When Tessa Taylor shows up in Eagle Harbor, Michigan, to take on the role of teacher in the copper mining community, her gender causes a stir, and not just because the town was expecting a male teacher. Tessa’s quick wit catches the notice of assistant lightkeeper Alex Bjorklund, and her compassionate care makes her the object of affection of two of her students, who think she would be good for their widower father. When the men begin to compete for her affection, Tessa doesn’t know what to do. She came to Eagle Harbor for a fresh start from her past. But will it catch up with her?
All you really need to know about Undaunted Hope is that Jody Hedlund wrote it. (You know my love for this author by now, right?) And it’s set on the shores of Lake Superior on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Even the descriptions of the frigid winter days were appealing. But probably only in my imagination. (Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my review.)
I generally love whatever Jody Hedlund writes, and these lighthouse books have been a great combination of interesting settings and compelling characters. In this one, I liked the banter between Tessa and Alex. It made me smile. And Tessa’s passion for her students and the betterment of the community drives her commitment to stay even when faced with obstacles. And with her usual skill, Hedlund orchestrates circumstances that force Tessa to face her greatest fears and decide if love is worth any cost.
While it’s the third in the Beacons of Hope series, and there is a thread to flows through the books, it stands on its own. If you haven’t read the others (and why haven’t you?), you won’t be lost. But in case you do want to read them and know more about them, you can find out more here and here.
I loved seeing pictures of the real lighthouse, and Hedlund always includes some background information on the real setting of her book and the ways in which she deviated from history. She has a unique way of giving historical events such life that it feels like you’re there. And her words are inspiring, evoking emotion and reflection. I appreciate that Hedlund is willing to put her characters through difficulty so they can discover a truer sense of purpose and self and experience greater trust in God.