Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan Book Review

18652830// Where Courage Calls //

A When Calls The Heart Novel

By Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan

{Review By Bethany}

Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 076421232X
Publisher: Bethany House
Released: February 4th, 2014
Source: Litfuse Publicity Group
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

// Book Synopsis //

Taken from Good Reads

"After years of schooling, Beth Thatcher has graduated and is determined to become a teacher. But when she's assigned the position no one else wants--in the tiny mining town of Coal Valley, located in the rugged foothills of western Canada--she worries she doesn't have the courage to accept.

Inspired by the diary of her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years earlier, as well as her father's encouragement, Beth eventually decides to put her trust in God and leave behind all she's ever known.

But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she'd feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have very little prior education, and many of the locals don't even speak English. In addition, Beth's heart is torn between two young men--both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.

Despite the unexpected challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she's had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?"

// Bethany's Book Review //

This new companion novel to the When Calls The Heart Hallmark movie and T.V. series, is sure to be a delightful read for any Janette Oke fans, as well as fans of the movie adaptions of her books. Filled with lots of prairie close-knit family together-ness and courage to boot, join Beth Thatcher on an unforgettable journey where she learns to trust God in every situation, knowing He is working all things out for good.

This was a very nice novel, which I greatly enjoyed reading during the time when the T.V. series based on Janette Oke's book Where Calls The Heart, was airing each Saturday evening. I had already come to love the T.V. series and fallen in love with the characters, so I was very enthusiastic to read the book that inspired the series. Since this book is the companion novel to the series, it was neat getting to "read" more of the T.V. series, so to speak, and see what the movie episodes were based on. I've always been a fan of Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly series and movies, so I wasn't surprised to love this novel just as much as the Love Comes Softly saga!

This book is full of Janette Oke's classic writing style that often features a hard working prairie family setting, a soft and clean romance as well as lots of strong Christian values and morals throughout. I was not surprised to end up enjoying this novel so much, and it reminded me in a way of her Love Comes Softly novels, though of course in a different setting. This novel focuses on main character Beth Thatcher's journey into the wild west to become a school teacher to the poor children of Coal Valley, who recently lost their fathers in a mining accident when the coal mine exploded, leaving shattered children and helpless widows. Accustomed to luxuries of indoor plumbing, electricity and plenty of money at her disposal, Beth is unaware that primitive Coal Valley and her new teaching position are both going to test her in more ways than one; and reveal who she really is underneath her family's wealth and fame to the person God has called her heart to be, and the life purpose He has for her.

Among the many pros I found in this book, the biggest one was how big the emphasis on how your money doesn't define who you are as a person, and how everyone is important, was played out in the story. I loved Beth as she was a very humble character who willingly went to help poor people in a primitive town with few luxuries, when all she'd ever known was wealth and prosperity. I also loved her character. She was such a strong young lady and really aimed towards truly helping the people of Coal Valley and sharing Christ's love with others, no matter what their current situation was. I just loved being able to see how Beth connected with the people of Coal Valley despite their vast differences, and shared hope with them. At the end of the story I truly felt like she had truly reformed the town and left it better off than she found it; and I loved her example of how one person truly can make a difference for the Lord and bless others.

While I did find the events that took place while Beth was in Coal Valley completely different than the events played out in the T.V. series, I found it uniquely interesting getting "more" of the events of this town while Beth was teacher. While some people may see this as a con since the book is so different than the movie, I didn't feel like it lessened the book, and actually thoughts it was interesting to continue the story with the same characters you already knew and loved from the T.V. episodes.

Overall, I'd highly encourage all fans of Janette Oke's books and movie adaptions to read this book. It's filled with Christian values and a very sturdy life changing character, with an overall uplifting storyline, and sure to not disappoint!

D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a free copy of Where Courage Calls from the publisher through Litfuse Publicity for the purpose of this review. I was not paid in any way to write this review, or promote this book. All thoughts expressed in my review are completely my own, honest and unbiased.

Enter Today | 2/17 - 3/4!
Janette Oke Where Courage Calls

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