Today I’m going to review a new Christian fiction release from Bethany House, Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund. I featured Unending Devotion in my September Christian fiction new releases post because the cover and summary caught my attention and I was very glad to be able to read it!
The year is 1883; the setting, central Michigan. Lily, the protagonist is on a mission to rescue her younger sister from a life of prostitution in central Michigan’s horrendously wild lumber camps. After the death of her parents, Lily and her sister travel from one relative to another until they end up in a less-than-stellar orphanage in New York City. When Lily saw the chance to move out west as a photographer’s assistant, she took the opportunity, sending her sister to live with a farmer and his family. After learning that her sister entered a life of prostitution, she sets out to find her and, in the process, she risks her life.
Unending Devotion is a tried and true Christian romance novel with a devoted, moral male love interest, Connell who is the struggling son of an Irish immigrant and one of the heirs to the McCormick Lumber dynasty. To be totally honest, I typically don’t enjoy reading romance novels. Many of them are corny beyond belief and have noticeable historical flaws. However, I will say that though this novel likely won’t win any literary awards, I did enjoy it as a sweet, inspirational love story.
Jody Hedlund showcases the tension between successful, self-made businessmen and their children who often feel like they’ll never measure up. She also portrayed the classic conflict between independence and the ability to trust someone else enough to ask for help. These fascinating themes together with the crisp, snowy Michigan setting and the interesting historical notes of lumber towns in the Midwest made this book a smooth and comfortable read.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion.
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