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!


  1. Excellent review! I really looking forward to reading this book. I loved the Daughters of Boston series and I can't wait to see what the O'Connor family is up to.

  2. Do you know if Julie had this series planned out when she started Daughters of Boston? Or did it just happen to work out well for a spin-off series?

  3. Roseanna, thank you AGAIN for this wonderful review -- sooo appreciate it, girl!!

    And Stephanie, I didn't have ANY series planned when I first wrote A Passion Most Pure!! It's just that it took me SOOO long to get published, that I kept writing, the natural progression being Charity's story (whom I LOVE, by the way, because of my Gone With the Wind roots ... Scarlett is one of my FAVS!!).


  4. I'm glad it worked out so well, Julie!

    I've read (and loved) A Passion Most Pure, but I was so ticked with Charity at the end of the book that I wasn't ready to like her yet :) I'm now feeling ready to read her story. (Roseanna assures me I'll be satisfied, and I'm sure she's right!)

  5. What a fantastic plot. And it's in my favorite time period. Okay, Roseanna. You've convinced me. I'll have to get to the store this week!! Thanks

  6. I love this book already. I have had on my wish list since the first review I read. I can't wait to read. Thanks for the great review.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  7. Great review!

    I also enjoyed A Hope Undaunted and am a big fan of Julie Lessman.

    I found the characters to be fairly three dimensional and enjoyed the interaction between the two main characters, Katie and Luke - although at times I was surprised by Katie’s sudden abrupt turns. The O’Connor family is true to form in their larger-than-life sort of Irish personalities and entertaining as always.

    I posted a more in-depth review of my own at:



  8. Oops!

    When I said a "more in-depth review" I meant more in-depth compared to the short comment I had made.

    Sorry if that was unclear.