Book Review: Unending Devotion

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Age Appropriate For: 18+ for mature subject matter.
Description: 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.

Warning, this review contains some spoilers (though no major ones).

After seeing a lot of my friends give this book five stars on Goodreads, I decided to request a review copy of Unending Devotion. I wish I had taken a few more minutes to read the actual reviews so I wouldn’t have been surprised about the subject matter in the book.

I really wanted to love this book, at first I thought I would. Jody Hedlund is a very gifted writer, and her style pulled me in. She obviously does her research and adds some wonderful historical tidbits. However, a lot of the enjoyment was taken out of the book because of the subject matter.

Lily is working to help end prostitution. She helps girls escape from it as she works to find her sister who ran away to start in that profession. Although I think this is a noble goal, and I am glad there are people out there that fought this evil back then and continue to fight it today, it is not a subject I like reading about.

One of the other things I did not enjoy was a particular situation that Connell and Lily find themselves in. Lily gets caught out in a storm and Connell saves her and takes her to an abandoned cabin. When Lily wakes up, she finds that Connell removed some of her clothing to keep her from getting chilled. Although I understood the medical need, I just didn’t like the whole situation.

With all that said, the book did have some redeeming qualities that kept me from hating it. Connell and Lily are both very committed to keeping pure and living an upright life. Several times I was pleasantly surprised when they took a step back from each other or did some other such action so as to be honorable toward each other.

I also really enjoyed reading about a time, place, and industry that I know very little about. As a lover of history Jody gave a wonderful glimpse at a part of American history that isn’t as well-known as many others.

This book would be great for those who are concerned about the white slave trade, lovers of historical fiction, or those looking for a romance story where the characters act in honor.

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.  I was under no obligation to write a positive review.  The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

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