In every Janette Oke novel I've ever read, the story warms my heart and gives me a taste of life's goodness.
It had been a while since I had a new book by Janette Oke, and Where Courage Calls reminded me why I love them so much. I really wish I lived next-door to Mrs. Oke.
There's a peace about her writing, even when she deals with the hard stuff of life. There's a genuine delight in friends and family, the wonder of nature, the light of home, and the Power of God.
Carrying on in the proud tradition of Catherine Marshall's Christy, Where Courage Calls tells the story of a young schoolteacher venturing into an unfamiliar world.
As we saw both the poverty and beauty of Cutter Gap through Christy's eyes, we experience the spirit of Coal Valley through Beth Thatcher.
She's a lovable girl from the start. Somehow, Beth wants more than the comfortable life that her family has bequeathed her and a teaching position in a mining town will let her spread her wings and do some good at the same time.
There are a whole cast of men, women and children worth meeting in Coal Valley. Life itself is hard earned here, with no room for luxury. The wisdom and fortitude she encounters was forged through trials and grief: a terrible mining accident left most of the women widowed.
There are great needs to be met in Coal Valley, and Beth is one young lady, yet she has high ideals, true faith to depend on, and a few unexpected friends to help her.
The romance in this story was very refreshing... it is actually a story of friendship, between Beth and two young Canadian Mounties who are in and out of her district. Through the whole book, as I watched her relate to both of them based on mutual respect and goals, I couldn't guess which one would be more than a friend. That made the ending a sweet surprise.
Thank you Mrs, Oke and Litfuse for my review copy!
Janette Oke writes with a profound simplicity of what she knows best—real life, honest love, and lasting values. With over 23 million in sales, her historical novels portray the lives of early North American settlers from many walks of life and geographical settings. She also writes engaging children's stories and inspiring gift books that warm the heart.
Janette was born during the depression years to a Canadian prairie farmer and his wife, and she remembers her childhood as full of love and laughter and family love. After graduating from Mountain View Bible College in Canada where she met her husband, Edward, they pastored churches in Canada and the U.S., and they raised their family of four children, including twin boys, in both countries. Edward eventually became president of Mountain View Bible College and recently established a coalition of colleges that became Rocky Mountain Bible College.
During her earliest years, Janette sensed the desire to write. Though she yearned to be a published novelist, she devoted herself to being a wife and mother because, she says, "there is no higher honor—that is my number-one priority." She began serious writing when her children were entering their teens.
Her first novel, a prairie love story titled Love Comes Softly, was published by Bethany House in 1979. This book was followed by more than 75 others. She reaches both religious and general markets, telling stories that transcend time and place. Her readers of all ages and walks of life can identify with the everyday events and emotions of her characters. Janette believes everyone goes through tough times—the key is to be prepared with a strong faith as the foundation from which decisions are made and difficult experiences are faced. That perspective is subtly woven throughout her novels.
After Love Comes Softly was published, Oke found her readers asking for more. That book led to a series of eight others in her Love Comes Softly series. She has written multiple fiction series, including The Canadian West, Seasons of the Heart and Women of the West. Her most recent releases include a beautiful children's picture book, I Wonder...Did Jesus Have a Pet Lamb and The Song of Acadia series, co-written with T. Davis Bunn.
Janette Oke's warm writing style has won the hearts of millions of readers. She has received numerous awards, including the Gold Medallion Award, The Christy Award of Excellence, the 1992 President's Award for her significant contribution to the category of Christian fiction from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, and in 1999 the Life Impact Award from the Christian Booksellers Association International. Beloved worldwide, her books have been translated into fourteen languages.
In recent years, Janette and her siblings lovingly restored their parents' prairie farm home, and it now serves as a gift shop and museum of prairie life. Please see below for a special invitation to the Oke Writing Museum and The Steeves' Historical House. She and her husband live nearby in Alberta, Canada, where they are active in their local church. Visits from their families, including their grandchildren, are their delight.