Book Review: Undaunted Hope

Find out all about Jody Hedlund’s wonderful new novel, Undaunted Hope. It just came out this month and I know you’ll love it!

Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund - a #BookReview on

A description of the book from the publisher:

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.

As usual, my five point review:

  • Did you ever read Hearts Made Whole? If so, you’ll remember Tessa. In Undaunted Hope, Tessa is the star, not her older sister. Don’t fret though–these stories, while related, are completely independent. Tessa is phenomenal in this book. She’s so mature and full of faith in God. It’s fun to see the changes in her from one book to the next.
  • My favorite part of Jody Hedlund’s books are her characters. No matter who she is writing about–the main female lead, the main male lead(s), children, the “bad guys,” etc.–everyone… and I mean EVERYONE is well crafted and well developed. In this book, I think Alex and the children are the best characters by far! It’s rare that “adult books” have strong children characters, but this one does. Score!
  • Since I have family who live in Michigan, I’m familiar with the state. It’s fun to learn historical details about places I’ve been to or heard about. It’s also interesting to consider how HARD life was on the Michigan frontier in the 1870s, especially in remote areas accessible only by boat like Eagle Harbor, the setting of this story. This place was cold, isolated, and rough… but people survived and thrived. Incredible! I wouldn’t want to live there, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
  • One thing I loved about this story was how it combined adventure and romance and wit into one perfect, fun package. I didn’t think the actual description of the book was quite so accurate… the “trap” wasn’t quite as intense or as mysterious as it may seem, but it was pretty bad. 😦 Fortunately things turned out okay for Tessa!
  • The main aspect of this story that I didn’t enjoy was the love triangle. It didn’t feel very genuine or real, but it did bring for some extra special romance! 🙂 Overall, this was a great book… a fun read on a lazy winter afternoon. Definitely check it out soon!

What are you reading lately?

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Bethany House for the chance to read this great book!


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