If you read the previous novel in Jody Hedlund’s Beacons of Hope series, you remember Tessa. I have been eagerly awaiting her own novel since I turned the last page of Hearts Made Whole, because well, you’ll just have to read that book :).
Tessa Taylor arrives in 1870s Upper Peninsula, Michigan, planning to serve as a new teacher to the town. Much to her dismay, however, she immediately learns that there was a mistake, that the town had requested a male teacher. Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since they won’t be able to locate a new teacher before then, and Tessa can’t help but say she is in his debt. Little does she know that Percival will indeed keep track of all that she owes him.
Determined to become indispensable, Tessa throws herself into teaching, and soon the children of the widowed lighthouse keeper have decided she’s the right match for their grieving father. Their uncle and assistant light keeper, Alex Bjorklund, has his own feelings for Tessa. As the two brothers begin competing for her hand, Tessa increasingly feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her.
I think Tessa was my favorite – she’s a solid lead and knowing her past, Jody did a wonderful job showing her growth and maturity. It’s such a reminder that we are not our past mistakes. Plus she’s been keeping things sassy since 1871, so she’s what we call… MY PEOPLE. We both speak the love language of sass.
I also really liked Alex and the children. Again, her character development is excellent! Another area she truly shines in this novel is revealing what life was like for the people in this era. Not only surviving the cold (which sidenote: #nope), but the circumstances they survived. These people were survivors!
One of my other favorite things about Jody’s novels is discovering the true historical details of her novels. It makes me appreciate the story even more and makes it all the more real. One fact that was surprising was that Percival was based on a a guy that really lived. There’s more interesting details to that, but I’ll let you read the story first.
Also, stay tuned…next week is a fun interview and giveaway from Jody. WOOT!
What’s a recent fiction book you’ve recently loved?
(Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)