Jody Hedlund pens the third installment in her historical fiction series series set in the coastal villages of Michigan’s Great Lakes during the 1870s. Hearts Made Whole and Love Unexpected, the first two books in this series were reviewed earlier.
In Undaunted Hope, Tessa Taylor arrives to teach the miners’ children, unaware that the town requested a male teacher. Since it is too close to winter and too late to replace her, she is allowed to stay.
Two of her students decide she should marry their widowed father, Michael Bjorklund the lightkeeper. Meanwhile his brother Alex, the assistant lightkeeper, is also interested in her – she has never had two men interested in her before! But she wants nothing to do with their life — she was raised in a lightkeeper’s family and hated that life. She wasn’t bitter, just afraid to be open to loving a lightkeeper.
In this northern town, the mining supervisor runs the town like a tyrant. None of the other mining families want to stand up to him because they fear losing their jobs. As Tessa teaches, she feels someone is watching her every move, laying a trap that will reveal her past mistakes. Which brother will she choose? Will her past overcome her possible future?
Hedlund creates believable, flawed characters, making them easy for the reader to relate to. While this book stands alone, readers might find it helpful to read the earlier books (Hearts Made Whole and Love Unexpected) to understand the significance of the driftwood cross. These books are a blend of romance and mystery with well-researched historical detail. The fourth book in this series, Forever Safe, will be published in June 2016.
Recommended for public and church libraries.
Carol R. Gehringer