Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As usual Janette Oke has written a heartfelt novel based on Christian principles. I really enjoyed the story line of the book. I have to admit that I read it hoping to find out what was going to happen on the Hallmark Channel series. Please do not do this, you will be sadly disappointed. The TV series is VERY loosely based on the book. Granted the main characters are the same, Elizabeth (Beth) Thatcher travels to Coal Valley to teach the children of a group of widows whose husbands died in a coal mine collapse. There is a RCMP Mounty named Jack Thornton, but in the book there is a second possible love interest, Edward, the man her mother has always wanted Beth to marry.
Another big difference between the book and the TV series is that the book is more modern, they are driving cars everywhere, and Jack’s trusty steed is an automobile rather than a horse. Beth Travels to Coal Valley by train and then by car, not by stagecoach. With no stagecoach there is no hold-up of the stagecoach, instead a sneaky porter at the train station steels all Beth's items.
The similarities between book and TV show are that Beth is beloved by her students. She has a strong character who puts God first in her choices. She comes from a wealthy family who tries to protect her, while loving her dearly. Beth's sister comes to visit, but she is very disappointed by the lack of amenities, mainly electricity, indoor plumbing or even having an indoor privy.
After I got over the differences between the book and the TV series, I actually kept thinking maybe I had the book the TV series was made after was not Where Courage Calls, but alas it is, I came to like the book. I had to look at them as two different stories. If you go into reading the book without expectations of it being exactly like the Hallmark series then you will love it like I did. I liked that the story brought you back to the Thatcher family and that Beth is following in her Aunt Beth's footsteps in going west to teach students.
I recommend that you read the book if you are a Janette Oke fan like I am you won’t be disappointed.
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