Saturday, September 25, 2010

'A Hope Undaunted' by Julie Lessman

Genre:  Inspirational Historical Fiction

About:(From Goodreads) The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman--smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jack fits all of her criteria for a husband--good-looking, well-connected, wealthy, and head-over-heels in love with her. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face to face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?

Why I wanted to read this book:
  • I am a big fan of gentle reads. Sometimes I just need a book that allows me to feel comfortable and draws me a bit closer to God, this one did just that, but not in a preachy manner.

What worked for me:
  • 1929! I haven't read a lot of books that took place during this time frame and I really enjoyed getting a glimpse into the flapper attitude, women coming into their own, and seeing how the Stock Market crash impacted a family.
  • Katie O'Connor- what a great gal!! She knows (or believes that she does) what she wants and isn't afraid of going after her goals. I laughed at her checklist for qualities in a husband. And I cheered her on with her passion for studying law and being her own woman!
  • Luke McGee- the author did such a wonderful job of creating him. He's lived a hard life on the streets and wants a family to call his own. I loved how vulnerable he allowed himself to be with Katie and others that he let into his life. His fierce loyalty to his friends made me absolutely love him.
  • Katie's family- I almost felt like I was watching an episode of The Waltons...I wanted to be a part of this family.
  • The faith that certain characters had. I felt myself very drawn to their patience and belief that God is in control. I often like to think that I'm in control, but when I read books like this, I am once again presented with the knowledge that God is driving this car...not me.
  • Characters were not portrayed as do-gooders with no faults. Lessman painted realistic people with problems that are prevalent in contemporary times.
  • The romance was tastefully done and at time I caught myself sighing wistfully!!!  I admit to crushes on Luke and Parker!!!
What didn't work for me:
  • Not a all worked! But if you're not comfortable with scripture or characters who frequently call on their faith in God, then this book may not be for you.
Recommend? I would absolutely recommend this to my friends who enjoy Christian fiction or gentle reads. I'm a new fan of Lessman's writing. I'm planning on reading her series, "The Daughters of Boston" very soon.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Thank you to Amy of Winsome Media Communications. for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review.
My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.
They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel.

© 2010, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission. 

Review Style patterned after Show Me 5 


  1. It's funny how that plot (think you love a guy,meet someone you "despise", fall in loe with him instead) is so enduring! I just saw a movie like that yesterday (Letters to Juliet). And even though you absolutely know how it's going to turn out, it's irresistible!

  2. I'm starting to become more interested in this genre due to my mom loving it so. this one sounds really good. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I might have to read this book. My great Grandmother left the family to live the flapper lifestyle. Yep... she was a little older that what we think of during this era but can you imagine leaving your husband and three kids? I guess many women did this again in the 70's/80's with the ERA movement.

  4. Staci, this book sounds really good. I love "cover girl" and her swinging beads! I'm going to search this one out. Thanks for sharing about it!

  5. This sounds really good Staci! I have always loved that era! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  6. You had me at the gorgeous cover! I haven't read much inspirational fiction and I don't know why. This one looks worth the try.

  7. Glad you enjoyed this one! Can't wait to read it. You are in for a treat with The Daughter's of Boston series. A Passion Most Pure is on my all time favorite list.

  8. Very cool! Glad you liked it. The 1920s are one of my favorite time periods. Great review.

  9. Wow, everything worked?! That doesn't happen that often, Even with books I love there can be one annoying thing. So this one, I'll keep it on mind

  10. Thanks, Staci...I am also drawn to times past, especially the not-so-distant past like the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Some of my favorite reads this year have been from those eras.

    I love the way you break down the parts of the book to zero in on what you enjoyed and why.

  11. Nice review, Staci. I really enjoyed it too :)

  12. WHOA, Staci, what a GREAT review -- thank you SO very much!! I am thrilled you joined Amy's tour and even more thrilled you plan to read "The Daughters of Boston" series too -- YEAH!! Although now you know several of the big surprises in book 1, A Passion Most Pure, which is why I BEG people to read that book first to set the groundwork for this very passionate family.

    Anyway, thank you again for not only taking the time to read my book, but for your very well-written review! And, honey, if you don't post this one on and, I'm going to hunt you down ... :)


  13. I thoroughly enjoyed this story as well and look forward to reading the other books.

  14. I love the sound of this book. Writing a male character who is allowed to be vulnerable sold me. Plus a book about faith that is not preachy. It's now on my list.

  15. I commented on your review on goodreads I think. But again, I'm so glad you liked this one and plan to read The Daughters of Boston. It's interesting that you find Julie's books a light read though, because I feel they can get a bit deep into the passion. Yet I love Julie and I love her books and cannot wait for more.

    - MJ

  16. I have seen several good reviews on this and I think I would like it. Great time period.

  17. I loved your review! Your bulleted list of likes and dislikes was very imaginative!

    I also enjoyed A Hope Undaunted and am a big fan of Julie Lessman.

    I found the characters to be fairly three dimensional and enjoyed the interaction between the two main characters, Katie and Luke, although at times I was surprised by Katie’s sudden abrupt turns. The O’Connor family is true to form in their larger-than-life sort of Irish personalities and entertaining as always.

    I posted a more in-depth review of my own at

    I would be honored if you made a guest post on my blog some day.



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