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The Tender Years (Prairie Legacy Series #1) Paperback – October 1, 1997

66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Prolific author Oke (Another Homecoming, Bethany, 1997) continues the story of Marty and Clark from her "Love Comes Softly" series with this book focusing on their granddaughter Virginia. Just entering her teen years, Virginia is finding life in her household a bit stifling. Although she dearly loves her family, she is anxious to grow up and often finds the family rules and religious beliefs are getting in the way of her fun. When Virginia becomes friends with a lively, outgoing girl named Jenny, she suddenly finds herself questioning her need to obey her parents when she could be enjoying herself with her friends. Unfortunately, Jenny's headstrong behavior soon has tragic consequences. As always with Oke's books, the characters are charming and engaging. Fans of the "Love Comes Softly" series will certainly demand this compelling and well-written follow-up.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Oke's legions of fans will be glad to hear that this novel begins a new series for the Stephen King of the Christian fiction market. Loosely speaking, Prairie Legacy will be about the grandchildren of the characters from Oke's Love Comes Softly series, thus updating the author's strong suit: young women coming of age in small-town, prairie settings. The young woman here is Virginia Simpson, and the crisis she faces is simply growing up: a new girl, Jenny Woods, moves to town from the "big city," and she brings with her a fierce sense of independence and daring. She's also quite manipulative, forcing Virginia to choose between somewhat dubious new adventures and the closely ordered routines of her devout parents. A boy drowns in a swollen creek, indirectly because of Jenny, and she may be involved in a serious theft as well. Soon, Virginia is caught up in a moral crisis that involves the entire town, including her father, a lawyer whose efforts in the courtroom finally bring the truth to light, though at some cost to himself. Virginia learns that being an adult, and a steadfast friend, can be awfully hard. A bittersweet, winning story with well-drawn minor characters, particularly the old widower Mr. Adamson, whose only solace is his garden. John Mort --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Edition Unstated edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556619510
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556619519
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,137,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Janette Oke (pronounced 'oak') pioneered inspirational fiction and is the leading author in the category today. Love Comes Softly, her first novel, has sold over one million copies. Janette is now the bestselling author of over 70 books, 32 of which have been translated into fourteen languages. Her books have sold over 22 million copies.
Janette receives fan mail from all over the world and answers each letter personally. She received the 1992 President's Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association for her significant contribution to Christian fiction, the 1999 CBA Life Impact Award and has been awarded the Gold Medallion Award for fiction. Janette and her husband, Edward, have four grown children and enjoy their many grandchildren. They make their home in Canada.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By lcooper@usit.net on March 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The Tender Years took me about two days to read. I couldn't put it down. It touched on a lot of subjects facing people (of all ages) today. It brings out your emotions and fills in a piece of you that was missing. I can't wait for the books to follow it! In Janette's books, you realilze a lot about yourself. Me being a teenager, I need to know all about me that I can. It helps you discover yourself and your fellings. I love discussing her books with my sister who is 20 and who originally got me started on Janette's books. Thanks soooo much for the books, Janette! :)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stacy Brookerd on April 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Despite the fact that anyone who has read the Love Comes Softly series is anxious for continuation of Clark and Marty's lives, this was not my favorite book. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it and I think that anyone who loves these characters will enjoy it. It's just that after you write a certain number of books about the same people, the originality starts to fade. I noticed that in Gibert Morris' House of Winslow series. The first books are excellent, but not the very end ones. I liked this book, but it just doesn't quite compare with the original series.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Growing in Grace on January 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Growing up is hard to do. Virginia Simpson, granddaughter of Love Comes Softly's Marty and Clark Davis, finds this out first hand. At the tender age of thirteen, Virginia makes friends with daring and popular Jenny, a girl at her school. Feeling proud to be in the "in" group, Virginia begins to go on some of the group's fun after-school outings. But things start to lose their fun once she gets in trouble with her family. She knows she is disobeying her parents by going out with Jenny and skipping her chores, but she doesn't want to lose her friendship with Jenny. Virginia thinks her family is unfair and strict . . . why shouldn't she be allowed to have fun and grow up without so much supervision?
One day Jenny and her friends go too far. They "borrow" a raft from a neighbor and steal candy from the store, then plan to go rafting on the flooded creek. Virginia realizes that she does not really belong with her group of friends. How could they stoop to stealing?
She leaves the group angrily, knowing it would likely be the end of her friendship, but too angry to care at the moment.
Then, Virginia hears some dreadful news that puts her in turmoil. . . .
As time goes on, Jenny and Virginia become friends again, of sorts. Jenny comes over to the Simpson's house more and more frequently and is fondled by her family. Virginia feels left out and jealous. When it is too hard to bear, she goes by herself and sobs. But she realizes she is wrong. Wrong to feel jealous. Her sister finds her and gently reproves her. Virginia's awful burden of sin is too hard to bear anymore, and she prays to God, feeling a peace she's never known before.
From her sister's marriage, to the trial of a neighbor accused of theft, Virginia's story, The Tender Years, is a book that will touch you and keep you turning pages. It is a book about forgiveness, love, friendship, and happiness that is found only in God.
It is a very good book for teens (or for anyone)!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Varina M. on November 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
As someone who enjoyed Oke's Love Comes Softly series and read all the books in it twice, despite their tendency to get a bit less well-developed and padded after the first few titles, I was very interested when the Prairie Legacy books came out. I was glad to see that a break from writing about the Davis family and their children seems to have revived Oke's ability to make up new, detailed incidents in the lives of Marty and Clark's daughter, Belinda, the man she was about to marry at the end of _Love Finds a Home_ and their five children, esp. teenage Virginia. Despite quibbles--like that the story seems to take place in a vacuum, as far as the outside world is concerned (no radio, no mention of the Depression or whatever period the book is supposed to be taking place in), or that Belinda would have been summoned to nursing duties by way of the phone at the time the book occurs, instead of by someone running to her house to tell her about an amergency (someone must have mentioned this to Oke, because they definitely have a phone by the next book), or that Clark and Marty *must* be at least six or eight years older than they are supposed to be in the otherwise wonderful where-are-they-now? prologue--I enjoyed the book and devoured it in one evening. Virginia's friend, Jenny, is very manipulative, but Virginia's conflict between pleasing her parents and satisfying her own ideals on the one hand and wanting to fit in on the other was something that anyone who remembers their growing up will identify with, and Virginia's conflicts after her own conversion, as she desires to see Jenny saved and worries about alienating her or being a horrible Christian example but also wants to avoid moral compromises and gives in to all-too-human emotions, as we all surely do, made the story compelling.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 1998
Format: Paperback
"The Tender Years" is a wonderful book. I read it this past fall, and absolutely loved it! I had already read the Love Comes Softly series and was wondering what had happened to everybody! When I heard Janette Oke was coming out with the Prairie Legacy books, I couldn't believe it! I was very surprised at how young Virginia was (13), but also very happy. I'm a teenager too, so I could relate to alot of things in the book. I loved the way she learned to trust God (as we all need to.) All I can really say is... READ IT!! Thank you, Janette Oke! Happy Reading!!
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