And it’s not at all a surprise.
Books are almost always better than movies – not to mention, the movie was actually the story Janette and her daughter have written here – when the storyline was supposed to be about Elizabeth and Wynn.
In the movie, Elizabeth’s niece – Beth was reading about her aunt’s story as she embarked on an adventure of her own. I don’t know if the movie was always meant to be a gateway into a series for Hallmark (if it was – I would have thought they’d cast the people they intended to stay through the series…) or not but that’s how it turned out.
I don’t know if Janette Oke ever envisioned her stories being made into movies but I can not imagine that she truly had that picture in her head when she wrote the wonderful stories that Hollywood has twisted into their very own versions.
Either way, this book is a masterful retelling of what was, in my humble opinion, a somewhat mediocre movie. Personally I don’t care for some of the things that were added into the movie and I am thrilled to see that Janette and her daughter did not put them into this new novel. But that’s not surprising either. Janette Oke is, and has always been, a superb writer. She writes each story so well, you feel as if you’re right there with the characters.
I can remember listening to my mother as she read the Love Comes Softly series to us as young children. Janette painted such a beautiful picture through her wonderfully vivid descriptions and the truly realistic plots. Each book was a treasure-trove of intrigue and adventure.
I think Janette Oke was the first writer who inspired my own stories. She made it all sound like a wonderful fairy tale while also making it feel like you were listening to a story about one of your own ancestors – passed down through the generations.
This story is no different. She hasn’t lost a bit of her touch and I’m thinking that it also bodes well that he daughter collaborated with her on this latest novel. The story is so much like her others, it feels less like a collaboration than a true meeting of the minds.
BRAVO Janette and Laurel!
I hope we see many more stories from the two of you!
Before you rush out to find your own copy – here’s a short synopsis from Bethany House:
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?
A special companion story to Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart TV series
Click HERE for more info and Extras from Bethany House.
Click HERE for more reviews and info from GoodReads.
Click HERE to go to Hallmark to get more information about the NEW series!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity book review program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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