Saturday, March 7, 2015

Where Trust Lies

Where Trust Lies by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan picks up on the story of young Beth Thatcher, a school teacher returned to her family following a year on the Canadian Prairies.
However, upon returning home, Beth must come to grips with the changes a year has brought to her and her family dynamics while deciding where her heart lies amid potential tragedy.

Okay, okay, can I blame baby brain? I totally missed the fact that this was the second book in this series until I reread the cover following confusion when the characters started referencing events I knew weren't in this book.
For purists, this series needs to be read in order. For readers who don't mind, Oke and Logan do a fabulous job weaving details of prior events into the newest editions with a grace and ease that make it simple to pick up and go (if you aren't like me and don't realize an early story exists).

Although living on the Canadian Prairies myself for the better part of a decade, Oke is generally not an author I pick up. I don't mind romance when it's not the main genre and many of Oke's books only bring a passing interest as a result. Since Where Trust Lies is the second in the series I found the romance to be equally tempered by adventure, character development, and an inner searching from Beth that took me back to my own dating adventures (perhaps because I saw echoes of my own sweet husband in Jarrick). Overall, this made for an engaging balance that kept me reading without breaks until the book was finished. Though a seemingly simple plot, I found it echoed in ways that left me surprised for this author.

For readers who appreciate character growth this can be a fun novel to delve into. As the second in the series the foundation built in the first is expanded upon here, allowing readers a greater insight into Beth's fears, concerns, and growth which have stemmed from her time away and the natural changes which can happen upon leaving girlhood. 

On the other hand, I also struggled somewhat with the unresolved story lines within the book, but with reservation as I do realize the nature of Oke to set storylines in place for the future. Beth's interactions with young Victoria felt rushed and unresolved whereas Margaret felt underutilized in her role as older sister and sounding board for Beth's musings. This seemed odd given the sisters seemingly close relationship prior to Beth's departure and the awareness of both on how short their time together may end up being, given Beth's conflicted opinions on where she needed to be. The introduction of the sisters throughout the Thatcher's journey also felt very blatant given Oke's usual style.

All in all, I believe Where Trust Lies is a solid offering from Oke and Logan that will appeal to her fanbase and followers of this genre.

4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review, the opinions expressed are my own and unaltered.