The 2015 Jody Hedlund Challenge is a monthly series featuring the novels of author Jody Hedlund, hosted by Cassie of Bookshelves and Windows and Jamie of Books and Beverages. We invite readers and bloggers to join us in reading and discussing these books together. Every month, we’ll announce the book about four weeks before the discussion post will go live (alternating between Cassie and Jamie’s blogs). The following month, after everyone has read the book, we will discuss and interact with each other about our thoughts on each book with special appearances throughout the year! If you’re on Facebook be sure to join our group!
I don’t know about all of you, but I felt like this book started with a lot of excitement. In the first chapter alone, Emma experiences a pirate attack followed by having to abandon the ship she is aboard because it is on fire, and then her struggle to stay afloat in the frigid Michigan waters. But then she gets rescued by a man with “the kindest eyes she’d ever seen” (20).
Emma’s innocence and inexperience are obvious when she arrives at the lighthouse, newly married. Her excitement to be a wife and mother is soon tempered by the daily hardships she must learn to endure. And Patrick is the most gentle and considerate man. His interactions with his son are adorable, and his thoughtfulness towards Emma is endearing. I enjoyed reading about their new life together, as they learned so much about each other, how to trust, forgive, and love one another.
I have to say some of my favorite moments were when Patrick would ask Emma, “Will you come up to the tower tonight?”
Now it’s time for some discussion questions. Share your thoughts with us!
- What message did you take away from Love Unexpected?
- What was one of your favorite scenes?
- Patrick lives with guilt of things he unknowingly isn’t responsible for. Only towards the end of the book is he unburdened by the truth of his past. How does this affect his relationship with Emma and the way he lives his life?
- Emma confides in the wrong people because she is desperate for advice. How can we use discernment when choosing friends? How can we avoid gossip in our personal lives while still sharing our lives with the people we care about?
And before you go, we have something else for you. As it is May, we are officially at the half-way point in our Jody Hedlund Challenge! We are always looking for ways to improve this challenge for our readers, so we ask that you please take this short survey on how we can make this experience even better! Thanks so much! You can take the survey here.