Well, that ended up being better than I thought Overall, I really enjoyed the story It was very sweet and well paced I can t say I m a huge fan of Oke s writing style Please nobody hit me It s very stripped down, and doesn t really delve much into the characters emotions Very prosey I prefer something with a little life to it And the dialogue I wanted to hit myself over the head with the book a few times because of it Each character has a very thick backwoods accent, and whether that was realistic or not, it really drew me out of the story I had to reread a bit of dialogue two or three times just to know what the character was saying While I often times like the authentic feel accented dialogue gives a character, I think it was too much in this case I couldn t focus on the story because of it That was probably my main beef with this book The characters were very lovable and sweet, and the story was intriguing and interesting.All in all, this was kind of a meh book for me I may or may not read in the series. This entire series is just GOLD One of my favorites 3 4.5 stars This was the first book that I read by Janette Oke I saw the movies for this series a long time ago and didn t remember too much about themalso I watch When Calls the Heart with my mom and sisters all the time P But this was the first time I actually read something from her and I was surprised by how much I liked it D The things Marty would think say always made me smile or crack up laughing xD It was such a relaxing book to read for meif that makes sense lol I do plan on continuing with the series I have also heard that people like the other books so I m anxious to start reading the second book 3 stars.Not my favourite, but it wasn t bad, just what I needed to pass the time. Marty And Clem Set Out For The Pioneer West Full Of Hopes And Dreams They Would Stake A Claim Of Their Own On The New Frontier, And Build A Home For Themselves And Their FamilyBut Just After They D Arrived And Clem Had Chosen The Perfect Setting For Their New Home, An Accident Took His Lifeleaving Marty Alone And Pregnant Then, On The Day Of His Funeral, Clark Davis Came Alongand Asked Marty To Marry Him Marty Was Infuriated But With No Money, No Shelter, And A Baby On The Way, What Choice Did She Have Besides, Clark Said He Only Wanted Her To Be A Mama To His Baby Girl, Missie If Marty Was Still Unhappy Come Spring, He Would Pay For Her Ticket Back EastDetermined Not To Be A Burden To Clark, And Intending Only To Earn Her Keep Marty Threw Herself Into Her New Role Of Mama But She Had Never Been Anyone S Mama Before, And She Didn T Even Know How To Keep A House If Only She Could Do Right By This Lonely Man And His Daughter Just Long Enough To Earn Her Train Fare Back HomeNow, Marty Must Learn Wholeness And Love Through Patience And Faith This series was first published in 1979, and I probably read it around that time.Janette Oke introduced me to Christian fiction when there wasn t such a thing I remembered it being a lovely story, but I wondered if I d like it as much nearly 40 years later.The answer is YES This story is beautiful written with strong characters and plenty of action.And now I want to re read the rest of the series.Strongly recommend. This is such a Christian classic The writer in me wonders why I love it so much, when Janette Oke writes an older style that breaks so many modern rules But I truly do love this book It s like eating comfort food Revisiting it now was a delight I love the Biblical themes that Oke weaves through her stories, the realistic characters, the true to life events without being melodramatic, and the old fashioned feel I remembered the Gospel message in this book being one of my favorites It still is Marty s spiritual journey is gradual and so tenderly crafted Very realistic I also appreciate that, while she questioned how life could be so hard yet God is Love, she didn t become angry against God or bitter Her search was one of an honest heart.Yes, it is a romance, but it s a romance between a married couple, which I find sweet When I first read this book in my teens, the romance was a little too much for me perhaps I should note that this was probably the first book I read with any romance to speak of Now, it seems like very mild romance Not until the end does Marty begin to have emotional feelings, and it is done in a very chaste manner Unlike many modern books written, this one doesn t at all go too far other marriage of convenience books tend to mention being married than in name only and that whole topic is pretty much avoided Clark and Marty are two grieving souls who need help from each other Really, I find it beautifully done.In short, I still like this book I had feared that, because of everything I learned in writing, it would destroy my enjoyment of the story I was able to shrug them off and love the story for what it is. I used to watch the Hallmark movie version of Oke s bestselling book over and over again, and I was interested in reading the original book However, as I came to find out, the movie version is vastly different and much better The characters in Oke s book appear to be very one dimensional Marty refuses to be a bad wife and Clark is stoic and cold in their marriage of convenience And the plot as a whole was very simplistic with day to day details that make the whole thing very cumbersome The story feels rushed as the narration skips over months and other important details, and the description of the setting makes it seem like Oke has no idea when Oregon winters occur Love Comes Softly is very shallow, and I m still not exactly sure how Marty came to love Clark and visa versa. Reviewed for THC ReviewsI first read Love Comes Softly when I was only about 15 or 16 years old, and if memory serves, it was my very first romance novel It seems I must have picked well, because not only is it an appropriate story for younger readers content wise, but it has stood up to the test of time I still enjoyed it every bit as much today as I did 25 years ago, perhaps even because I m seeing it through mature eyes Love Comes Softly is something of a Little House on the Prairie story aimed at a slightly older audience Janette Oke captures that same spirit of the pioneers, depicting their day to day lives in a way that made me feel like I was there with them It amazes me how hard working and courageous these people were Ms Oke paints a picture of joys and sorrow, hardships and laughter against the backdrop of the frontier where close knit communities of people existed who were willing to