Where Courage Calls
Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan
Though I've been cutting back on my reading of historical fiction, when I saw this new book by Janette Oke and her daughter, I knew I had to get it: I mean, it's been years since Janette Oke has released a book. I practically had an obligation to read it.
A sort-of continuation of the When Calls the Heart series and a companion to the new Hallmark Channel movie/ TV series, this book is about Elizabeth Thatcher's niece, also named, well, Elizabeth Thatcher.
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 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?
Though I enjoyed the first book, the When Calls the Heart series was always my least favorite set of books by Janette Oke, and though I really, really wanted to like Where Courage Calls, it failed to completely suck me in. Part of this might be because most of the book was about Beth's teaching, and that really didn't interest me a whole lot. I found the romance aspect lacking, too- she just didn't seem to spend a whole lot with either of the guys. That part of the book was almost like an afterthought- actually, several of the plot points mentioned in the synopsis (her sister's visit and the "two men" in her life) weren't really major points in the book at all. It did pick up my interest more in the last half of the book, and I'm sure that Janette Oke fans will want to pick up this novel, Where courage Calls is definitely not my favorite by the author. Not because it was bad, but because it simply wasn't....amazing.
Rating: 6 1/2