Jody Hedland creates a lively and bold character in Unending Devotion. Lily Young, now a young woman in 1833, Michigan, is on a mission. Her sister had left her foster home in search of a job but Lily fears that job is one of prostitution at one of the logging towns. With her foster-father moving from town to town to photograph loggers, Lily works as an assistant and searches the brothels to try to locate her sister. But when she get to Harrison she becomes acquainted with Connell McCormick who is trying to run a business, not save damsels in distress.
Lily intrigues him and challenges his faith and his perspective on the evils around him. Evils that he assumed had to be maintained to keep his workers happy in the months they lived away from family. He had little knowledge, intimate or otherwise, of the prostitution that was going on, assuming that these women chose that line of work.
Lilly slowly challenges his faith and his way of looking at the world and he is drawn into her fight for her sister’s life, if only to save Lily’s. It becomes clear that many of the women in the brothels were not there by choice but are tricked and then drugged to keep them compliant. Connell is forced to break from the expectations of his father and forge a new method of doing business in a cut-throat logging world and at the same time, fight the evils around him. Perhaps even winning the heart of a lovely young woman he never even knew he needed.
If we thought human sex-trafficking was a recent occurrence, Jody Hedlund illustrates clearly that this has been going on in our country for much longer time. Jody has done amazingly detailed research on her topic and weaves in reality with fiction that leaves the reader mesmerized and fully immersed in her story.