When Calls the Heart (Canadian West Book #1) by Janette Oke. Bethany House Publishers, February 1, 2005. First published in 1983. Kindle edition. 228 pages. $3.44.
When Calls the Heart is the first book in the Canadian West series by Janette Oke. This book introduces us to Elizabeth Thatcher, a young and educated woman from the East, who moves to the West with the purpose to teach school, without knowing exactly where she would be teaching. After a series of events, Elizabeth finds herself in a small town called Pine Springs. There she faces the challenges of teaching pupils of all ages and all stages of education, of learning to live in the countryside in the small teacherage, of living somewhere new without knowing anyone there. Elizabeth also swears that she is not looking for a husband nor has any intentions to get married but this, too, is challenged when she meets the handsome Royal Canadian Mounted Police member Wynn Delaney.
I recently read the Acts of Faith book series, written by Janette Oke and Davis Bunn, which I loved. In all honesty, I love reading romance novels; yet I am fairly picky about the writing style, and therefore do not read romance novels that often. I also demand quite a lot from historical novels, for often they are written in a style that is not easy to picture or to relate to. However, When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke passes both of these easily. I read this book in a day, as it was such an enjoyable and compelling read. Given that in a few days, I am leaving to New Zealand to live there for the next four months, it was easy for me to relate to the thoughts and wonderings of the main character, who contemplated her move to the West and all the fears that came along with it. In addition, When Calls the Heart is clearly a Christian novel.
This book, however, is clearly a part of a series. We are introduced to quite many characters and yet, the reader becomes familiar pretty much only with the main character. This book also ends way too soon, in a bit unsatisfying way. Which is why one should prepare to buy the next books in the series when reading this book.
All in all, When Calls the Heart is wonderful, light book that is still very compelling, and therefore quick to read — truly a “good mood read.” I would recommend this to anyone and everyone searching for a bit of romance written in a clean, Christian way.