help each other in any way they could She also really brings home the harsh reality for people in that time period, especially women, and how few choices they had Marty would have been in unbelievably dire straits, and could possibly have even died, if Clark, a stranger to her, hadn t proposed a marriage of convenience Under the circumstances, it couldn t have been an easy thing for him to do either, but he needed her almost as much as she needed him, even though she didn t want to admit it.The vast majority probably than 95% of the story is told from Marty s third person point of view Marty was a great female lead, but she was also a character who had to slowly grow on me The author did a wonderful job of palpably expressing Marty s grief over the loss of her first husband Then Clark came along immediately after her husband s funeral with his proposal After some thought, Marty, being a practical woman, realized that she really had no other choice, but it didn t stop her from stubbornly resenting Clark for it Although Marty never gave voice to her angry thoughts in Clark s presence, the reader is certainly privy to them There were times when I felt like she was being ungrateful for this man taking her in and treating her with kindness and respect, and that she was rather selfish in not even considering the fact that he too might still be grieving the loss of his wife In her defense though, I carefully considered what it would be like to be in her shoes, and decided that she was for the most part simply having a fairly normal human reaction to being placed in such an untenable position During these times, I wish that a little background information had been given about Marty so that I could better understand her reluctance to be beholden to a man, her being suspicious about Clark s kindness, and her inability to perform some of the simplest household tasks I did admire her determination to uphold her end of the bargain one way in which her stubbornness served her well , her willingness to learn, and that she always tried her best even when it didn t turn out right Marty s initial ineptness at cooking and doing household chores could be pretty funny at times As I continued to read, I realized that the story was really all about Marty s journey back to wholeness and being able to open her heart to love again, and I really enjoyed watching her learn, and change, and most of all grow as a person.There is a part of me that wishes we could have had a little insight from Clark s point of view There were only a handful of times in the entire book where we get to see things from his perspective, and they only last for a couple of paragraphs However, I think that the author meant for the reader to experience Clark through his actions, and the message that actions speak louder than words came across very clearly through his character Clark was an incredibly kind and gentle man He only asked for a mutually beneficial marriage in name only, and even offered Marty an out if she chose to take it He gave her the space she needed to grieve the loss of her husband He was never mean or demanding like she expected, but instead treated her with respect and patience when she burned dinner or made a mess of her attempts at cleaning He even ate pancakes every meal for several days without complaint, and helped with some of the cooking and other chores until Marty got her feet under her Clark was always caring, thoughtful and understanding, especially after he found out that Marty was expecting He was an amazing father to Missie, and later, to Marty s child as well Even Marty realized that Clark always did what was right and best for others, even if it hurt him to do it I think that the best thing about Clark though was how he quietly lived his faith in God through example He never, ever used it to beat Marty over the head He just accepted her as she was It would have been impossible not to love a romantic hero like Clark, and slowly but surely his love as well as God s love stole into Marty s heart softly and unexpectedly.There were a couple of other elements in Love Comes Softly that really drew me in First was the marriage of convenience which I haven t really read much of in romance before, and I guess had never really thought much about either After reading this book, I am quite curious to try romances with this theme The other was simply the underlying Christian message of the story which I found to be utterly inspiring I ve been very reluctant to read inspirational romances lately because of the preachiness I often find in them, but Love Comes Softly was a truly uplifting novel that brought me back to some simple spiritual truths that had somehow gotten lost in the busy hustle and bustle of everyday life For that reason alone, I am so grateful that I decided to re read this book In fact, the one and only small problem I had with the story was the author s use of backwoodsy vernacular that seemed a little extreme even for the frontier In my opinion, it made the characters seem somewhat unintelligent which they clearly weren t Overall though, it was a minor issue, and otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the book Love Comes Softly is the first volume in the series of the same name I can t recall how many of the books I read as a teen, but since the latter three were published several years later, I know that I never made it past 5 This all makes me very eager to revisit discover the rest of the series soon. If you dislike stories that tell instead of show, don t read this.If lots of hick accents annoy you, don t read this.If you want sappy romance, don t read this.If possible historical inaccuracies bother you, don t read this.If you prefer books where you live with the characters instead of watching from the sidelines, don t read this.Otherwise, enjoy the story.I have never read any book by Janette Oke, but I had heard so much about them and how good they are, that when I found the kindle version for free, I got it I can t say I was impressed The story was fine, and I liked the ending I liked the characters, but never felt like I would cry or laugh with them Much of the story was told instead of shown, which didn t bother me, but I was a little surprised The fact that the main character who had just arrived from the east, had the exact same hick accent as the westerners made me raise my eyebrows Huh Some historical things that didn t sound accurate to me at all.Overall, I enjoyed the story okay, I might read it again, but it s not on my recommend or read again soon list.