An Uncertain Choice

An Uncertain ChoiceAn Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund
Genres: Historical Romance, Young Adult
Published by Zondervan on March 3, 2015
Pages: 256
Also by this author: Love Unexpected, Hearts Made Whole, Luther and Katharina, Undaunted Hope, A Daring Sacrifice, Newton and Polly

 

Held by a vow made by her parents at her birth, Lady Rosemarie is resigned to become a nun upon her eighteenth birthday. However, shortly before her birthday, her godfather finds a caveat in the vow that leaves her a second option. If she can find true love and marry before she turns eighteen, she can be exempt from it. In order to give her a chance at a different life, her godfather brings his three most trusted knights to meet her and attempt to win her heart and hand in marriage. However, it soon becomes clear that someone doesn’t want Rosemarie to deviate from the vow when several attacks occur in her land, and unfortunately, the knight she is drawn to most is one of the prime suspects.

I am a great fan of Jody Hedlund’s novels for adults, so when I saw that she had a young adult novel set in the 1300’s, a time period I love but don’t read about often, I knew I had to read it as soon as I could. I found An Uncertain Choice to be delightful and can definitely see pre-teens and young teens alike enjoying this novel immensely.

I was immediately drawn to Rosemarie’s faith and desire to care for her people, and it was easy to root for her throughout the story.

When I read the first few pages, I was pleasantly surprised that Jody decided to use first-person narration. Jody created an engaging, relatable main character. I was immediately drawn to Rosemarie’s faith and desire to care for her people, and it was easy to root for her throughout the story. It was also interesting that one of the other character’s point of view is included in the story as well. I thought that was a nice touch and appreciated the different perspective. I also appreciated that it was clearly designated that it was someone else speaking, because sometimes in first-person, it can be a bit unclear when it changes narrator from section to section. The secondary characters, especially the knights, and Rosemarie’s relationship with her godfather, the Duke, added some nice depth to the story.

I would have preferred the plot overall to be a bit less predictable, however, it didn’t erase any of the enjoyment I felt while reading.

Since I am such a big fan of Jody’s adult novels, I think a part of me couldn’t help but compare to them. Of course, since I’m not a pre-teen or young adult, and I did try to take that into consideration, however, the big mystery of the villain was not mysterious at all to me. The foreshadowing was a bit on the nose, and I think even a teen would see certain plot twists coming. I would have preferred the plot overall to be a bit less predictable, however, it didn’t erase any of the enjoyment I felt while reading. Despite my misgivings regarding the plot, the story flows with ease, so I didn’t mind following along as Rosemarie found out for herself just who was behind all of the reprehensible deeds.

I’m always impressed at how Jody can keep both faith and romance threads running strongly throughout her stories. 

I’m always impressed at how Jody can keep both faith and romance threads running strongly throughout her stories. Rosemarie’s fears and doubts are portrayed realistically, and the theme of trusting in God is a very strong thread throughout the story. The romantic moments are sweet and endearing, but thoroughly tender and genuine. Jody portrays the feelings of her characters in realistic ways without crossing any lines into something inappropriate. I wasn’t surprised to find out which knight was to be Rosemarie’s true love, but I would have been disappointed had it turned out otherwise than their happy ending.

Jody’s first young adult offering is success for this reader. I can especially recommend An Uncertain Choice for teen girls and also girls who aren’t exactly teens anymore, but still enjoy young adult novels, like me. I am guessing there will be another book about Rosemarie because the ending of this one is a bit of a cliffhanger! While I will probably always prefer her adult novels, I look forward to returning to Rosemarie’s world and her next venture into the young adult genre.

–Beth


Lady Rosemarie has lived a life full of certainty—until a month before her eighteenth birthday, when the noblest knight, the Duke of Rivenshire, presents her with the opportunity to break the vow that is to send her to life in a convent as a nun. Resigned to this fate from an early age because of a promise her parents made after years of infertility, Lady Rosemarie believed she was ready to rule her people from behind closed doors. The Duke of Rivenshire shares the one exception to keeping this vow, however, and suddenly Lady Rosemarie’s choices make her question everything she knew to be certain. Three handsome, noble knights spend the month before Lady Rosemarie’s birthday vying for her hand, and she finds that a life of love and serving others is much more appealing that life in the convent. Behind the castle walls, though, someone is threatened by the idea of Lady Rosemarie’s potential marriage. As harm continues to come to those around her, Ashby’s fair maiden rushes to protect those in her village, fight for the knight who won her heart, and outwit whoever is trying to make her keep her vow.

Jody’s An Uncertain Choice is a winner of a young adult novel for its emphasis on an age-appropriate, clean, and exhilarating romance swept within a fun medieval story.

Jody Hedlund is known in the Christian fiction industry for choosing settings, time periods, and plots that reach far into the depths of human compassion and trials. Her first foray into the young adult genre follows her typical path—with a new and positive exception that she ventured into the lands of a medieval fairy tale story. Writing a young adult novel presents different challenges than Jody most likely encounters when penning her adult Christian fiction stories: teens except fast-paced entertainment but writers are potentially limited by the accessibility of language and depth of the stories that young adult readers are able to handle. Jody handles this transition well, and while those of us who are accustomed to her adult novels may find An Uncertain Choice lacking in characterization or depth, there is no uncertainty as whether or not teens or adults will enjoy this novel. Jody’s An Uncertain Choice is a winner of a young adult novel for its emphasis on an age-appropriate, clean, and exhilarating romance swept within a fun medieval story.

–Marisa

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