Monday, March 10, 2014
Where Courage Calls - A Review
Author - Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan
Title - Where Courage Calls
Format - ebook, hardcover, paper, audio
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Beth Thatcher follows in the footsteps of her aunt Elizabeth Thatcher Delaney and accepts a teaching position in Canada's far West. For a spoiled, pampered, daughter of a wealthy family, Beth finds Coal Valley to be a shock. A mining accident has caused the town to suffer a great loss. The children have had very little exposure to a formal education. Yet as she begins to teach the children of the town, she finds herself loving the townspeople's simple ways. She soon finds herself gathering the attention of two young Mounties - one a childhood friend and the other a new acquaintance. When her sister visits, Beth is reminded of the luxurious life she left behind. Will Beth return home where it's safe or will she find her wings to soar?
Written as a companion novel to bridge the gap between the Hallmark movie of When Calls the Heart and the TV series with the same name, this novel returns Janette Oke to the prairie fiction that she has been known for.
I have long loved Janette Oke's books. Some of my earliest memories of reading Christian Fiction around 4th, 5th, or 6th grade include reading both the Love Comes Softly Series and the Canadian West series. I remember thinking that these were like a Little House on the Prairie book that wasn't a children's book. At one point, I believe I even owned every one of her books. And I still classify among my all-time book favorites these books of hers: Roses for Mama, A Bride for Donnigan, A Woman Named Damaris, the Love Comes Softly Series, and the Canadian West Series. So I was thrilled when I discovered that she had a new book coming out.
After a very slow start, I found that once Beth arrived in Coal Valley things began to pick up. I thought that Beth tried too hard to find out what God wanted her to accomplish. Still I did enjoy how she grew from the spoiled debutante into a pioneer woman. She didn't even realize she was changing until her sister arrived and Beth saw her through fresh eyes. As far as romance goes, there was very little. There were the two potential suitors, but neither of them played a major part. This was a story about Beth growing up.
While it was a sweet book in classic Janette Oke fashion, to be perfectly honest, I found that I could have easily put it down and not returned to it. It wasn't that I found it boring, because it really wasn't. It was more that I found my attention wandering. And I can't blame that on watching the Hallmark series. Because I don't have cable/satellite and have not seen a single episode of it. I will admit to having watched the When Calls the Heart movie, but I've not seen the series.
Overall, this book didn't enthrall me. I really found it to be mediocre. Still for someone who is looking for a sweet story, this would be for them.
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. I was not required to like the book or to give a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
Recommended to fans of Janette Oke, Little House on the Prairie, Lynn Austin, Tracie Peterson, Lauraine Snelling
Rating - 3 stars