Monday, September 20, 2010

Review: A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman and Giveaway!

One thing I adore about Julie Lessman books is there's always more than one story on stage. Some of her finest work is done in the subplots, and A Hope Undaunted is no exception.

This novel follows the romance of the youngest O'Connor, Katie, and her childhood nemesis, Cluny Magee. The angst involved as Katie and Cluny navigate their love/hate relationship made me love/love this book.

But some of the most touching work comes from watching not just the romantic love blossoming between Katie and Cluny, but also the agape love shown by some of the more mature married couples, characters in the midst real marital strife- who choose to love each other anyway, and lean on God. Sometimes romance fans (myself included) need a healthy dose of what Biblical love really looks like and I found the subplots of this book refreshing.

Here's where I could get off on a tangent and discuss how using various subplots, Julie Lessman actually incorporated all three types of New Testament love in A Hope Undaunted, eros, phileo and agape- but I'll save you the detailed anaysis.

Instead, I end with this question for Lessman fans: Have you all noticed how much action the O'Connor porch swing gets?

I think I'm gonna have to install one of those. ;)

Want more information? Here's the back cover blurb:
The 1920s are drawing to a close, and fiesty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman- smart and sassy with goals for ther future that include the perfect husband- good looking, well-connected, wealthy, and eating out of her hand. 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?

My rating:

Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. I received a review copy from the publisher.

And speaking of review copies, it's time for a giveaway!

Leave a comment on this review sometime between now and Friday for a chance to win my copy of A Hope Undaunted. Be sure to include your email address if it's not in your profile. I'll post the winner's name right here Friday evening.

But the fun doesn't end here, folks.

Check out Julie Lessman's Facebook party and book bomb for a chance to win more prizes!
A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party
A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party



  1. Haha. Didn't think about the porch swing. I think I'm going to finish it today (80 pages left) and like you I loved all the different forms of love Julie always shows in her novels. No need to enter me as I already have the book.

  2. Sounds great...would love to read this!

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

  3. i am so looking forward to reading this novel...thanks for the opportunity :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  4. What a fun book! Being an old married lady, I love that there are old married couples in it too!

  5. Thanks for commenting everyone! I really enjoyed this one, I know you will too.

  6. Please enter me! :)


  7. Joy no need to enter me in the contest, just wanted to read your review. I loved this book as well, this was my first time reading Julie Lessman and now I am going back to read all of her books, she is just that good! Have an awesome day!

  8. LOL, Brenda, I was just at your blog reading your review. :)

  9. Is it possible for Julie Lessman to not write an excellent read? I don't think so either. I'd love to have this one!!

  10. JOY!!! WOW ... you got something that no one has gotten, including me!!

    You said: "Here's where I could get off on a tangent and discuss how using various subplots, Julie Lessman actually incorporated all three types of New Testament love in A Hope Undaunted, eros, phileo and agape."

    Do you know that my daughter-in-law had to point that out to me because I didn't realize it?? She said it stunned her because every kind of love was emulated in this book, and I was blessed to hear that. I am a seat-of-the-pants writer, so I honestly don't think ahead on those things, I just write. So your comment and my DIL's blesses the socks off of me that God can use a dingbat like me to write a story where His love ... in all it's glorious forms ... can shine through.

    Thank you, Joy, for your amazing support and especially your friendship.

    And, NO, I actually never fully realized just how much action the O'Connor porch swing gets ... I just know my editor would have kittens if all my love scenes were in the bedrooms ... :)


  11. My review of this book will go up this week also. Like you, I really enjoyed it. This book is all about love, not just romantic love, but other kinds too. It was certainly a refreshing read.

    LOL on the porch swing... I have one of those! (wink)

  12. @Julie- You didn't put that there on purpose?? Wow, and I'm not usually that deep. I'm surprised I noticed it. LOL.

    But please don't change anything about the O'Connor porch swing. I love that it sees so much action. It's hot in a retro sort of way.

    And Just Peachy, you are one lucky woman. :)

  13. If only that porch swing could talk! Or maybe it does through Julie. Look how smart you are to pick up on all those subplots. Oh, and how bad do you want that Kindle that Julie is giving away? I would loooooove it!

  14. I'm here from Cym's Blog Link party. Have never heard of Julie Lessman -- so will take a look-see at her books. I like what you said about the three kinds of Love.

  15. I loved your review. I would enjoy this read immensely....AND, it's true, porch swings do have a certain power. hee hee

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

  16. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  17. Throw my name in the hat! :D srfbluemama[at]gmail[dot]com

  18. Almost missed Julie's giveaway on this blog! That would have been sinful! Please add me to this opportunity to win Julie's book. Hope I'm not too late. It would be so much fun to be Julie's next door neighbor, but she'd probably be gone on interviews and book signings too often to visit with her. I'm happy to be able to read her wonderful words. Makes me feel at home. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win. I hope I do!

    Sharing Faith,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  19. says the winner is Ariel! Congrats Ariel, I'm emailing you now.

  20. Great review!

    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:


  21. Oops!

    When I said a "more in-depth review" I meant more in-depth compared to the short comment I had made.

    Sorry if that was unclear.



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