The Canadian West Series by Janette Oke

As a longtime fan of author Janette Oke, I just felt it necessary to chronicle that I finally finished the original four novels of the Canadian West series, the story of Elizabeth and the Canadian Mountie she marries, Wynn. I was determined to finish these books before I started watching the connected television series from Hallmark, When Calls the Heart. The CW series closes out with When Hope Springs New, which I gave three stars and said in my Goodreads review:

“The way Elizabeth really comes into her own in this novel makes for a nice enough ending to the original four-book series. Yet, it doesn’t exactly seem to end so much as it just finds a place to stop, eventually. There isn’t much of a climax, and after a significant change about three quarters into the novel, I couldn’t really connect with a whole different setting and a new bunch of characters when the book was almost over, bringing a new set of problems that would have to be rushed through. An ending like this one would need more added to it, sometime, to make something more of it.”

The first four novels were published in the ’80s, and the series continued much later with Elizabeth and Wynn’s grown children in Books Five and Six. I actually read and enjoyed those two books first, when they released in 2000 and 2001.

Beyond the Gathering Storm When Tomorrow Comes

Time will tell if I’ll read the newer Return to the Canadian West books that Janette has co-authored with her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan. Despite taking its name and some elements from Janette’s first CW novel, I think the television series is more heavily based on the Return to the Canadian West books from 2014-2016.

Where Courage Calls (Return to the Canadian West #1) Where Trust Lies (Return to the Canadian West, #2) Where Hope Prevails (Return to the Canadian West #3)

Still, I chose not to wait any longer before starting the show. I’m about halfway through Season One, and I’m getting quite a kick out of it so far. It’s sweet and uplifting and somewhat corny, which I expected, but it also packs a little more punch and, um, “swoon-worthiness” than I imagined it’d have. I’ve posted the trailer from the show’s premiere before, and, hey, I feel like posting it again. 🙂


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