February 22, 2014

Where Courage Calls

Where Courage Calls
Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan

Did you have a favorite author growing up? Perhaps books that belonged to your mom or dad that you read from their bookshelves as soon as you were old enough to read the bigger chapter books? I did! I still remember my first book by Janette Oke! I read Roses for Mama and fell completely in love with her books, characters, writing style and love stories! I went on to read all of the books my mom owned and as more books came out I added to the collection however I could! (Birthday and Christmas gifts, begging when we went to the Christian Book Store, and buying some myself!)

So imagine my delight when Bethany House published "Where Courage Calls: A When Calls the Heart Novel"!!! A continuation of sorts of one of my favorite series growing up!  When Calls the Heart was the story of Elizabeth who went west to teach and met and fell in love with a Mountie named Will. Where Courage Calls continues the story in a way by following Elizabeth's niece, Beth, in a similar story where she leaves her fancy home in Toronto to go west to teach for a year in a small mining town.

Poor Beth doesn't know what she is in for! She leaves a home in the city with every modern convenience and ends up in a tiny mining town with no modern conveniences. But she learns to live without an indoor latrine, electricity, fully stocked stores and restaurants and soon thrives among her new "family" comprised of her students, their families, the foreign miners from Italy, and the woman who runs the boarding house where she lives.

I love Beth's character because she is so persevering. She endures much and still keeps on going. Throughout the book you read her inner thoughts as well as her prayers. This is one of my favorite aspect of Oke novels. They always have a theme of the importance of family and faith. And they never mince words on God's love for His children. Often in the book Beth cries out to God for his guidance and He never fails her (even if He doesn't answer when/how she expects).

I also love how Beth doesn't simply teach school. She also forms a "Bible Club," English classes for the Italian miners, early morning service projects and breakfast, and is constantly searching for other ways to help the community and not just her own students. It is no surprise that this attitude of giving attracts the attention of a certain Mountie! But you'll have to read the book to find out which one as there are actually  TWO Mounties!!!

You'll love this book if you loved the original Oke novels. But even if you haven't read any other books by Janette Logan or Laurel Oke Logan you can still pick up this book and not miss anything. But I'll imagine finishing this book will leave you longing to read all of the other ones!

Don't miss this book if you have a heart for the hurting, needy, children, or unchurched. The work that Beth does in her small mining community will give you renewed longing to help others.

Oh and make sure you check out the new Hallmark channel tv show based LOSELY on this book.

This book was provided to me by the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for my honest review.