In her novel, Love Unexpected, Jody Hedlund introduces us to young Emma Chambers and her brother Ryan. When they are suddenly stranded on Presque Isle and destitute after pirates attack their steamboat, Emma finds herself considering a most unlikely proposition. The local light keeper, Patrick, has just buried his wife and has a young son. In order to do his job, he needs to find a new wife to watch the little boy or he will have to send him away to relatives. Each facing their own dilemmas, Emma agrees to marry Patrick a short while after meeting he and his son. But life on the island is less than idyllic, and soon it becomes apparent that Patrick’s unsavory past may be coming back to haunt him. Torn between love and logic, Emma comes to believe her marriage simply cannot work and plans to leave. When tragedy strikes, it brings many hidden things to light and saves a relationship just starting to blossom.
As the story unfolded, I could almost feel the cool lake breeze coming off the water. Jody’s vivid descriptions made everything about the island come alive…the remote landscape of the light house, the smells of a fishing village, and the activity near the docks. Each character was their own unique study and together it blended into a rich medley. It makes the heroic look very ordinary as regular people make difficult choices, living unselfishly despite their circumstances. It was an excellent book. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys woman’s fiction.
Disclosure: Thank you to Bethany House from whom I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.