Undaunted Hope is Jody Hedlund’s third book in her Beacons of Hope series. Set in the upper peninsula of Michigan Undaunted Hope introduces us to Tessa, a new school teacher who arrives in Eagle Harbor to teach school in a remote mining community. While Tessa’s new adventure helps her escape her past for a time, soon she realizes that although she is miles away from her past, her mistakes and fears have followed her in powerful way. With the help of the lightkeeper’s family, Tessa finds hope and healing and a community of people who truly care about her.
I found this novel of Hedlund’s intense and authentic. Tessa and Alex are strong, complex characters that create a powerful story of hope and desire. Percival Updegraff is the perfect villain to twist up the plot. And the other supporting characters create a story of a community that knows how to endure, but only passively. I like how even though Tessa is only one woman, she brings hope to a community that needs hope and courage, and she is willing to fight relentlessly to share that hope, even when her hope seems gone.
While somewhat difficult to read about, the hardships that Tessa faced with the other characters mirrored well the hardships of remote mining communities who struggled to survive in harsh natural conditions and under harsher, despotic bosses. With unexpected plot twists and a lot of dirt and cold, Hedlund draws readers into a historical reality that is worth exploring and understanding.
While I wouldn’t call Undaunted Hope relaxing to read, it was definitely unforgettable. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund for my candid review.