An easygoing and relaxing read from Oke and Logan!
Set in Western Canada in the early-ish 1900s, Beth Thatcher steps out in faith to follow God's call. This setting is a change for me as a reader. I can't recall the last book I read set in Canada. Not that this is a bad thing, it's actually quite the opposite! The backwoods, small-town culture reminded me a lot of our own country in some ways.
Beth possessed a great deal of determination. She truly felt called to teach so she did. Not everyone has the courage or faith it takes to take that first step. That being said, Beth's personality was almost borderline similar to so many other historical novels set in the same general era. This didn't put me off completely due to a few differences that made her stand out. The first would be that this novel is probably set in the 1920s. We are never out right told so this is an assumption, but it's a fairly good one, I think. Most novels with that single, out-going, stubborn, nonconforming woman are set almost twenty years prior, thus Beth's ambition would be better received. Another thing that singled her out was her faith. She stepped out and followed God's lead and stayed there. I can't tell you how many heroines I've read about that sway or do their own thing completely. Beth never did.
This is definitely a personal opinion, but I found the pace of this novel very slow. Almost crawling at times. Again, this is my opinion probably because I enjoy mysteries and a quicker pace. Something that confused me was the Edward or Jack love triangle. Without spoiling anything, I'll say I rooted for Edward. I can't really delve into why, but I wish the author(s) would have made the romance more clear. All in all, however, it was a good afternoon read. I recommend to all of Oke's past and present fans.
I received this book from Bethany House in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!
Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected...
Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father's wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.
But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she'd feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don't even speak English. There isn't even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth's heart is torn between two young men--both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.
Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she's had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?