After finishing her year of teaching in Coal Valley in the Canadian West, Beth Thatcher returns home to Toronto and to her doting family. But before she has much time to catch her breath, her mother and sisters whisk her off with some family friends on a summer cruise down the eastern coast of Canada and the United States. Beth is not extremely excited about the trip, but she decides to try to use the time to connect more with her mother and sisters and to sort out her feelings about Jarrick – the Canadian Mountie back in Coal Valley.
The more time she spends with her family, the more Beth realizes how difficult it would be to leave them again if she returned to teaching in the West. But she cherishes each phone call and letter from Jarrick, and as her feelings for him grow, the more she feels torn. When the unexpected strikes her family on the cruise trip, Beth’s faith will be tested more than it ever has before, and she will discover from where her trust must truly come.
Where Trust Lies is the second book in the “Return to the Canadian West” series by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan.
After reading and enjoying the first book in this series last year, I was looking forward to this next installment. Even though this is the second novel in the “Return to the Canadian West” series, the story took place entirely on the East Coast of Canada and the United States! I was a bit disappointed that we wouldn’t be returning to the West and to Coal Valley in this book, but once I got involved in the story that was taking place, I was able to move past that and really enjoy the novel.
This book is told from the perspective of Beth, who was the main character in the first novel. I expected this, but what I did not expect was that even though the story is told from Beth’s side of things, most of the action and development in the story revolves around Beth’s younger sister, Julie. I thought this way of telling things was slightly odd, but not necessarily in a bad way – just different.
I absolutely adored the main plot in this novel – Beth, her sisters, her mother, and some family friends going on a summer trip by themselves. It was like a girls’ night out extended to an entire summer. I’m not sure I would be able to (sanely) be away from my husband for that long, but it still sounded like fun and made for an interesting and emotional story. Since this book is written by a mother and daughter, it makes that even more poignant.
The romance continues from the first book in the series as Beth and Jarrick continue getting to know one another and waiting and praying to make sure that their relationship is God-honoring. The catch this time is that their courtship must take place while they are separated by thousands of miles – Jarrick in the West attending to his duties as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Beth while she is on this trip with her family and friends. I liked how their relationship progressed, though, even over the miles, and I could feel their angst as they tried to wait patiently and see how the Lord was directing them.
I don’t know if this is a true spoiler, but I was so excited when towards the end of the book Jarrick shows up in person to be with Beth during a moment of true crisis for the Thatcher family. When he walked into the room, I wanted to stand up and cheer! It was a very knight-in-shining-armor moment!
*****Possible Spoiler Over*****
Although I could kind of see the direction in which this novel was headed with Julie and her choice of friends, I was still intrigued. That storyline definitely kept the novel moving, especially towards the middle when it got a bit slow. When I finished this novel, I was disappointed that I didn’t have the next one in the series ready to go! I’m really looking forward to that one when it comes out – probably next year.
The “Canadian West” series by Janette Oke is definitely one of my favorites, but the “Return to the Canadian West” series is definitely up towards the top of the list as well.
I will give Where Trust Lies … 4 BookWorms.
Where Trust Lies
by Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan
"Return to the Canadian West" #2
Bethany House Publishers
Publication date: February 3, 2015
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."