It’s been released! Finally, the long-awaited book 2 of the Return to the Canadian West series is available for patiently waiting fans. Where Trust Lies is the result of the mother-daughter collaboration by bestselling authors Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan, and was published in January of 2015 by Bethany House. Because this book is the sequel in a closely-knit series, it is highly recommended to read book 1, Where Courage Calls, before delving into the continuation of Beth Thatcher’s story. Interestingly, both books are also companion volumes to Hallmark Channel’s original television series, entitled When Calls the Heart. This exceptional program premiered in the winter of 2014 and is set to air a highly anticipated second season in April of 2015.
After opening the pages of Where Trust Lies, it is a delight to discover the story picking up just days after the closing events of Where Courage Calls. Beth Thatcher is on her way home to Toronto after spending a full school year teaching in Coal Valley. Leaving behind a classroom of children she adores, a community of people she respects, and a Mountie who may hold a piece of her heart, Beth hopes to reconnect with her family over the summer and return West in the fall. Little does she know the relaxing vacation of her dreams will transform into a nightmare before the summer is over.
As each character in the story is introduced, we truly feel as though we are meeting a living, breathing person and not merely a fictitious identity created by words on a page. Beth’s vivid near-reality, though related in third-person, allows us to enter into her thoughts and emotions, to experience circumstances through her eyes, and to anticipate along with her the possibilities of her next chapter in life. Each secondary character, from Mother to Julie to Mrs. Montclaire is also brought to life in our imaginations through convincing dialogue and word-pictures. Without a doubt, it is the character element of the story that makes it shine.
While the characters of Where Trust Lies bring the book to life, its foundation and structure is grounded in the truth of God’s word. Numerous instances depict Beth striving to seek God’s will for her life over her own, especially in matters of life-changing importance – namely, her relationship with Jarrick. When a shocking offense is aimed at the people closest to her heart, Beth’s faith is admittedly shaken, but ultimately renewed and strengthened. Interesting, interwoven relationship struggles and growths also infuse the story with depth and meaning, and cause us to look at the people we relate to in a different light.
If you have enjoyed any of Janette Oke’s books in the past, don’t miss Where Trust Lies. With its sweet yet exciting storyline filled with hope and faith, readers of inspirational fiction will not be disappointed. The previous novel in the series adds history, faith adds a firm foundation as the story builds to a can’t-put-it-down climax, and each character walks straight off the page and into our imaginations. What more can I say? Whether you have fallen in love with the Hallmark Channel’s corresponding television series, or simply enjoyed book 1 of the Return to the Canadian West, add Where Trust Lies to your to-read pile. The only negative element is found in the final pages as we say goodbye to all the characters we’ve grown to love… Clearly, the one and only remedy for this imperfection is to release a third installment!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
To read my review for Where Courage Calls (book 1 in the Return to the Canadian West series) please click here.