Janette Oke, famous Canadian author and the ‘pioneer of inspirational fiction’ has returned from retirement with a brand new Historical Fiction novel, co-written with her daughter Laurel Oke Logan. Fans of Janette’s dozens of award-winning stories of simplicity, love, and faith will be delighted with her newest release, Where Courage Calls, published by Bethany House in January of 2014. Although this novel is clearly written in Janette’s heartfelt and simplistic style, the background leading up to the writing and subsequent publication of the book is almost as interesting as the story itself…
The Hallmark Channel production company recently released a movie based on Ms. Oke’s Canadian West book series, entitled When Calls the Heart. A television series by the same name soon followed the movie, and is currently airing in the United States. (Ironically, this Canadian-based series has not made it to Canadian television just yet!) As stated by Ms. Oke, the producers of the movie and television series contacted her to inquire about her interest in writing a new novel as a companion story to their films. She agreed – on the condition that the book could be co-authored with her daughter Laurel, also a published writer. The result of this unusual circumstance is Where Courage Calls – a touching story of a cultured, well-to-do young woman, Beth Thatcher, who leaves her luxurious Toronto home to accept a teaching position in a coal-mining town in western Canada.
Although I can’t say whether or not the story correlates closely with the companion television series – because I have not yet viewed any episodes – the book brings to life an endearing tale all on its own. With lovable characters, emotional issues, and a realistic setting, Where Courage Calls is built around the theme of Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ Beth Thatcher relies on the truth of this verse to help her through the most difficult, and adventurous, stage of her life. Following in the footsteps of her cousin, also named Elizabeth (from the Canadian West book series), Beth strives to bring the gift of knowledge to the tragedy-stricken town of Coal Valley. As time goes on, however, she finds that the community has taught her just as much as she taught the children in her school. As the end of the term draws near, Beth questions her desire to return back east, even as she realizes that Coal Valley has become her true home.
All things considered, Where Courage Calls is a sweet story that is sure to be enjoyed by many people, for many different reasons. Where Courage Calls is sure to speak to your heart if you:
– Are a fan of Janette Oke
– Enjoy Historical Fiction, especially pioneer-era
– Have watched the When Calls the Heart movie or television series
– Love the Canadian West book series
– Are looking for a wholesome, simple story of faith
– Live in western Canada and enjoy stories from your region
Obviously the list could go on, but hopefully I have made it clear that Janette Oke’s newest release is a wonderful story you will not want to miss. And, although it is not confirmed yet, we may be able to look forward to a sequel sometime in the future! For now though, we can be content savoring the story held in the pages of Where Courage Calls, a delightful product of an amazing author’s return from retirement.
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group”