Book Information – Love Comes Softly
Author – Janette Oke
Several posts back, I mentioned that I had been gifted with several boxes packed to the brim with Christian books read and loved by my grandmother and her sisters. It’s a treasure trove of Christian reading that’s mostly from the 1980s/90s.
I wasn’t quite sure where to start with the stash of vintage books. And honestly, I’m still not sure how the ratio of long-lost treasures to cringeworthy reads will shake out.
I decided to start with a book that I read and reread as a young teen. It’s been a while since I last revisited Love Comes Softly and I wasn’t sure if it would stand up to my happy adolescent memories.
The good news? It certainly does. To someone who reads a lot of current inspirational fiction, this novel might seem a touch old-fashioned. However, I find it old-fashioned in a good, nostalgic way. Oke has a way of carrying catchphrases and motifs through her story that make not just the story itself but the memory of how the book makes one feel linger in the mind.I suspect many folks who would be reading a Christian fiction blog have at least some familiarity with this book, so I’ll keep the summary brief. As the books opens, we learn that newlywed Marty has lost her husband right after arriving out West to homestead. On the day of his funeral, widower Clark Davis proposes marriage, telling Marty he isn’t looking for a true wife but wants someone to mother his daughter Missie.
What follows isn’t a story of high drama, but well, something that moves softly. Marty has to learn how to mother a little girl and how to keep house. Marty and Clark learn how to communicate, and somehow in the midst of all this, their faith grows deeper and Marty and Clark start to love one another. Perhaps because most of the story focuses on Marty’s point of view, her character arc seems to run the broadest. Then again, she has a lot of growing up to do as she moves from embittered young widow to a wife with renewed faith in God.
It’s a beautiful story where all the best moments are small ones. An understated, everyday compliment can have all the love in the world behind it, a simple moment of prayer can anchor a life, and so on. <b>Love Comes Softly</b> is a gentle, sentimental story and if you’ve never read it, it’s worth reading. There’s a reason this book rocked the Christian fiction market in a big way when it was first published 30+ years ago.
Rating – 5 stars