Sunday, February 28, 2010

Love Comes Softly

Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke
#1 in Love Comes Softly Series
Trade paperback, 237 pages
Bethany House Publishers, 1979
ISBN-13: 9780764228322
highly recommended

Synopsis from the publisher:
Love Comes Softly introduced the characters of Marty and Clark Davis, whose tragic circumstances brought them to a "marriage of convenience" on the frontier prairies during the mid 1800s. The story of how Clark's patient, caring love mirrored that of the heavenly Father, drawing Marty to faith and to love, has captured the hearts and imaginations of over one million readers on Book One alone!
My Thoughts:

OK, I'm just going to say it: Love Comes Softly is a sweet book - and I'm not being facetious.
After reading Twilight it was unanimously determined that I should read a book that I gave my daughter, Just Me, at about the same age the fans of Twilight should be. Love Comes Softly is an inspirational fictional love story. It's even been made into a Hallmark movie, for crying out loud, although apparently the plot was altered for the movie. I've avoided reading any Oke book for many years, but now I am declaring that I would recommend and give Love Comes Softly again, in a heart beat, to a young teen over Twilight.

Yes, it is a love story, but not a typical, breathless "Oh Clark!" kind of love story. There is some realism here. Tragedies happen and the characters overcome them. There is no sparkly anything and no unwarranted angst. No one is declaring that they are dangerous or stalking anyone. Yes, it is a Christian inspirational story, but the faith depicted shows strength of character and is what eventually helps the characters overcome difficult circumstances.

Now, Oke writes the dialogue to reflect a dialect (see quotes), which sometimes greatly annoyed me, but certainly didn't stop me from reading the book. And, while she is a competent writer, this is a very easy to read book and does not have a complex, intricate plot. You know what? I've been a snob about these books. I just might read a couple more Love Comes Softly books (gasp) - just to see what happens to Clark and Marty. That says it all right there.
Highly recommended - especially for those young teen girls

Critical Monkey Contest

Don't B
e A-Hatin' Amendment

(Edited to say that I've now read book two in the series,
Love's Enduring Promise, and that will be my last Love Comes Softly book.)


Clem is gone. The truth of it was nearly unthinkable. Less than two short years ago, strong, adventurous, boyish Clem had quickly and easily made her love him. Self-assured and confident, he had captured her heart and her hand. Fourteen months later, she was a married woman out west, beginning a new and challenging adventure with the man she loved-until yesterday.
Oh, Clem, she wept. Her whole world had fallen around her when the men came to tell her that Clem was dead. Killed outright. His horse had fallen. They'd had to destroy the horse. Did she want to come with them? pg. 13

The fact that she was way out west in the fall of the year with no way back home, no one around that she knew-and she was expecting Clem's baby besides-should have filled her with panic. But for the moment the only thing her mind could settle on and her heart grasp was the overwhelming pain of her great loss.
"Oh, Clem! Clem!" she cried aloud. "What am I gonna do without you?" She buried her face again in the quilt. pg. 14

She lifted her head and looked up. A man stood before her, cap in hand, fingering it determinedly as he cleared his throat. She vaguely recognized him as one of the shovel bearers. His height and build evidenced strength, and there was an oldness about his eyes that belied his youthful features. Her eyes looked into his face, but her lips refused to respond.
He seemed to draw courage from somewhere deep inside himself and spoke again.
"Ma'am, I know thet this be untimely-ya jest havin' buried yer husband an' all. But I'm afraid the matter can't wait none fer a proper-like time an' place."
He cleared his throat again and glanced up from the hat in his hands.
"My name be Clark Davis," he hurried on, "an' it 'pears to me thet you an' me be in need of one another."
A sharp intake of breath from Marty made him pause, then raise a hand.
"Now, hold a minute," he told her, almost a command. "It jest be a matter of common sense. Ya lost yer man an' are here alone." He cast a glance at the broken wagon wheel, then crouched down to speak directly to her.
"I reckon ya got no money to go to yer folks, iffen ya have folks to go back to. An' even if thet could be, ain't no wagon train fer the East will go through here 'til next spring. Me, now, I got me a need, too."
He stopped there and his eyes dropped. It was a minute before he raised them and looked into her face. "I have a little 'un, not much more'n a mite-an' she be needin' a mama. Now, as I see it, if we marries, you an' me"-he looked away a moment, then faced her again-"we could solve both of those problems. I would've waited, but the preacher is only here fer today an' won't be back through agin 'til next April or May, so's it has to be today." pg.19

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