I was thrilled to receive a review copy of this moving, heart warming epic story. I had read all three books in her Daughters of Boston series and couldn't wait to read this first book in the Winds of Change series. The author's character descriptions, with their reactions to each other and their situations, made me feel as if I were watching them on a big screen, taking in every detail, hook, line and sinker. Katie O'Connor is the main character, and is the youngest and feistiest of the O'Connor sisters. It's the roaring twenties and Katie has big plans to marry rich, go to law school and be the first woman to gain a seat in Congress. She wants to be in a position of influence to change the plight of women and children. Jack, Katie's boyfriend, adores her and fits all the criteria for her plan beautifully; that is, until Katie is forced to work with Luke McGee during the summer of 1929. Sparks start to fly between them on all fronts, even as they butt heads at work. They'd known each other as kids. Luke was mean then, and it didn't appear he changed much. Why did Luke bother her so much now? Couldn't she let her childhood memories go? Luke says, "You know, Katie, you've always been a cold and callous little thing, but I actually believed it was just a front. You know, a thin coat of steel to protect your fragile little heart? But I was wrong. Seems that steel is as thick as that stubborn head of yours when it comes to making life decisions…You're a cold, cold woman, Katie O'Connor…your ‘plan' is your god, and God help anybody who gets in your way." "Katie couldn't believe his words. …I want to be a lawyer, mother- to blaze the way for women who think they need a man to take care of them, women like Mrs. Rhodes at church—everyone knows that tyrant she lives with beats her. But will she leave? Not on her life. And in the end, it will probably cost her hers...Was it wrong to have a plan? She had her plan! God was some fairy tale for weak people, right?" I thoroughly enjoyed every second I spent reading this novel. I got caught up in the characters and their drama. I couldn't believe Katie and the lengths she would go to, to maintain the forward progression of her plan. And, the fight inside her heart to do what was right was a constant challenge. I got a kick out of the family gatherings, filled with games, conflict, resolve, love and great fun. I felt as if I were in the middle of it all. I smiled big at the satisfying ending and a book filled with an array of colorful characters and their situations. Julie included the entire O'Connor clan I got to know in her other books, with a few additions. Julie is a master story teller. I love how she naturally wove their struggle with God and His direction for their lives. It wasn't preachy but realistic. Julie's writing touches all the reader's senses and pulls on your heart strings, as she makes you feel like you really know and care about this family. This book's a keeper. I'll definitely be reading this book again, you will too! The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org Finding Hope Through Fiction www.psalm516.blogspot.com
What keeps a reader immersed in a story? More than just great characters that dance to life, but a passion that drives the story forward. A passion for God and the family that is held together in His love. A HOPE UNDAUNTED is just that kind of story. I admit I didn't like the heroine Katie, much at the start, she had such a long way to go before becoming likeable. I dangled by a thread while reading, bouncing back and forth like a ping pong ball as three men battled for Katie's affection. At one … more
A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman is the first book in the Winds of Change series. It follows the romantic life of Katie, the youngest daughter in the O'Connor family of Boston. It you haven't read the previous series, Daughters of Boston, about the elder three daughters, stop right here, go out and read them immediately not because you have to to enjoy this story, but because they are outstanding romances! Katie is just eighteen and determined to live life on her terms. … more
Nora St. Laurent runs two book clubs near the Atlanta area and is the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Book Club Coordinator. She currently writes a Book Club Column for Christian Fiction Online … more
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