Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Review: Jody Hedlund's Unending Devotion

Jody Hedlund is acting a bestselling, and award winning author in the Christian fiction area, so you hope to read a better book in the genre than most you come across. While it does snag your interest the characters still have this dimension to them that doesn't seem realistic at all times. The lead character is even highly judgmental  which is a huge personality trait that makes you want to shut a book, but ironically she ends up the place of the people she judges.

Lily heads to a logger's town in order to find her sister, Daisy, who she believes has headed into a sketchy line of work in the area of Harrison, Michigan in the 1800s. Connell is looking to make more money from his lumber company for his father. While the town, and even his family is associated with questionable people he feels that as long as he keeps to himself he is in the right. When Lily comes along though she gets him rethinking his position on his stances in the small town especially as she prepares to up against Carr who she believes has been tricking women into being prostitutes.

Hedlund is sure to satisfy fans with this one. It has characters who have high points and low points, with a little action, romance, and it doesn't ever get too offensive. The positive is that the story gets better as you read, because at first when beginning you sort of have your concerns that it just isn't going to be that good when the character instantly begins judging the town she arrives to by throwing in people who drink, and prostitutes all in the same league, and constantly talks about how she has protected her purity.

Lily nor Connell, nor really any character seem to be likable. Maybe some of the side ones like Vera or Oren. They seemed more real like they had led a real life, where as the main characters seemed like they were good or bad, and everything in their life was to prove that they were good and bad people. It gets a little interesting about midway into the story when Lily, and Connell sort of begin trying to not lust, because they get in all these situations where rumors are being spread against people who seemed very quick to judge others on not being able to keep from temptation as well.

The book isn't as bad written as many in the same genre it's in though. The plot was more intriguing than expected. You were wandering what happened to characters like Daisy or Frankie who were tricked into working in brothels, and how it affected them when people like Lily thought they would want to be rescued. It provides some deeper looks into the mind than would have thought it would when first deciding whether to read the book or not.

It may not change many's opinions they have on these type of books, but if there is one you were to pick up to try out it would be this one. There is a reason that Hedlund has received awards from readers, and officials and that's because she is one of the better writers of this type. The characters start out shaky, but they have some depth that salvages it a bit.

Rating 3 of 5.

This book was provided by Bethany House in exchange for a review. 

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