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I the reading some of Janette Oke’s books when I was a teenage girl back in steamy Louisiana. The stories were compelling and a great transition from my love of Little House on the Prairie as the settings were in ‘frontier’ of then western states. Knowing how much I enjoyed many of her books, I was thrilled to review When Calls the Heart, a film by Michael Landon, Jr. based on the novels by Janette Oke.
About When Calls the Heart
When Calls the Heart, directed by Michael Landon Jr. and based on the best-selling books by Janette Oke, tells the story of a young high society teacher receiving her first classroom post in a prairie town in the Western Frontier. Determined to prove to her family that she is brave enough to live on her own, Elizabeth (Poppy Drayton) struggles with her own fears and doubts until she discovers her late Aunt’s diary. Her aunt (Maggie Grace), also named Elizabeth, had set off on a similar adventure as a teacher into the frontier, where she struggled with prairie life and eventually met and fell in love with a Royal Canadian Mountie (Stephen Amell). Reading her aunt’s words, the young Elizabeth decides to put her future in God’s hands and embark on her own adventure where she uses the diary as her guide as well as Edward, another Mountie (Daniel Sharman), sworn to see her arrive.
The movie originally aired on Hallmark Channel with more than 3.2 million viewers, making it the No. 1 movie of the week on ad-supported cable. The movie is available for purchase on DVD thanks to Word Entertainment($19.99 suggested retail.)
For those who have Hallmark Channel in their homes, be on the lookout for the new When Calls the Heart series based on these books for which this movie sets the stage. The first episode airs on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 9 p.m. Eastern/ 8 p.m. Central.
Our Thoughts on When Calls the Heart
As I suspected, I really enjoyed this movie. The scenery and cinematography are spectacular and I could really imagine being in the middle of nowhere. Also, the film does a good job laying out the characters and location for the story being told.
I can only imagine the challenges of life on the frontier. Personally, I am happy to experience it all vicariously through reading a book or watching a show. As much as I might romanticize the idea of leaving behind the city for the wilds, I know that I like my creature comforts too much. So, leaving behind the comforts of a well to do family would be rather difficult for me to do.
A few of the boys watched parts of the movie with me. While they enjoyed seeing the remote locations, they did not enjoy the development of relationships between the different characters the same way I did. It was no surprise that the stagecoach robbery scene was one of their favorites as they are all about the ‘action.’
Watch the Trailer for When Calls the Heart
Have you read any of Janette Oke’s novels? If so, what is your favorite?
Do you enjoy historical fiction and seeing how people lived years ago?