A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

Back of the Book: What happens when the boy she loved to hate …

becomes the man she hates to love?

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 eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Cluny 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?


My review: A Hope Undaunted is the first book in the The Winds of Change series by Julie Lessman.  Eighteen-year-old Katie O’Connor is enjoying a carefree life in 1929 Boston when she unexpectedly meets an old acquaintance – Cluny McGee, who now goes by the name Luke McGee.  They were sworn enemies as children and it looks like they could be the same as adults. They have to put that aside when, after defying her curfew, Katie’s father signs her up to be a summer volunteer in Luke’s office at the Boston Children’s Aid Society.

Katie’s co-workers also become her friends – a good thing since she’s grounded when she’s not at work.  They are also Luke’s closest friends.  Katie and Luke begin to view each other in a new light which soon leads to mutual respect. Then the unexpected happens to one of Luke’s friends.  He steps up to help and by doing so changes Katie’s world and his.

I liked how Lessman used humor and drama throughout the novel.  The characters came alive for me.  The dialogue reminded me of the black & white movies from the 1930s:  snappy, heart-felt, and believable.  A theme that runs through the course of the story is: Trust the power of prayer.  It is key to the story. There are some minor story lines involving Luke’s friends and Katie’s large family that I suspect will be revisited in other books of the series.

I enjoyed reading A Hope Undaunted.  Family sagas are among my favorites so I look forward to getting to know the rest of the O’Connor family in the subsequent books. I recommend this novel to fans of Inspirational Historical Fiction.

Review copy from Revell Books via Winsome Media Communications