October 05, 2011

Beyond the Gathering Storm by Janette Oke

I was much surprised at this book. I had expected, at the end of the last book in the Canadian West series, that this book would pick up where it left off. Instead it seems to be about 20 or so years in the future and primarily about the Delaney's two adopted children, Henry and Christine.

We find them while Henry is reliving a painful memory. Like his dad, he has joined the Mounties and has been one for about 5 years. He however finds trouble at time, especially when he had to inform a young widow with a baby about the death of her husband. This memory has stuck with him and made him feel guilty about how he had handled it.

Now he is reassigned to a town in the South. Here he is surprised to discover that same widow, working as the barber in the town. Her young boy, five now, wants so much to be a part of everything but as she's afraid of losing him too he's kept somewhat secluded. When he decides to head out on an adventure of his own, the widow and Henry must work together to bring him home safely.

Christine has left her parents for a job as a secretary in the South. While her boss is a bit brash at times she grows to like her job and kindles a relationship with the boss' son Boyd.

Boyd, while charming, has no direction in his life and certainly no room in his belief system for Christine's religion. He parties with his friend and goes from pleased to angry in an instant. As I was reading I'd had an inkling that he'd be abusive. Would Christine be able to turn his love around?

The Christianity in this novel is pretty low key. The most seems to happen around Christine as she is struggling between her faith and Boyd and his rejection of God. Henry goes to church in the novel but his story isn't as faith based.

I have a few criticisms for Oke in this novel. I would have liked to see one come before it or more background given. We are suddenly introduced to these adult children of Elizabeth and Wynn without any history. What happened that they adopted Christine? Where did Kip go and how did the new dog replace him? Another book is almost needed. In addition, these characters seemed a little too perfect for me. They hardly had any faults and just seemed less real than the stories of Elizabeth and Wynn did.

I do applaud Oke's incorporating of abuse in this novel. Its a hard task to write about and I think she did it well. Aside from those notions, there was nothing in this book that would offend anyone.

It was a nice story as usual just a little bit of a let down for me as I had become attached to the characters of Wynn and Elizabeth.

Beyond the Gathering Storm
Copyright 2000
253 pages

No comments:

Post a Comment