When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I picked this book up because Hallmark is running a TV show based on the series. Since I had already watched the first three episodes of the show, I figured reading this book would be like a review. Boy, was I wrong! I don't know if the plot points from the show were pulled from later books in the series or created specifically for TV, but they aren't anywhere in this book. From what I know of Janette Oke's writing, I think the TV scriptwriters adding twists to try to make the story more exciting.
The one thing the book and TV show have in common is that the main character Elizabeth is a privileged young teacher who leaves her family to teach on the other side of the country in a small town. The book is a quiet year-in-the-life sort of story told in first person. You follow Elizabeth from settling in to the teacherage at the beginning of the school year until she leaves at the end of the school year, with all her little adventures in between -- getting supplies, ridding her house of mice, and such.
Overall I did enjoy the book, especially the fact that the main character isn't quite as helpless as she appears on the TV show. There is a Christian aspect to the book, but it isn't as front-and-center as in some Christian romances. Also, the story ends with what I think is the right balance for a book that is part of a series. You could stop at the end of this book and be satisfied that the story is wrapped up, but reading another book with these characters would also be nice.
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