“If she had to leave an imprint of herself for all time, she wanted it to reflect the happiness of her life, not the heartache.”
I’ve said this about 37 times before, but Jody Hedlund is one of my favorite authors and reading Unending Devotion sealed the deal. This was such an great novel on every level…the storyline, the characters, the faith lessons and the deeper purpose.
In 1883 Michigan, Lily Young is on a mission to save her lost sister, or die trying. Heedless of the danger, her searches of logging camps lead her to Harrison and into the sights of Connell McCormick, a man doing his best to add to the hard-earned fortunes of his lumber baron father.
Posing during the day as a photographer’s assistant, Lily can’t understand why any God-fearing citizen would allow evil to persist and why men like Connell McCormick turn a blind eye to the crime rampant in the town. But Connell is boss-man of three of his father’s lumber camps in the area, and like most of the other men, he’s interested in clearing the pine and earning a profit. He figures as long as he’s living an upright life, that’s what matters.
Lily challenges everything he thought he knew, and together they work not only to save her sister but to put an end to the corruption that’s dominated Harrison for so long.
Lily’s devotion to her sister is inspiring and I love the changes Connell goes through. Not only a heartwarming story of love and forgiveness, but an inspiring one of change.
James Carr was a despicable human being. He is the perfect face for the issue this story deals with: Human trafficking.
Today Detroit is one of the highest cities of human trafficking and can be traced back to the lumber era where prostitution (often where the women were forced), violence and alcoholism were rampant. And the horrible Carr was a real person and so was one of the girls who he murdered. It’s heartbreaking to read these stories and even more so because trafficking is even more rampant today than ever before.
Read this story and may you be inspired to stand up and make a difference. As Hedlund wrote in her Author’s Note “May we rise up, stand tall, and fight against the injustices that still exist today.” (P.S. She’s not just about words either, proceeds from Unending Devotion go to stopping modern day slavery.)
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu