Friday, December 7, 2012

"Unending Devotion" by Jody Hedlund

About the book:   Michigan, 1883
In Her Darkest Hours, Is He the Man She Needs?
Lily Young longs to find her lost sister or will die trying. Heedless of any danger, she searches logging camps and towns, posing as a photographer's assistant. And then she arrives in Harrison, Michigan--and the sights of Connell McCormick.

Connell is determined to increase the fortune of his lumber-baron father and figures as long as he's living an upright life, that's what matters. But when Lily arrives in town she upends his world, forcing him to confront the truth that dangerous men have gained too much power while good men turn a blind eye.

Vexing but persuasive, Lily soon secures Connell's help, drawing them ever closer to each other. Will standing for what's right cost them both everything?

My thoughts:   Unless you live in areas affected by the logging industry of the 1880s, you are probably unaware of the negative impact the industry had on the forests, the land, the men and women, and the morals of the time and place.  Just as the history of the gold rush camps and towns that sprang up in the western areas of the United States were morally and socially corrupt with men and women hungry for the sins of the world and the gold they thirsted after, so ran the history of the logging camps in the northern areas of the United States in the 1880s. 

Author Jody Hedlund weaves her story around a young lady whose younger sister and she were raised in orphanages. The younger sister fled the home she was adopted into and landed in a life of the brothels of the logging camps and towns.  Lily is looking for her and wants to rescue her.  In her search, she also directs her attention at rescuing other young girls trapped in this despicable life.

Loggers were rough, hard working, hard living, gambling, drinking, brothel visiting men.  The town Lily lands in has more than one saloon; but the worst is run by James Carr, the unchallenged leader of all that is illicit and unmoral in town.

She also meets the lumber camp leader, Connell McCormick, who unknowing to Lily, is the son of the lumber camp owner and lumber baron.  Connell is a good man and becomes very protective of Lily.  However, Lily and Connell seem to be at odds with one another most of the time.

This is a story that tells the history of the lumber industry in its heyday at its worse but also shows that there was movement afoot to clean up the town and the industry.

Hedlund has skillfully written a very good story portraying the good, the bad, the history, the peoples, the issues, the answers. 

I previously reviewed Jody Hedlund's book The Doctor's Lady.  Read my review by clicking here.
About the author:  Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of The Doctor's Lady and The Preacher's Bride. She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Unending Devotion by Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group on behalf of the author, Jody Hedlund,  for the purpose of an honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own with no requirement or obligation for a positive review.


  1. Great review, Vera. I'm a big fan of Jody's work, and I think Unending Devotion is my favorite of all her books. :)

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Sarah. She is a very good author. I'm a fan of your emailed blog, too, Sarah.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment here at Chat With Vera. If you need to contact me directly, please use the email associated with this blog and posted in the sidebar.