Friday, February 21, 2014

When Calls the Heart Companion Novel

Where Calls the Heart

Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan

Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected...
Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the
Read Chapter 1
social outings her father's wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way. 


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 had very little prior education, and many of the locals don't even speak English. There isn't even a proper schoolhouse. 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 many 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?


     I had seen a brief glimpse of a television commercial while passing by my sister watching it and it caught my eye. One of the television shows I watched as a little girl was Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and this commercial reminded me of it. Eventually I will get around to actually watching the television series and then the movie, but only after I read the original book series. This book is about Ms. Elizabeth's (the protagonist of the television series) niece. It took me a while to connect how exactly they were connected, but when I figured it out it was extremely sweet. 

      I really enjoyed the stories and the uniqueness of having the setting be Canada. Most of the historical fiction I read set in that time period is in the Prairie or the West. The main character was a school teacher who I felt had very realistic and almost comforting revelations for that time period. I loved it! I like reading about teachers in interesting historical experiences. Beth had to teach in a former saloon, and deal with prejudices to Italian immigrants. 

     What I really enjoyed, and I thought was different from most Historical Fiction books, was that the romance was really a subplot. It did give her some problems, and she was confused, but it wasn't something that she was truly focused on. Plus, the romantic subplot wasn't really formed enough throughout the novel to be satisfying for the novel to be strictly romance. Not to say that the romance in it wasn't enjoyable, because it was extremely. 

    The ending was almost kind of vague-ish (and I don't think that counts as a spoiler) so I think that a sequel could be in the making. I read a Q & A with the author and the question was asked about a sequel and Ms. Janette answered: "The answer is, perhaps. Laurel and I are thinking of a second book. Where we go from there depends on the response from readers."

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a honest review. 

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