Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Story Time . . . A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman
Some of you undoubtedly remember when a few months ago I mentioned how I read Julie Lessman's latest but had been asked not to post the review until the book had released. Well folks, the time has come!! A Hope Undaunted just released September 1st, and now I'm gonna drive you all nuts by posting my review, which will necessitate you buy it because, well, it's awesome. =)
Katie O'Connor's got her life planned out, everything in place for perfection. In the fall, she'll be attending Portia Law School. She's got Jack, the rich, influential beau who dotes on her and will help her use that law degree to the greatest affect. Her goal—crusade for women's rights, so that other women won't have to live under the thumb of a man like she has all her life. She loves her father, sure, but times have changed. It's 1929—when will he realize she should be given some independence? Instead, he sentences her to a summer of hard labor, working for her worst nightmare.
Cluny McGee has finally grown up . . . at least until he butts heads again with little Katie Rose O'Connor. She always did bring out the worst in him. Of course, she also always made his heart pound a little too fast. Her attitude certainly hasn't changed over their decade apart, but he has. He's a Christian now, and he's determined to live up to it. Quite a task, when forced to work closely with Katie at the Boston Children's Aid Society. Temper and passion get all mixed up, and the sparks that fly do little to illuminate the right path. But one thing he knows without doubt—Katie will either make all his dreams come true or rip him to pieces.
A Hope Undaunted delivers exactly what one expects from Julie Lessman. Passion, temper, faith, love, and family tying it all together. I loved the exchanges between stubborn, proud Cluny and fiesty, headstrong Katie. We all sigh over a strong hero, which Cluny certainly is. In this book we also have the pleasure of getting to know the sassy heroine who has to learn where wisdom and spirit meet.
I have to admit that I really wondered through the first half of the book how the author was going to rein Katie in and help her to see that willfulness is only an asset when our will aligns with the Lord's. I knew Julie Lessman could pull it off—and boy, did she!
This is the first book in the Wings of Change trilogy, which continues the saga of the O'Connors that we met in the Daughters of Boston series. Readers of the first series will definitely not want to miss this one, as we get continued peeks into the lives of Katie's family, whom we all adore. New readers will thoroughly enjoy the dynamics and sparks between Katie and Cluny, though the subplots might not resonate as much with them if they don't already know the characters.
As with Lessman's other books, A Hope Undaunted has quite a few passionate moments that some readers of Christian fiction might not like—but also as with her other books, each of those is underscored with and answers to God's expectations. That's what I love most about books by Julie Lessman. I know the characters are going to experience in equal measures passionate love for one another and for the Lord.
Another winner from Julie Lessman!