Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book Review

My favorite book club T & T started off the New Year with the instructions to "re-read your favorite book"!  My sister and I started this blook club many years ago and have changed it up from time to time but the general idea is that we read the same book and discuss it and find an activity to do or lesson to learn from each book.  The assignment was to write a post for our blogs telling why the book was our favorite and something new we gained from re-reading it.

This was easy for me!  Many years ago I got hooked on Janette Oke's books about pioneer women.  My favorite series was The Women of the West.   The Calling of Emily Evans was one of the first I read and the book has stayed with me for the last 20 years.  More correctly, the feelings I had, the pictures I conjured up in my mind about the little two room pioneer house, the lessons I learned about pioneer life stuck with me much more than the actual "story line" details.  This surprised me!  I thought I knew the story, but as I began to re-read I told my husband - this does not even sound familiar - it's like it's a different book!!

Could it be that I have changed that much in the 20 years?  Have I read more books and watched movies and some how gotten the details all mixed up??    I have often shared with my sister Tami and friend Rebecca that when I read - I imagine the house - the town - sometimes in great detail.  I think it's a common reader-thing.  I remember the little two room pioneer house that was in my mind back years ago - - - and it was not the same way I imagined it this past week as I read.   I have to say - rereading the book was a disappointment to me.   Yes it is a very good book and Oke is a superb writer, but I could not get the amazement and wonder feeling that I had before.

     She feels God nudging her toward ministry, but what options are there for a young single woman? Emily Evans has a hard time getting herself to class on time, much less figuring out God's will for her life. Then, to her surprise, she feels that God is calling her into full-time Christian service. She expects the Lord will also provide her with a companion to share her life and ministry, but Emily does not want to marry any of the available young men. She squares her shoulders and decides she will accept the task of opening a new church in a pioneer community--alone.
When Emily arrives at her new assignment, she is disappointed to find the church building in disrepair. After many days of hard work fixing it up, she announces her first service and is once again disappointed, this time in the size of her congregation. Is her faith strong enough to stand against the local doubters and myriad challenges that will test her calling?

Pioneer Stories - I think they appeal to me because I tend to like my cushy-life.  I like my air conditioned air and my instant heat when it's cold.  I like protection from storms.  I like driving my car on well paved roads.  I like convenience cooking and housekeeping.  So . . . I am transformed to another time and to an era I can't really imagine surviving.  The simplicity appeals to me. 

I finished this Book Club assignment feeling disappointed that NOW the book didn't hold quite the specialness for me.  It was different than I had remembered but I decided that's crazy - - - I enjoyed it the first time - just let it be what it is - a book I have always loved.  

Shouldn't we 50 year old's know by now that nothing stays the same - what we read and how the book inspires us is really part of who we are at the time and where we are in life . . . that is what I learned.  

excerpt taken from The Calling of Emily Evans by Janette Oke


  1. That's too bad that you didn't get the same reaction to the book this time, but you're right - time and age change perspectives. I'm not as excited by my re-read as I remember being 20 years ago, either.

    1. Soon we have to have a techno slumber party - I need to understand Twitter. Have a great time on the beach!! I'm so jealous - I can't wait to hear about your experiences!


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