When Calls the Heart
(Canadian West #1)
By: Janette Oke
Rating: 4.5 stars
Ages: 13 and up (for mild romance)
Nothing in her cultured Eastern upbringing prepared Elizabeth for a teaching position in the Canadian West. Despite the many hardships, she cares deeply for the schoolchildren, but she is determined not to open her heart to any of the local frontiersmen. Then she meets a certain member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police...
I adore the Hallmark Channel series, When Calls the Heart. Who wouldn't? It is wonderful. It was inspired (loosely) on the first book in the Canadian West series, When Calls the Heart. I have heard great things about Janette Oke, so I decided to give her Canadian West series a try. Here are my thoughts:
When Calls the Heart was intriguing and humorous. I started the book and really enjoyed the beginning, when Elizabeth first gets the invitation to head West, and her emotions and reactions and thoughts are normal and easily understood. Actually, her whole character and the way she acts throughout the entire book is so easily understood.
The plot was simple and fun - it is a good, light summer read. It wasn't as much fun as the movie version (starring Stephen Amell as Wynn Delaney, and Maggie Grace as 'Aunt' Elizabeth Thatcher), but it was enjoyable. I related some of the things that both Wynn and Elizabeth did throughout the story to my older sister and we both ended up laughing. It was fun.
The 'boxed lunch' scene in the school when the men are bidding for the boxed lunches made by the ladies was quite humorous. The game was that the ladies would make and bring a boxed lunch (enough to feed two people or more) and the men would bid on the lunch and whoever won got to eat the lunch with the lady who made it...Poor, poor Wynn...being snubbed by Elizabeth again and again and he has no idea why!
The ending was very satisfactory. Honestly, Elizabeth's hasty decision to leave town was just that - hasty. Thank goodness Wynn caught up with her at the train station!
Overall, a cute clean romance I would recommend to Janette Oke fans and historical fiction/romance readers.