I decided to read the Canadian West Series by Janette Oke after watching the Hallmark television series When Calls the Heart. The TV shows does NOT follow the book at all. The Elizabeth Thatcher in the TV show is the niece of the Elizabeth Thatcher of the book. When Calls the Heart is the first of the books in the Canadian West Series. Janette Oke is a born again Christian and writes faith-based books. I am a Christian, but I usually stay away from faith-based books because I don’t really care much for them. They tend to be too preachy for my personal tastes. However, I made an exception in this case because I love the TV show so much. I wanted to read the original story.
The year is 1910 and Elizabeth Thatcher is from a wealthy family who lives in Toronto. Very unlike other females, Elizabeth is not really interested in getting married. Instead she attended teachers college and wants to spend her life in a teaching career. Elizabeth is used to all the comforts of home and life in general that is available in that time period. Never the less she accepts a teaching position way out in the Canadian Western Frontier. There is no indoor plumbing and your next door neighbors are at least a mile away. Initially, Elizabeth is determined never to get involved with any man on the Frontier, that is until she meets handsome Wynn Delaney of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
I love that as accustomed to luxury as Elizabeth is she overcomes the obstacles of frontier life and proves that she can make it on her own. She loves teaching and comes to love the children of the frontier and their families.
Her developing relationship with Wynn Delaney is very sweet, but it doesn’t contain the amount of romance I would have liked. Or courses since this is a faith-based romance novel there is no sex. If you don’t like faith-based books where romance is conducted in a squeaky clean manner then don’t waste your time or money reading this book.
I love God and I certainly love Jesus, but I was turned off by the extremely traditional view of God. It actually states in the book that “God hates sin”. God is certainly not in favor of sin, but God does not hate. God is all love in my experience, even in the face of human imperfection. Other than that and a few other traditional religious statements that I do not personally agree with, I truly enjoyed reading this book even though it could have contained more romance. I do love the display of family values.
I give this novel 3 and a half out of 5 Stars.