In Where Courage Calls, Beth Thatcher leaves behind a comfortable life to move to a remote mining town in order to become a school teacher. Coal Valley is rustic and Beth finds herself initially missing the conveniences of home, especially when a mishap leaves her without her carefully packed trunks. However, as Beth settles into the small town, she is soon moved by the plights of her students. Her gentle heart motivates her to provide for her students in new ways, to strive to eradicate prejudices between the miners and the town, and to integrate herself into their simple lifestyle. The first half of the book moves slowly and other readers may also struggle to continue the story. Unrealistically, Beth has almost no flaws, despite this adventure being completely outside of her comfort zone. The second half of the novel does introduce a bit of mystery and suspense, but the little romance is forced and the story concludes with the reader desiring more. It is a simple read with a predictable plot and the lack of depth causes the reader to feel disconnected and unsatisfied. However, the main characters are sweet natured, and Christian messages are woven throughout to provide additional truths for the reader’s enjoyment. This candid review is not meant to discourage readers who wish to enjoy a simple tale, or who may be admirers of Ms. Oke’s work, but the much too tidy storyline and shallow plot left this particular reader craving some realistic depth.
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.