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?
While anticipating the honor of writing a review for Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan’s novel When Courage Calls, I pondered if my words could give proper merit to such creative teamwork from these two superb authors. As a long time reader of Janette Oke – often relating her skilled gift to Laura Ingalls Wilder, I perceive the same in Laurel Oke Logan. I am sincerely humbled to be reviewing this work of perfection
Beth Thatcher touched me deeply – she had the true heart of a missionary, with a spirit of kindness within a soul full of God’s Holy Word. All those wonderful characteristics plus courage to venture into the unknown enabled her to face challenges with belief that she could be the impetus to change things through her deep faith in God. Beth made a daring decision to accept a position as the school teacher in remote Coal Valley, an indigent mining area in Western Canada. Beth finds herself in a bit of culture shock without the conveniences of home and wealth she had been privileged to know in Toronto. One of my favorite characters, Molly, the boarding house owner where Beth lived, was delightful and quite appropriately written into this beautiful story. Oh, but then there is Frank…. and the children…..and the unlikely school room…and the Italian miners – there is no end to the unique quaintness versus durability of the people of Coal Valley. When Beth played her violin and enthralled the community to envision the miracle of Christmas…. my heart felt the glory. When you read this story and find out why Beth’s violin played a part in a huge surprise, you will soon realize there are many surprises in store to keep the pages turning.
Edward Montclair and Beth were lifelong friends, however Beth considered him an annoyance and was not intending to gratify their mothers’ presumptuous plans that the two would one day marry. Beth’s exhaustive train ride from Toronto to Coal Valley had some unpleasant and unpredicted surprises; in a bizarre way concerning Edward. Beth envisioned no dreams of romance then or after arriving in Coal Valley. However, this is a love story in my estimation about how God’s love can turn hopeless situations to promising. It is no surprise that the authors created the characters of this story to breathe and come alive on the page. Sensational writing includes the vindictive and evil side that plagues the community with mystery. When the hint of romance comes into the story with Royal Canadian Mountie Jarrick (Jack) Thornton, my own heart palpitated a bit and wondered if Beth would have secret thoughts about this warm and charming Christian believer.
Before I forget myself and deluge too much – you can find out from the back cover an excellent synopsis of this solid story, as well as peruse many fine written reviews as to why you should acquire this book and read what’s between the covers for yourself. Interestingly, I learned When Courage Calls is a special companion story to Hallmark Channel’s “When Calls the Heart” TV series. You know you are getting the best when you see it on Hallmark. Where have I heard something like that said before? Unfortunately, I have not seen or read the prior episodes of this series on the Canadian West. Through further information, I found this series of seven books was republished in 2005 with updated covers. These novels will be added to my library as time permits.
It is my hope that the Ms. Janette Oke and Ms. Laurel Oke Logan will write another novel in this series continuing the story of Beth and answer all my questions about what happens next. My curiosity is as real as my admiration for the authors. Thank you ladies, for blessing your readers through Beth’s story. I feel blessed having the pleasure of reading it.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Janette Oke Celebrated for her significant contribution to the Christian book industry, Janette Oke is the recipient of numerous awards. Her novels have sold more than 30 million copies and are beloved by readers around the world. Janette lives with her husband, Edward, in Alberta, Canada.
Laurel Oke Logan is the daughter of Edward and Janette Oke, is the author of “Janette Oke: A Heart for the Prairie,” as well as the novel “Dana’s Valley,” which she co-wrote with her mom. Laurel and her husband have six children and two sons-in-law and live near Indianapolis, Indiana.
LAUREL OKE LOGAN:
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