Where Trust Lies
(Return to the Canadian West #2)
By: Janette Oke
Ages: 14/15 and up (girls)
Beth Thatcher returns home from her first year as a schoolteacher in the mining town of Coal Valley and steps into a whole different world. Her life back among her wealthy Eastern family is a stark contrast to her primitive life in the West, and Beth isn't sure where she belongs anymore.She barely has time to settle in before her mother announces plans for a family holiday--a luxurious steamship tour along the eastern coast of Canada and the U.S. Wishing to reconnect with her mother and sister, Beth agrees to go but quickly finds herself at odds with her mother's expectations. After enjoying complete freedom in the western wilds, Beth isn't sure what to make of her mother's ongoing efforts to direct her life--and her heart.
Beth keeps in touch with her Mountie beau, Jarrick, even as young men more of her station catch her eye. Is she ready to fully give her heart to Jarrick, knowing it will mean saying good-bye to her family and her life of privilege once again? And when Beth trusts the wrong person, will Jarrick be able to help her despite the distance between them?
I have to say that Where Trust Lies was a bit of a disappointing sequel to Where Courage Calls, which I enjoyed and liked. This book didn't have the Godly feel that the first did, or the good advice that I so liked in the last novel.
I personally would have preferred the sequel to Where Courage Calls to have gone in another direction. I didn't like the way Beth hid things from her mother and family, and never did end up telling them exactly what happened in Coal Valley in the whole trial with Mr. Grant. I can see why she would want to keep that from them (her mother) - she would probably not let her go back. But I really didn't like the keeping secrets. And then there were secrets about Julie's new friends, and nearly lying to get out from telling all... I know that the consequences might have been larger, but honesty is always the best route.
I did, however, like the fact that Beth's relationship with her mother did end up greatly improving. It was also sweet how Jarrick travelled such a long ways to be by Beth's side.
Another thing that slightly bothered me were some remarks made throughout the book (only around three or so), that I wouldn't say were crude, but just were a little uncomfortable.
This book did, however keep me guessing! I was not positively certain who the person was that one of Beth's family members wrongly puts their trust in - I was guessing between three-ish characters. And finally I thought that I had narrowed it down to who it might really be... But then one character kept me questioning - all of the things that he/she said didn't add up. Should I suspect...?
I was glad, also, that what happened in the ending totally changed Beth's younger sister, Julie. She was so naïve before...and now I think she's learned a very important lesson that will stay with her for many, many, many years to come!
Overall, it was disappointing, but not terrible. It wasn't one of Janette Oke's best novels, but I'll still be interested in the next book.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. The feelings expressed herein are entirely my own.