also involves chocolate and coffee.

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