Revell (September 1, 2010)
Well first off, I must admit that although I read quite fast and certainly expected to have moved on to another book by now I still have about 90 more pages to go on this one. No that won’t effect my review any since giving away too much about the plot and most especially the ending is a huge NO-NO in book-blogger land. What I will say is that I must have subconsciously slowed down my pace and found other things to fill my time in the last couple weeks as a way of prolonging a book that although it’s over 500 pages is still too short for me, especially since there are two more O’Connor books to go but they won’t be around for several months at least. Waiting on the next “favorite” book from my favorite authors is the hardest part of getting review copies sometimes before the book is even available to purchase.
Anyway back to A Hope Undaunted. For you Julie fans that have already fallen in love with the O’Connor family, if you thought Charity and Lizzie’s stories were frustrating, then the “baby” who drives everyone crazy just carries on in a slightly more “mature” fashion than the DOB books. OK, so this is Katie we’re talking about and although she’s on her way to 20, she still has tons of growing up to do. When the book opens we discover Katie being sentenced to a summer of volunteer work for the legal department of Boston Children’s Aid Society. Why might you ask did Katie end up with such an unexciting summer ahead of her? Well the usual Katie stuff, pushing the boundaries and playing cute to get her own way. Dad decides it’s high time Katie settles down and realizes the error of her ways. Her “heartthrob”, dream boyfriend to husband, Jack kept her out too long and Katie missed curfew yet again. So outside of BCAS work Katie is a homebody much to her chagrin and even worse, Luke “Cluny” McGee who was her childhood nemesis and brother-in-law Brady’s protege is her new boss. Despite their confrontational relationship when they did cross paths in the past, they have both grown up and discover a new twist to their real feelings. Well there’s still the problem that Katie is convinced Jack is perfect for her and Luke can’t bring himself to admit his real feelings. When they finally start to see the light one is still unwilling to compromise on their “dream” life in order to pursue a relationship that one thinks is all wrong for themself. So will hanging on to a dream that is nothing more than smoke and would never bring true happiness and fulfillment going to land Katie in a marriage that allows her free rein and the money to indulge it with? When the rosy aura of “perfection” fades and perhaps goes altogether dark will she realize that someone else can bring her what her own “plans” and money are unable to buy? Forever Love and a husband she can trust to have her best interests at heart even if he is as controlling as her father. As events proceed in Katie’s life and the intertwined lives of her siblings and in-laws, Katie begins to recognize how her father’s caring love towards her and the other O’Connor children is the most valuable thing in her life. If she lost her father and only had Jack and his money to turn to, her life would be much the poorer since it’s all about Jack or all about Katie not a mutual concern for another’s well-being. Learning to accept her earthly father’s love and concern as well as discovering the same in her heavenly father may come too late to salvage the one relationship outside her own home Katie has where misery isn’t the final result. Among the twists and turns of friendships and maturing desires for a fulfillment only the Lord can provide through His own wisdom of pairing a man and woman for life, Katie finds herself doubting all that she had dreamt for herself without God’s input and leading. Don’t miss out on a plot that continues to surprise the reader with twists and turns even the characters couldn’t for-see much less readers. Katie may be grown in terms of age but in terms of wisdom, the Lord and those who love her enough to “ruin” her fun recognize the growth she is still in need of and refuse to let her make a mistake she’ll regret long after it’s been carved in stone. (Please note I originally misstated the agency where Katie was forced to volunteer her summer, I have corrected it from Boston Society for Aid to Children – BSAC which was incorrect to Boston Children’s Aid Society – BCAS which is the correct name per the novel. My apologies for the confusion and inaccuracy.) (ISBN#9780800734152, 512pp, $14.99)
Click the bookcover to purchase a copy or get more info. Visit Julie’s Website for more about her books and the O’Connor Family, Subscribe to Julie’s Newsletter and check out her calendar for upcoming books, giveaways, and other insider news. Oh and drop by Seekerville where Julie and some of her author pals hang out when they aren’t writing books for us to read. Don’t forget about Julie’s new website feature, Journal Jots Julie’s way of sharing happenings in both her literary and personal lives with us, her readers. Last but not least my gratitude to Revell for the honor of reading and reviewing Julie’s masterpieces of fiction. Yes that is just my fancy way of saying they provided a review copy – we must keep the FTC happy after all.