Love's Unending Legacy (by Janette Oke)

I first started reading Janette Oke's light Christian novels in the early 1990s when we lived in the USA for a couple of years, and where they were widely and easily available from libraries. Then, in the last ten years or so, I've started acquiring a few of my own. I was particularly pleased when a friend, leaving Cyprus, passed on to me a few I didn't have in a series I could remember having enjoyed.

'Love's Unending Legacy' is the fifth book in the 'Love Comes Softly' series, which is about a Christian family in the pioneer days in the USA. In this book, Marty and Clark return from their long visit out to the west west to see Missie and family, which was the subject of the fourth book in the series, 'Love's Abiding Joy'. They are getting over a terrible accident that left Clark with only one leg. Marty takes a long time to recover from the journey, prompting her family to worry about her...

Meanwhile, their son Clare and his wife Kate anticipate the birth of their first baby, and their youngest son Luke prepares to leave for medical college. Marty can't imagine how she will survive as her nest gradually empties: a sentiment I could certainly appreciate. Only her daughter Ellie is left at home, and when Ellie falls in love she can't imagine how she could ever break her mother's heart by leaving too.

It's very light Christian fiction. There's a bit too much 'preaching' for my tastes; I don't know if the lengthy graces and deep conversations that - by the by - explain the gospel message would have been realistic for the time. I find that kind of episode in a novel makes me cringe somewhat, and I'm someone who believes in it. I hope it doesn't affect unbelievers too negatively - my tendency is to skim such passages. Nevertheless, the characters somehow get under my skin.

Janette Oke has a gift for bringing people alive, and even though there are also rather too many descriptive passages for my liking, and mentions of people from other books who are not relevant to this one, I could relate to Marty and her family easily. I even found myself with tears in my eyes at least two or three times as I read this book.

Easy reading that's somehow difficult to put down. Recommended to anyone who enjoys this kind of book, whether a teenager or a nostalgic adult. It's not great literature, but it's clean and makes pleasant light reading.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 8th June 2009

1 comment:

Sarah said...

oh, I used to read these books as a teen ... the whole series, and then the rest of her books. Cost me a fortune as you couldn't get them in the library - but my Dad would buy them because they came from the Christian Bookshop!

Trashy romance for christians - but I did fall in love with them! Must dig them out for my girls!