Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund is a great historical fiction book. I knew I would love this book because I love all of Jody Hedlund's books. The way she writes is more like painting a picture, it's like watching a story unfold right before your very eyes. I love the way she includes factual historical events and this is one author who really does her homework. For example, at the end of Love Unexpected there is an "Author's Note" where she shares about the research she did and how the book ties in with real historical events, which things were true and which were just based on a true event. Some of the character's are based on real people from the past and she shares who those people where and how they inspired her. For someone like me, who loves history this is just awesome!
Another thing I love about this book (and all her books) are how rich they are in faith. This story shows how the mistakes we have made in the past can still affect our future even after we give our hearts to God. I once heard a preacher say that even after you get saved you sometimes "reap what you sow". Although God forgives us sometimes we suffer the repercussions of our mistakes after God has saved us. I have experienced this in my own life, but through the grace of God, he not only forgave me of my sins, he turned those bad things into blessings! Isn't God great like that?!
There was also a message of forgiveness and showing the same mercy to others that God has shown to you. Sometimes this is a hard thing to do, but we have to remember that we were once a sinner just like them and we need to share the love of God so they can see God shining through you.
I loved the characters in Love Unexpected. Emma is a young girl traveling with her brother when their ship is attacked by pirates. Her and her brother are rescued by lighthouse keeper Patrick. All Emma has ever wanted was a home of her own. She has all but given up on that dream. No man ever came calling and she doesn't think anyone would think her attractive. Patrick has just buried his wife and is left to run the lighthouse and take care of his two year old son on his own. It seems that Emma is the answer to his problem and after a quick wedding Emma finally has the home she has always wanted. Now that she is married she is starting to realize that she knows nothing about being a mother and the man she married seems to have many secrets. There are even rumors around town that he is a dangerous man. When Emma discovers Patrick's secrets will she be able to stay with him?
There is a novella prequel to this book called Out of the Storm. If you don't read it first it will not take away from the book, but it would help you connect with a certain part of the story, plus it is really good too. Love Unexpected is book one in the Beacons of Hope series and I can't wait till the next book comes out!
If you have not read any of Jody Hedlund books, you are missing out, but it's not too late! You can start with this series!
***This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.