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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best of Janette Oke
I have read most of Janette Oke's books, and this series is my favorite by far. The story takes place in a different setting from most Christian historical fiction (i.e., not the prairie), and with the first-person narration Elizabeth's voice shines through. If you are tired of finding the same plot in many books, try this series; the books do stand out. They are also...
Published on November 21, 2000 by Amelia Sunderland

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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet story
I originally read this book about 20 years ago as a teenager. At that time I would have rated it 4 or 5 stars because it was such a sweet story.

But, having just finished reading this for the second time, I find my tastes have changed considerable and I'm pickier than I used to be with what I read. I would give it 3.5 stars.

The beginning of the...
Published on June 6, 2011 by Karen B


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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best of Janette Oke, November 21, 2000
I have read most of Janette Oke's books, and this series is my favorite by far. The story takes place in a different setting from most Christian historical fiction (i.e., not the prairie), and with the first-person narration Elizabeth's voice shines through. If you are tired of finding the same plot in many books, try this series; the books do stand out. They are also laugh-out-loud funny in places.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something different and refreshing from Oke, June 10, 2001
By 
I found this book delightful because it was different. Yes it had alot of the typical things that you expect to find in historical Christian romance novels. But it also had a lot of new twists and a very different setting and plot. I too, enjoyed the first person narration, it served to pull me into the story much more effectively. The only down side to the book was that the ending was a bit too predictable.
This is my favorite Janette Oke series just for the sheer difference in writing style and plot.
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53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great novel to read!!!!!, July 20, 2006
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I absolutely loved this novel.

I am a Christian, and I enjoy Janette Oke's books dearly. They are so wonderfully written--such wonderfully story lines, great details, great plots, and great faith in God.

I have read many of her novels, but I must say this one was my favorite. Something about this wonderful story made me just couldn't put it down! I found myself wanted to read it until I finished.

The story is wonderful, with Elizabeth's heart for teaching and her courage to moving to the west, and I love that is a love story at the same time. And her faith in God is so wonderful as well...

It's so neat cause when I read Janette's books, I don't just read a great story, but I learn something at the same time---great principles to apply to life - every time

If you want to read a great story (with no worries if younger readers want to read it) I truly recommend this story!

I loved it!!!!!!!! And you will too.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my favorites, July 15, 2005
This is my second favorite Janette Oke book. (My first is A Gown of Spanish Lace.)I am currently rereading it for about the tenth time and once again falling in love with all the characters.
It is about a somewhat pampered and sheltered young woman named Elizabeth who decides to accept a teaching position in western Canada where life is backward compared to her hometown.
She encounters a few obstacles with courage and spunk. She adores her students and is an awesome teacher and role model.
She is determined not to marry right away, but when an attractive Mountie comes into her life, her mind changes. Mine would too if I met someone like Wynn! Jannette Oke has good taste in men. :) I highly recommend the entire Canadian West Series for females ages 15 and up. I especially love the first 2 of the series. It is easy to fall in love with both the characters and Canada.
In order to really enjoy an Oke book you really have to read it slowly. So if you don't have the time and patience to spend a few days quietly reading a book, this isn't for you.I often have a hard time settling down for the first chapter or two of her novels since they are slowpaced, but then I am able to really get into the story and am glad I decided to slow down and smell the roses.
I hope someday Hallmark (or anyone else)makes this book into a movie.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet story, June 6, 2011
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I originally read this book about 20 years ago as a teenager. At that time I would have rated it 4 or 5 stars because it was such a sweet story.

But, having just finished reading this for the second time, I find my tastes have changed considerable and I'm pickier than I used to be with what I read. I would give it 3.5 stars.

The beginning of the story starts out very slow. It's easy to see from very early in the first chapter that Elizabeth will be moving West. The first ten chapters or so summarize a great deal, making it extremely difficult to get immersed in the book. It reads more like a letter to a friend (I did this, and then this, and then this.)

About two-thirds of the way through the book it starts to read more like real time. There's more dialogue and more introspection on Elizabeth's part.

I was sorely disappointed that the romance barely sparked in any way until very, very late in the book. I would have loved to see more depth in Elizabeth's reflection of her feelings--something more than "I loved him, I hated him, I pined for him."

This book is a prime example telling versus showing. Much of the story is relayed in a "tell" way which really prevents the reader from feeling connected to the characters or a part of the story. I thought Janette Oke's collaboration with Davis Bunn (the Songs of Acadia Series) does a much better job of showing versus telling.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Such a disappointing ending, ruined a great book, February 20, 2013
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This review is from: When Calls the Heart (Canadian West Book #1) (Kindle Edition)
I was happily engrossed in the book, enjoying it, when to my surprise I realized that it was 85% done and the romance between the two main characters had not even really started yet! The author did not develop the romance at all, just threw the two characters together at the last page and ended the book. The end was so rushed, it just ruined the entire story. Such a shame, because it was a great book otherwise.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book; the others in the series aren't, though, January 15, 2002
By A Customer
I have read most of Janette Oke's books, and I must say that "When Calls the Heart" is really one of her best books. It is one of the few Janette Oke books I have actually enjoyed, without getting annoyed at the characters or finding historical inaccuracies.
The book's heroine, Elizabeth, travels to the western frontier to be a teacher. Her adventures are interesting and often humorous (but not outlandish) as she adapts from city life to frontier life. Of course, she meets a handsome Mountie and falls in love with him... Untypically, Janette Oke doesn't have them meet each other right away, and quickly marry them off; she allows Elizabeth to remain in suspense for quite some time and get to actually know Wynn (the Mountie) better. That is one thing I liked better about this book than other Janette Oke books- the characters were more realistic (on the whole) and they did not fall in love at first sight and want to get married right away. I liked that because it left the plot freer for other topics besides the characters' romance.
I must say, however, that one must not let the good reviews of "When Calls the Heart" to lead them into buying the other three books in the "Canadian West" series. They are not nearly as good as the first book. In fact, I highly suggest that you read "Mrs. Mike", by Benedict and Nancy Freedman, instead. "Mrs. Mike" is a true story, and when you compare it with the remainder of the Canadian West books, it is obvious where Janette Oke got much of her material for incidents and characters.
You'll enjoy "When Calls the Heart." I definitely did. The other three books aren't as good, but you can read "When Calls the Heart" by itself; it doesn't necessarily need sequels.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A long read, December 27, 2012
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This review is from: When Calls the Heart (Canadian West Book #1) (Kindle Edition)
The plot of this book was good, but I didn't like the first person style. I just finished a wonderful series of books that were all written in first person so I was expecting a great read. I was disappointed in the style of first person with this book. I felt like I was bouncing between a journal, a narrative, the present, and the past. I liked the story, but it was a slow read for me.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Calls the hart, February 2, 2003
By A Customer
It was a really good book. It made me laugh, almost cry, and kept me on the edge of my seat till I was done. I would LOVE to read the others
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Marvolous!, January 3, 2000
By A Customer
When Calls the Heart is a wonderful book. I suggest to everyone that you read it. It is easy to become best friends with Elizabeth Thatcher throughout this witty, heart-felt story. The plot is enthralling, and the love is so sincere. It is so good you will want to read it over and over again. The people are so real you can see them and you are as sorry to leave them as Elizabeth.
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