A Hope Undaunted: A Novel by Julie Lessman (book 1 in the Winds of Change series) (Revell, September 1, 2010), 505 pages
Following the same characters she brought to life in her Daughters of Boston series (A Passion Most Pure [my review], A Passion Redeemed [my review] and A Passion Denied), author Julie Lessman now focuses on 18-year-old Katie O’Connor, the youngest sister. It’s May 1929, and she has her heart set on law school; marrying her rich, politically connected beau; and using that education and power to improve the plight of all women.
It’s been a long time since I read a book like this — either that or this is a singular book and/or author.
At the beginning of A Hope Undaunted, I really disliked Katie. She’s spoiled and headstrong, to name just a couple flaws. But as her hard armor is gradually chipped away (and as she grows up a bit), she becomes a much more sympathetic character.
I loved the time this book is set in — with the impending stock market crash, the rise of women’s rights, Prohibition — I loved snuggling in and getting familiar with this era again.
This book is more filled with fashion talk than most books I’ve read, and more than I remember being in earlier Lessman books. That could be because this era is so identified by its styles and trends, but it could also be that I just don’t remember well. At any rate, I didn’t mind the constant peppering of clothing and home decor details (the 1920s are just so fun!), but if a few had been eliminated the book could have been shortened.
Overall, this was a fun read, but I didn’t love it as much as I expected to. Still, I’m completely thrilled that even though the Daughters of Boston series ended after telling the stories of only 3 of the 4 sisters, Lessman has found a way to bring us the rest of the story for these characters. I just hate it when I’m not given the option to see a story through to the end!
The Winds of Change series is expected to be a trilogy; A Heart Revealed is book 2, and book 3 is A Faith Restored.
Edgy Inspirational Romance
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Note: Next week, I’m thrilled to say, I’ll have an interview with Julie Lessman as well as a giveaway — of a signed copy — of A Hope Undaunted, so stay tuned!
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