Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund
4 of 5 stars
Lily Young’s desperate search for her runaway younger sister leads her to a small 1880s Michigan lumber town where she enlists the help of Connor McCormick, the lumber baron’s own son, to find her sister and make the town a safer place.
Her bright flowery skirt flapped in the wind, as out of place in the dull gray of winter as the girl herself was in the mostly male-populated lumber town.
I don’t know that I fully appreciated this historical fiction novel until I read the author’s note in the back which told the true story of Harrison, MI’s “Devil’s Ranch Stockade,” the inspiration for this book. At that point, I better appreciated the research that went into it and the care the author took in weaving the romance plot around the real-life events. I enjoyed the pacing of the book; things seemed to take off pretty quickly and kept moving briskly throughout the novel.
I did, however, find Lily rather irritating through the first 100 pages or so of the novel; her goody-tw0-shoes self-importance and “perfectness” seemed overbearing and obnoxious as she turns everyone else’s life upside down trying to save women from sex slavery, as well as rescuing the trees and forests and kittens and fluffy bunnies and whatnot. Her efforts were certainly noble, but the way she went about it was foolish. Fortunately, she seems to learn from some of these things and exhibits growth throughout the novel.
Overall: An action-heavy Christian historical romance about standing up for what’s right regardless of the costs