I believe this is one of the first books I read of Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan's and it was a cozy warm feeling book to me. It was hard to put down even to do a chore that must be done.
Beth takes a teaching position in Coal Valley. It is far from where she calls home. She learns right away she is overdressed for Coal Valley and things aren't as luxurious as they were at home. She comes to love Coal Valley and the people become her family. The school year ends and she returns home. But is she really home?
I am sitting here ready to read the next one in the Return to the Canadian West Series, "Where Trust Lies"
I always enjoy this author. This book was not exception-very good story, I think-love the fact that Beth was pretty well grounded in her faith and not as spoiled as some would be in her circumstances. As always, Ms Oke does not disappoint.
Beth Thatcher was a beautiful young woman who had grown up in an extremely wealthy family. She had been very sheltered all her life from the world. All the pomp and splendor of high society did not interest her. Her parents wanted her to marry well and take her place as among the elite. Beth had other plans; she wanted to do a great work for God. She loved Him with all her heart.
Being young and believing there was nothing she could not do, she jumped at the chance to serve as a teacher in a very remote region in Western Canada. Her mother is very against her going as Beth has always been sickly. Her father supported her desire and understood.
She was understandably nervous about this venture, but nothing prepared her for what she found when she arrived. Coal Valley was the direct opposite of her home in Toronto. There was no electricity or indoor plumbing. The houses were battered and sparsely furnished. It never came to her mind that these things would be missing. The town was mostly widows due to a terrible accident at the mine. These poor women had given of the little they had a paid to have Beth come as their childrens teacher for a year. So much rode on her succeeding: proving to her family and those back home that she was capable, carrying out the mission God had sent her on, and not letting the women down that had sacrificially brought her there. While her confidence was shaken, she was determined to keep her commitment no matter what.
She moved into Mollys boarding house, where she paid for her room and meals. Molly was a loving, wise, and simple woman that treated Beth as a daughter. Beth relied on her in many ways. Both were women of great faith. I loved Mollys wisdom and scripture applications to life. I learned from her too!
There was no school house or supplies! The children and their families broke her heart with the poverty they lived in. This was no straight forward teaching job! She began organizing ways to meet the childrens needs both physical and spiritual. While at first some of her efforts were met with misgiving and opposition, gradually she began to make a difference in the lives of everyone in the town.
Beth faced many problems involving things she never dealt with nor even knew existed. She may cry and feel like a failure but she never quit and always looked to God for the answers. She also faced the challenge of unexpected romance as she had had no interest in marrying. This involved two handsome Mounties vying for her affection. One was a family friend from her childhood that she always found annoying and the other she met through Molly. She surprised herself by developing feelings for both of them.
The story was incredibly entertaining and well written. I was inspired by Beths dedication and faith. There were so many surprises that I found the book to be a real page turner. You always know it will be a good book if it is by Janet Oke!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
A long-awaited, heart-tugging story by beloved author Janette Oke, set in the Canadian Northwest, carries on the tradition she began decades ago. When Courage Calls tells of Beth Thatcher, who leaves her privileged life in the East to go to the rugged frontier to teacher coal miners' children in a remote village. Struggles abound, along with suspense, in this story of a young woman finding herself and maturing amidst adverse circumstances. The book moves more slowly than I remember others by the author, but presents a sweet read and encouragement to overcome one's own trials.