When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke

Historical Books 14

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Five Gold Stars

when-calls-the-heartWhen Calls the Heart by Janette Oke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

“I’m quite happy to meet your friends,” I announced firmly, “but I do want to make one thing clear: I came west to teach, not to wed. Had I been interested in matrimony, I could have stayed in the East and found an acceptable spouse.”

As a longtime fan of one of my all-time favorite authors, Janette Oke, I’ve had her Canadian West series in my sights for about a good two decades. After reading and enjoyng almost fifty of the books she’s written and co-written over the years, it’s more than fair to say that I came to When Calls the Heart with plenty of preconceptions and high expectations.

And I wasn’t disappointed.

This frontier novel just happened to be first published the year I was born. Yes, I purposely chose to read and post the 80s edition, and I found the book to be a thorough pleasure: warm, humorous, sobering at times, and wrapped in faith. Even with the romantic storyline between young and cultured Elizabeth Thatcher and the Canadian Mountie Wynn Delaney, this tale isn’t strictly a romance. Its primary focus is Elizabeth’s adventure in tackling the challenge of a teaching position and a new life on the frontier.

Oh, I did feel that she becomes a bit too much of the damsel in distress after a point and cries more times than is interesting, but she does have ambition, compassion, and a backbone. And what’s more, it was this author’s blessed simplicity that I was looking for and found, as not all writers can write as simply and still manage to make the reader care and reflect. It’s a gift.

I’m absolutely looking forward to reading the next book in this series, hopefully sooner than later.


Here’s my review of Book Two in the Canadian West series, When Comes the Spring.

When Comes the Spring When Breaks the Dawn When Hope Springs New

Beyond the Gathering Storm When Tomorrow Comes


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