Review: When Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan


When new schoolteacher Beth Thatcher is assigned a post in a remote mining community, her courage–and her heart–will be tested in unexpected ways.


Bethany House Publishers gave me a copy of this book to read and review (from NetGalley). This has, in no way, altered my opinion of the book and what is written below is a 100% honest review.

When I found out that this novel contained many of the same characters that were in Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart series I knew that I HAD to read this novel. I’m a total HC nerd and I’ve been obsessed with that TV show from the very beginning. That being said, I believe that my expectation that this novel would be like the TV show and the actual reality that this novel was not at all like the show may have affected my feelings about this book. Nothing was the same except for character and town names. But, this is only a When Calls the Heart novel and not the actual novel… if I’m reading this right.

This novel tells the story of prim and proper Elizabeth (Beth) Thatcher who travels out to a remote mining community, leaving behind all of her usual luxuries and amenities, to teach a group of children. Her faith is tested and tried as she encounters friends and foes and discovers more about herself and about the impoverished town of Coal Valley.


G: Really though. Nothing happens. At all. Which I like.


Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan are good writers and I never sensed any awkward phrasing.


 This book just really didn’t grab my attention. Towards the end, I just started skipping parts. First of all, the cover indicates that it is a Christian romance, but there was no romance until 80% into the book. And, even then, the romance was so abrupt and weird that it wasn’t enjoyable. Suddenly, she has some guy interested in her, but there is absolutely no build-up to their relationship; it comes out of nowhere. It wasn’t well planned at all. Also, I tend to like Christian novels that are not overly preachy and do not contain the message that once you accept Christ, everything is suddenly peachy. Sure, there were conflicts in this novel, but they were all solved through prayer and neighborly goodness. It wasn’t believable. I’m a Jesus person and this novel was just too cheesy. I do take into consideration that this is a Christian fiction novel (there are going to be cheesy elements obviously) and I’ve read many novels in this genre, but this one was not remarkable to me. I don’t mean to harass this book to death, but it just annoyed me. I know that Janette Oke is a respected Christian fiction author, so I assume that her other novels are better than this one! Plus, the character of Beth is so selfless and Godly and she was almost too unrealistic. She was not relatable at all!

I’d give this 2/5!


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