One thing that I love about Jody Hedlund’s historical novels is that she incorporates real life events and people into her story lines. And the best part? It’s more than likely something that you’ve never read in a history textbook or Googled on the web. You LEARN when you read a book by Hedlund and you’re better off for it when you’ve finished turning the last page.
Jody Hedlund’s newest release, “Unending Devotion” is different from her previous two in many ways. First, it’s set in cold dreary Michigan in the 1880’s when lumbering was the way of life. (Kudos to any author who can accurately portray not two, but THREE different time periods in three different novels.) Second, while there are characters in the book that were real people in history, they are not the main characters, like in her previous two novels. She also doesn’t rename them like she did in the first two. Third, I felt like this novel had more romance than the others, which I personally think is a bonus. There was as much emotion and suspense as the previous two but with just a tad more chemistry between the hero and the heroine. (You’ll take a big sigh when you turn the last page. Guaranteed.)
Headstrong, willful and somewhat ignorant Lily Young follows around her “foster dad” to various lumber camps throughout Michigan to help him with his photography business. All the while Lily is continuously checking the taverns and saloons for her runaway sister. Lily is determined to find her at all costs, even if she has to sacrifice her own life to do it. Meanwhile, she’s captured the attention of “shanty boy” named Connell, who is secretly the son of a prominent lumber baron. His mission is to increase revenue for his father, while turning a blind eye to the dark side of the business. However, his newfound friendship with Lily forces him into opening his eyes and standing up for himself.
Two days and two days ONLY were spent reading this book. The suspense of whether Lily would ever find her sister and heart-wrenching determination of Connell forced me to keep my book light on into the wee morning hours. Out of Hedlund’s three novels, I would say this one is my favorite and it has earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf among my other prized books.
I reviewed this novel for Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. A novel was provided free for me to review. A positive review was not required, only an honest one. However, in this case, my positive recommendation of “Unending Devotion” is freely given.
About the Author:
Jody has written novels for the last 20 years (with a hiatus when her children were young). After many years of writing and honing her skills, she finally garnered national attention with her double final in the Genesis Contest, a fiction-writing contest for unpublished writers through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).
Her first published book, The Preacher’s Bride (2010 Bethany House Publishers), became a best seller and has won multiple awards.
Her second book, The Doctor’s Lady, released in September of 2011, and her third book, Unending Devotion, is out now. She’s currently busy researching and writing another book!
Jody has been married for twenty years to her college sweetheart. Jody has five children ranging in ages from 15 to 6, with a set of twin daughters in the mix to make things more lively.