Book Review: A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman (and a CONTEST - WIN A KINDLE!)
(Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see how you can have a chance to win a free KINDLE!)
I haven't read very many books set in the 1920's. I tend to gravitate toward books set in the Civil War, World War II, or present day. So it was a different experience for me to read A Hope Undaunted, which is set in 1929-1931. As I was reading, I began to understand the challenges Christians faced in this period of time in our history. This was a time when society's ideas of morality changed and our culture experienced a shift in men/women relationships. Women struggled with their roles while the men continued to be challenged with shifts in the economy. Add to all this the impending war, and one can see how trying these times were.
Julie Lessman illustrates all of these difficulties well in her new book. The characters, although Christian, are far from perfect (which is the opposite of what many other authors try to make us believe). But they do demonstrate the grace of God in how they deal with their trials. I think we can learn a lot from these fictional people, whether it be the men who have pasts that were far from pure, the pregnant woman who wrestles with the fact that her husband works with one of his former lovers, or the couple who disagrees over whether the wife should be working out of the home. And the main characters, Katie and Luke, who are facing their own idols of pride, lust, and greed, to mention only a few.
There are some parts of the novel that became a little steamy, or "edgy", as some would say. There are some readers who would not like this, and, I must admit, these places in the book made me a little nervous. But I know we all have our limits. Here is an example of one from the book:
"In a catch of her breath, he took her mouth by force, his late-day beard rough against her skin. A faint moan escaped her lips and all resistance fled, burned away by the heat of his touch, leaving her weak and wanting. His mouth roamed at will, no longer gentle as he devoured her, ravenous against the smooth curve of her throat, the soft flesh of her ear. With a gutteral groan, he jerked her close with powerful arms, consuming her mouth with a kiss surely driven by the sheer will to ravage."
So, take that for what it's worth, and decide for yourself whether you might like this book. As a whole, I enjoyed it. It needs to be read slowly in order to keep up with all the many characters. Also, at a whopping 505 pages, it is not a short read, but, I think, worth it.