I have a really delightful new book called Where Courage Calls written by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan.
Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected . . .
Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father's wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada.
Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.You have to give Beth credit, she still continued on her journey to Canada even after her & Edward were robbed and all of there possessions were stolen, even her grandfather's violin. Of course, she left home to get away from Edward, but he wouldn't let her travel alone and he wanted to marry her.
But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she'd feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don't even speak English. There isn't even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth's heart is torn between two young men---both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.
Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she's had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?
But, as things have a way of going, starting out fresh sometimes has it advantages for everyone involved. Beth meets each challenge head-on and solves them in good fashion. I really do admire the women of this time frame because I don't know if I could have been so gracious and have the will to go on when it was so hard, especially the people in the mines.
It's a very dirty job and I know something about stuff like that. I was born in West Virginia and my grandfather worked in one of the steel mills. They are very dirty also and all the houses that were near the mill were black just about, especially on the roofs and porches. So, I can imagine how much worse it was back then in the mines.
Beth manages to make some headway that will bring better conditions for the children and hopefully for the widows as well. They seem to be treated rather bad once their husbands are killed in the mines and the other women don't want them around in case their husbands or boyfriends decide that the widows are better looking, I guess.
It's really a lovely story and yes, there is romance involved, one she doesn't want and one that she does. If you love stories from this time period, this one will be one of your favorites.
It is the companion story to Hallmark Channel's TV series When Calls the Heart, set in the Canadian west.