Belinda, their youngest daughter was working with Luke as a nurse. Luke had given Belinda a week off to visit with Melissa and Amy Jo, Clare & Kate's daughter. Clare & Kate talked it over with Clark & Marty and decided to let her travel West with Melissa to spend some time with Willie & Missie. They wanted Belinda to go too but Belinda told them she had work to do and Luke needed her until a new doctor could be found to help him out. They talked and he told Belinda that he wanted to become a builder. She did return then and Belinda was once again at the train station now waiting for Amy Jo. Amy Jo arrived and Ryan was with her as a surprise to her family. Luke had treated him and spoke with Arnie about Abe needing his arm re-broken and set by doctors in a big city hospital. They talked to him with his wife, Anne, with him and he still refused to get help for Abe. Luke told him that Abe's arm was likely to become stiff and unable to be used if something was done to have it properly set soon. Arnie stopped going to church and the family didn't come to Sunday dinner after they were told about Abe's arm troubles. Marty went to visit Arnie and he came back to church and Sunday dinner but things remained strained within the family. Luke went to see the patient while Belinda prepared the surgery room. Belinda enjoyed hearing of her life and travels and knew that she would miss her once she was recovered enough to return home to Boston. Luke went to talk to him again and Arnie was finally ready to listen. Belinda went to Boston and met some of Mrs. Smythe's friends. Just before her first dinner party with Mrs. Smythe, her grandson Peter came to visit. They spent a lot of time together but there were things going on that Belinda didn't understand. The staff didn't like the fact of Belinda being an employee of Mrs. Smythe's and being allowed to have tea and meals with her. Belinda was restless after the Christmas decorations were put away and Mrs. Smythe decided it was time to take a trip abroad. Belinda thought that maybe her restlessness was because she had become to busy in her duties as a nurse to make time for God. She had somehow left him behind.
(I didnt read all of these in large print, but the cover art is the same.) The first book, Love Comes Softly, was the first I ever read by Oke, my introduction into her sweet, warm, and simplistic style of storytelling that would make her one of my all-time favorite authors, up there with Henry James and L.M. Montgomery.
In some ways, this book is two different stories, although Belinda is mostly the center of both. (view spoiler) I am totally surprised that she would be led astray by the completely foreign lifestyle in Boston or that it would in any way appeal to her.
Also, I felt as if the story drifted, which may have been the author's intent considering the overall message of the story. Basically, this book was about Belinda striking out on her own, trying to find her way in the world, and coming to the realization that God is not limited to a place.
I read and enjoyed several novels in this series in the early 1980s, and this novel was like visiting old friends and catching up with family news.
Janette Oke writes with a profound simplicity of what she knows bestreal life, honest love, and lasting values. She also writes engaging children's stories and inspiring gift books that warm the heart. Her first novel, a prairie love story titled Love Comes Softly, was published by Bethany House in 1979. After Love Comes Softly was published, Oke found her readers asking for more. Janette Oke's warm writing style has won the hearts of millions of readers.