Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke
Book Review / Love Story

Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke

Book: Love Comes Softly

Author: Janette Oke

Publication: Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group; Revised edition (1 April 2003)

Pages: 240

Price: Click the link

 

 

Janette Oke

 

Janette Oke is a

Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke

reading Janette. Her first novel, Love Comes Softly, was published by Bethany House in 1979. Other novels of this series are:

  • Love’s Enduring Promise, 1980

  • Love’s Long Journey, 1982

  • Love’s Abiding Joy, 1983

  • Love’s Unending Legacy, 1984

  • Love’s Unfolding Dream, 1987

  • Love Takes Wing, 1988

  • Love Finds a Home, 1989

There are her other series like

·      A Prairie Legacy series

·      Seasons of the Heart series

·      Canadian West series

·      Return to the Canadian West series

·      When Hope Calls series

·      Song of Acadia series

·      Women of the West books etc.

So you can imagine what a genius she is to produce numerous fictions one after another. I get stunned at her fertile creativity. And one thing I like most about her is that almost all of her novels are women-centric.

I always love to read love stories and romance. And in this course, I pick it up Loves Come Softly by Janette Oke.

 

Love and Marriage:

For me, marriage is based on the necessity of both parts, and romance or love whatever you call it comes last. After knowing each other in close company trust, belief, and mutual respect take birth.

Whatever we see and experience in our daily life in bus-stop or coffee shop couple huddled together nearby…they are not meant for love…that is just a shallow infatuation, ephemeral…. frivolous fancy of young age. True love abodes inconsistency and contemplation…in the mutual trust and need for one another.

Story-Line:

In this context, Marty and Clark met in Chapter-1 The Grim Reaper. Marty was burying her dead husband Clem who died unexpectedly. They came from the East with hope and plan to choose the perfect set of their new life. But as their wagon broke and a horse ran away at night, Clem went for help leaving Marty alone in the heath. Unfortunately, in a sudden accident, Clem died falling from the horse.

Everything changed in a blink of an eye. Marty was dipped into a terrible uncertainty. The shared dream to start a new life ended abruptly amidst excruciating agony.

In that sudden catastrophic situation helpless, abandoned, homeless, penniless Marty was approached by Clark, a farm man. He proposed to her for marriage. He didn’t utter any romantic word or any fancy circumlocutions. He just explained his need for his toddler’s mama as he had lost his wife and he emphasized the need for Marty for a shelter. Marty felt aghast but she had to consider it as she had no money, no shelter,  and she was expecting her late husband’s baby. So she had to accept the sudden proposal in that inauspicious moment and for that, she loathed Clark from her heart.

Clark proposed her home and promised to provide her with the fare for the wagon train going back to East in the spring. On this condition, Marty agreed to marry Clark and became his child’s mother. on this condition, they married.

The marriage was a marriage of convenience. They started living under the same roof but in separate quarters.

Marty detested and loathed Clark at the beginning. But he always supported and helped inexperienced Marty in household work. Even Marty was fascinated by Clark’s religious attitudes and rituals. She gradually became involved in Clark’s household and as a mama for little Missie. In the end, she realized that loving Clark was not impossible for her. Her love for Clark was not a sudden whimsical outburst but it comes softly, nimbly tiptoeing on the snow freaks, pages of religion, adversities, and struggles of life.

“She felt his hands on her shoulders as he turned her to him, then pulling her gently into his arms, he held her close like a weeping child stroking her long loose hair. Silently he let her weep until all of the confusion and anger drained from her.”

So Marty’s plan to go back to East from where she came with her late husband is disrupted as she gets entangled with her new home. Missie had measles and nothing bother her except her recovery.

Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke

Marty could not go back.  In chapter 32 Loves  Comes Softly baby Clare, son of Marty and Clem swallow a button and needed emergency. Clark raced to town with him and his family. The doctor finally saved the baby. But this incident trailing all the pasts fixed Marty with a greater realization, the deep love of Clare for the baby that was even not him, and their mutual love for each other.

“Marty knew that he was petitioning his God. His hand trembled as he lifted it to remove the hat that he had forgotten. Watching him, Marty realized just how much he loved the wee baby. He loves him as though he were his own, she thought and didn’t find this strange at all. After all, she loved Missie in the same way and had as good as forgotten that there was ever a time when the little girl had been only a tiny stranger.”

Marty confessed her love for him and accepted him as her husband.

“How did it all come about– this miracle of love? She didn’t know. It had come upon her unawares—softly”

Coupled with her grief Marty had to face the cruel fate of life. Immature and novice Marty gains maturity and insight in the close contact of wise Clark. The book is also associated with a religious overtone that time to time brings these two characters to close.

Movie v/s Novel:

When I search for the novel I also found the movie with the same name. I watched it. But I can bet that the novel has beat up the movie in many ways.

In the movie, Messie is a big girl. Though she acted excellently, I prefer the toddler Missie, crying and making a fuss.

Major Characters:

Marty Claridge: She is the protagonist of this novel. She was a 19 years old lady who set up for a future with her husband Clem. But he dies in a sudden accident leaving her alone and helpless.

Clem: He is the husband of Marty. He was ‘strong, boastful, boyish’ according to Marty he was self-assured and optimistic. Though he dies at the very beginning of the novel yet we are introduced to him through the recollections of his wife Marty.

Clark Davis: He is a widower. He lost his wife Anne and was bringing up his little daughter singlehandedly. He is calm, placid, and a religious man.

Missie: She is the daughter of Clarke and his late wife. Though at first, she could not accept Marty as her new mama gradually the bond of affection built.

Graham Family: Ma Graham and her clan are the neighbors of Marty. They are very helpful and supportive to Marty.

Alvina’s Verdict:

I eagerly relished the piece of romance as I visualize and feel the growing mystery and chemistry of the relationship between Clark and Marty. I like and love Clark…he is the hero of my heart. His caring loving introspective nature lifts him at the top of my adoration. He is patient and considerate. He saved Marty from her catastrophic situation but always behaves humbly. He never tries to seduce or force her to get her. But let her live the life of her own accord. Even he took all the responsibilities of the baby Marty gets from her former husband. He silently does his duty without any return.

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