Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from the pubisher)

What happens when the boy she loved to hate becomes the man she hates to love?

The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman--smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jack fits all of her criteria for a husband--good-looking, well-connected, wealthy, and eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face-to-face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?

My Thoughts:

And if I’ve learned anything from painful experience, Katie, it’s that God’s will is the path to my ultimate happiness…and yours.” (p. 57)

Oh that the second generations of the O’Conner clan would learn from others’ experience! Katie O’Conner isn’t wise enough in her own strength to do such a thing though, so she is destined to have her own painful teaching experiences – the hard way. Katie has her life mapped out – or so she thinks – when all of the sudden she finds herself facing a summer of unusual punishment. Katie’s dad – and we ALL remember Patrick O’Conner do we not? – uses his parental wisdom to protect his daughter from her own destructive behavior. Meanwhile, God is moving people and circumstances – time and opportunity – like so many pieces of a chess game, and Katie finds herself in the ultimate check-mate of God’s love!

Julie Lessman is quite masterful at creating a multi-layered and complex plot within her stories. Once again, she delves into the complexities of the close-knit O’Connor family. This time she inserts Cluny McGee (Luke McGee now!) in the midst of life’s circumstances, and it isn’t long before trouble surfaces. Katie’s world is rocked to its core as she is re-introduced to this character from her childhood and forced to come face to face with the reality of her own self-will and the desire to order her own steps as she enters adulthood.

A Hope Undaunted touches on some pretty universal truths about the human spirit and the natural state of rebellion that exists between an unredeemed heart and a merciful God. Lessman explores friendships, family relationships and romance as only Julie can. Yes, there is a healthy dose of passion that exists throughout the story, but truly it is written well within the realm of reality and only serves to add depth and meaning to the relationships in the story.

It’s hard to adequately sum up this story without giving away key plot twists – and there are MANY! The early 30’s provides a tumultuous backdrop to Julie’s story. The O’Connor family feels the effects of this tumult in mighty and personal ways. The storm extends into the lives of all of her characters and reaches to many emotional levels. Personal faith is challenged, changed and tried by fire, and the results are both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. The end result is satisfying indeed!

A Hope Undaunted begins the Winds of Change series, and it looks like Julie Lessman has great changes in store for her readers! So delve in, my friend, and enjoy a passionate story of God’s mighty love!

About the Author:

Julie Lessman is the author of A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Lessman has garnered several writing awards, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She lives in Missouri.


Mocha with Linda said...

Great review of a wonderful book!

tracysbooknook.com said...

I also enjoyed A Hope Undaunted and am a big fan of Julie Lessman.

I found the characters to be fairly three dimensional and enjoyed the interaction between the two main characters, Katie and Luke - although at times I was surprised by Katie’s sudden abrupt turns. The O’Connor family is true to form in their larger-than-life sort of Irish personalities and entertaining as always.

I posted a more in-depth review of my own at


tracysbooknook.com said...


When I said a "more in-depth review" I meant more in-depth compared to the short comment I had made.

Sorry if that was unclear.