I looked forward to this book and yet hated to see it come since I knew I would have to say goodbye to the O'Connor family members. These books in the order written were the last books my 93 year old mother read before she left us last July to go to the place God had prepared for her. When she got to the end of this last book, she was sad that there were no more to follow and hated to see these great stories come to an end along with me. I enjoyed reading about each member of the family and about the parents as well. The stories just seemed to flow. Thank you, Julie Lessman. I appreciated so much these wonderful story lines written with such passion about romance as well as the passion I could sense for God. I hated to see these great stories about this great family come to an end, but thanks for sharing you God given talent with us.
This is perhaps my favorite book so far. It really touched me and evoked such strong emotions as I read it. Well done, Julie! I was a blubbering, teary-eyed mess at one point during my reading! Good thing everyone else was still asleep! I have just finished reading this book and I dearly loved it.Sad to see this series end, but glad there this another series to go! :)
A Love Surrendered is the final book in Julie Lessman's Winds of Change series and the final O'Connor book. I knew this was the last book and was torn between savoring every word and reading as quickly as possible to find out what was going to happen - I chose the latter and finished this book in less than a day! Once I got started, I couldn't put it down. I only quit when I was about to fall asleep reading!
I fell completely in love with the O'Connors during the last 5 books and was about to cry when I reached the end of this one! They felt like family and I didn't want to see them go! The great part of books though, it that I can go back and "visit" them as often and as many times as I want.
This is Steven's story, I was so excited when I realized that! I couldn't wait to see where Julie would take him and what was going to happen next in the family. If you've read any of the other books, then you know Steven has had a rough go of it. He feels responsible for so much and can't forgive himself for his mistakes. He has spent his whole life trying to measure up to some impossible standard and doesn't even realize it.
Annie was the perfect heroine for him. So sweet and compassionate, but with a strong will, too. She was so real there were several times when I was thinking, "I would have totally done that!" Watching her grow up and spread her wings really hit home with me. Her faith journey did, too. She struggles with following God and honoring Him, as we all do. I love characters that are human, they make mistakes, sometimes the same one more than once, but they find God is still there for them, just as He is for us.
I loved taking this journey with them, watching them grow closer to God and learn what "a love surrendered" really means. One of the lines from the book says, "He [Jesus] gave his all, daughter, a love surrendered so completely that we are transformed from the dark into his glorious light." This is the ultimate example of love surrendered, Jesus dying for us so that we might live with Him forever. All through the book, Annie and Steven learn of other examples of surrendering, not just in love, but to God and to His will.
This book touched my heart in so many ways. The message of surrender, obviously was very strong, but also redemption, grace and love. I'm not sure which part was my favorite, when Annie learned that God still loved her, or when Steven discovered that he didn't have to be "good enough." Julie, as always, has managed to tug both my heart-strings and my faith.
This book also continues to follow the other family members. I enjoyed catching up with them and seeing where their stories were going to lead. Luke and Katie, Sean and Emma, Faith and Collin, Marcy and Patrick, Gabe. Oh, I love Gabe! She's one of those characters you just want to hug! I also adored the newest editions to the family, Annie's Aunt Eleanor and sister Glory. Glory was so precious!
I was extremely pleased with how Julie ended the series, there were no unanswered questions, or anything left unsaid. It was sad for me, to say "goodbye," but it was done with such finesse, you don't even realize it's over until you look at the next page and see "Acknowledgements."
When reading the opening lines of "A Passion Most Pure" - the first of six novels in the two series, Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change, on the O'Connor siblings - by award-winning author Julie Lessman - little did I know how swiftly and passionately the O'Connor family would steal my "readers heart" and inspire my relationship with God. Six novels later - I was reluctant and sad to leave a family that had become a part of me and more than fictional characters, when I finished "A Love Surrendered" - the story of the youngest son, Steven.
"A Love Surrendered" opens in 1932 Boston - during the era of Prohibition, bootleggers, and speakeasies. Steven O'Connor is a Prohibition agent who comes to the aid of Annie Kennedy when she is accosted by two inebriated males on Ocean Pier. Annie is a naÃ¯ve, 17 year old, orphan, drawn into a fast crowd at Ocean Pier after moving to Boston from Iowa. Steven is trying to overcome the pain of a broken relationship with his first true love - another serious relationship isn't in his current life plans. Plans go awry when Steven and Annie find themselves attracted to each other, Annie reveals a secret, and Steven attempts to overcome feelings of guilt re: his previous relationship, and a past altercation with his father.
In true Julie Lessman fashion, the web becomes even more entangled, twisted, and complicated, as more characters are drawn into the story and even more unexpected secrets are revealed. All O'Connor family members are there to love again, and as usual - the children pull your "heart-strings', especially Glory and Gabe. As always, flawed characters redeemed by a loving God - supply a happy ending to the final episode of the heart-warming O'Connor family. With each novel, Julie put her characters and readers "through the wringer" with her trademark writing style that features an abundance of passion, family, angst, humor, tears, anger, unexpected twists, romance, drama, guilt, redemption, a forgiving God, and a happy ending.
I was blessed to be able to read all six novels on the O'Connors - back-to-back, without interruption - it is impossible to read one novel from the two series without desiring, and feeling the necessity, to read the other five! Julie Lessman is a master storyteller - I will joy in rereading each of the six novels in the Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series, over and over again!!