Fast-paced story on prostitution and lumber camps
Jody Hedlund's Unending Devotion tells the story of a young woman serving as a photographer's assistant as she meticulously searches through Michigan's lumber camps for her missing younger sister. Along the way Lily has discovered a passion for helping fallen women toward a better life, knowing that her sister is likely one of these women. The town of Harrison she finds to be a city rife with corruption, and with the reluctant aid of complacent Connell McCormick, the boss of three of the local lumber camps, she searches for Daisy and encourages a spirit of reform. However, the corrupt and powerful people who run the town have no interest in seeing her succeed at either task . . .
The plot starts out at a fast clip and it just keeps going - there is definitely no sagging in the middle before the climax. However, it does not feel like there is TOO MUCH happening either (as opposed to stories where so much happens one just quits caring); it is well paced, and every event is well developed. And oh, the romantic tension in some spots! Regarding the villain, it was shocking how much of the evil in the book is based on real people and events. This book successfully deals with a fair number of problems that easily beset Christians: complacency (going with what society accepts rather than standing up for what God wants), self-righteousness, and self-reliance (rather than reliance on the Lord).
My only issue - and a minor one, at that - is the heroine's personality. She is one of those incredibly idealistic people who is impulsive, never backs down from a fight, and always thinks she's right - which gets her into trouble. A lot. Granted, she is admirable for standing up for what she believes in and throwing herself into a worthy cause, but she does not use her head enough. I like to play it safe and maintain peace as much as possible, so while I largely agreed with what she believes, I cringed at her methods. Thus I connected significantly better with Connell, the peace-maker, than with Lily.
January 15, 2014
Jody at her Best
Unending Devotion is, again, another great novel by Jody Hedlund. She has a way to play with the readers' emotions. This one is no different. She has the best author's notes in her novels and usually has a surprise for her readers. Unending Devotion shows the awful ways of the sex slavery during the 1880s in Michigan - which does continue to this day throughout the United States.
I loved this novel! I believe anyone who loves history would enjoy this page turner. Highly recommended. 5 plus stars!
January 13, 2014
Dont miss this amazing read.
There's passion, suspense, drama, adventure, humor, education and social reform all held together by the amazing story of Lily Young, who tries to rescue her sister, Daisy, from prostitution in the lumber industry ruled Michigan of 1883. She stands for temperance, family and morals against environmental destruction, drunkenness and white slavery. But she stands in her own strength. It's also the story of Connell McCormick, wealthy lumber king, who learns to care about what Lily cares about when he learns to care about Lily. They both learn to stand in God's strength.
I loved that it wasn't just a shallow romance set in an historical setting. It was eye opening to see how that particular historical setting influenced things that are still issues in society today. I didn't just come away entertained - I came away informed, educated and thinking about how social reform works. Well done Jody Hedlund.
November 6, 2013
Historacal fiction with spirit and strength.
My first book by Jody Hedlund and I found it to be well written, historically solid and engaging. The characters were fun although I must say that Lily's got a stupid streak that seems to break out a little too often, and Connell, (bonus points for the cool name) is the chivalrous hero that every girl dreams of. I mean, who doesn't love a guy who rescues you from a blizzard and then fights off an entire pack of wolves.
I also loved how committed to purity he was and how important it was to him.
Highly recommended to lovers of historical romance and all those you are in need of a good book to pass the time. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
September 17, 2013