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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan 5 of 5 stars.

A special companion story to Hallmark Channel's When Calls the Heart TV series.

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? 

Elizabeth Thatcher has been small and prone to sickness all her life. In a day where women are seen as being weak already, Beth's constitution could prove an insurmountable challenge to her independence. Especially if her mother has anything to say about it. But like her Aunt Elizabeth before her, Beth feels called by God to teach in the wild Canadian west amongst poor immigrants.

With her father's blessing and a verse of Gospel, Beth goes out in faith knowing that the journey as well as the life she will be leading in the poor mining town of Coal Valley will prove physically difficult.

Leaning on Christ's strength, Beth learns who she is and makes an amazing impact on the tragedy-stricken town.

Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan is a beautiful story of faith from the beginning to the end. Beth Thatcher has enough faith to leave her comfortable city home and travel west to do God's work of educating the children of a poor mining town, but more than that, she has the courage to continue knowing that she will have to depend on Christ's strength to carry her through more so than her own.

I have loved Janette Oke for as long as I can remember. She was the first author I came to love as a child following my Laura Ingalls Wilder obsession. I devoured the Love Comes Softly series back then and in recent years I've come to adore the Canadian West books. So, you can imagine how excited I was when Hallmark released their When Calls the Heart television series. While I love the show, it is an entirely different story than what is in the books, so I was thrilled to hear that Oke would be writing a companion with her daughter.

As a companion to the show, the book is fantastic. You'll recognize many of the characters, but they will still surprise you. The story line has the same feel as that of the show, but is, never-the-less, much different. I have to say, I prefer the way the romance is presented in Where Courage Calls better than the way it is in the television show. It's more of a slow build and there is a lot more emphasis in this book on the aspects of faith in Beth's story.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book for it's own sake aside from that of the show. It is richly written in that way Oke has always had of making characters jump off of the page. I could scarcely put it down, cheering for our heroine the entire time. The mystery and intrigue that surrounds the mining town is sure to be pleasant surprise to all, as is Beth's courageous journey.

*To order Where Courage Calls by Jannette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan, click here.

Don't miss out on the holiday special of When Calls the Heart December 26!

Contains an Amazon.com affiliate link.

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