Yesterday was National Author Day, and I’m honored to get to celebrate an author’s release this week who has been such an encouragement to me. For over five years, I’ve been blessed with Julie Lessman’s stories and her friendship, and now I’m excited to celebrate her newest (and first contemporary) novel, Isle of Hope.
- Romantic Tension
- A compelling story
(Plus lots of kisses, but I figured that goes along with the ‘romantic tension’ thing) J
And don’t forget Julie loves to throw in that secondary romance of her older characters – which, to me, was an even more compelling and authentic romance in Isle of Hope than the younger characters’ romance, and making her themes of ‘forgiveness’ and ‘hope’ even more beautiful.
This story, at its naked core, is about forgiveness. A cast of broken people come together on the pages to find the ultimate healing through forgiveness, in its various forms. Lacey embodies the story’s heart as a woman whose past is littered with mistakes that have injured all the people she loves, especially the man she was supposed to marry eight years before. Her purpose in returning home after all those years of simmering bitterness is to seek forgiveness. Isle of Hope is an appropriate place for her to embark on this journey of reconciliation, healing, and, of course, hope. That’s what almost every character in the story is looking for. From the ‘hope’ of a second romance even as one grows older, to the hope of forgiveness for breaking a fiancé’s heart, to the craving of healing between a father and a daughter, Julie Lessman’s novel provides the answer of ‘hope’ in each character in her novel.
Now, if you are an avid reader of Julie’s books, you’ll discover a few differences about this one. The faith thread is much more overt in Isle of Hope than in any of her other novels, which provides opportunity for her to share a deeper understanding of the reconciliation and healing of the Gospel.
Another slight difference is the pacing of this book. Because of the storyline taking a longer focus on faith, the pacing may not feel as fast as in her previous books, which may suit wounded readers well as Lessman continually reminds them in each fictional relationship of God’s outpouring of grace as a balm to cure to most broken souls.
And though the kisses seemed more tender than spicy, (and there were still some spicy ones) the overall focus of the book was more about piecing together lives with hope and forgiveness than being swept away in a lover’s embrace (unless the ‘lover’ was the Lover of our souls).
This novel was a beautiful story and one that will remind you of how much you are loved by a Mender of broken things. Definitely a worthwhile read from Julie Lessman.
What people are saying:
“Lush details, dynamic characters, and a storyline that keeps you turning the pages” — Beth Vogt
“A delight!” — Becky Wade