Friday, October 16, 2015

Review of Once Upon a Summer by Janette Oke

Book Review:  Once Upon a Summer by Janette Oke

Seasons of the Heart Series - Book 1

This is a rather unique book for the historical Christian romance genre because it is written from the viewpoint of a 12 year old boy.  In all honesty, the only reason I picked it up to read is simply because it was free for Amazon Prime Membersfor our Kindles.  I am so glad they offered this book free now!

I had absolutely no problem relating to Joshua, the boy in the book.  He doesn't like change and neither do I.  Even a change for the better, or one that is an improvement, I resist.  I prefer the comfort of consistency. 

Quite by accident, Joshua overhears a conversation between his grandfather and his Uncle Charlie.  Much to his distress, he fears a lot of changes are coming in his simple farm home life and he plans to do everything he can to stop them, including asking for God's help with a rather unusual request.

Once Upon a Summer by Janette Oke

Book Review by Cynthia Sylvestermouse

 By Janette Oke Once upon a Summer [Audio CD]Both of Josh's parents are dead.  He lives with his grandfather, his grandfather's brother, Charlie, and his aunt Lou.  He adores Aunt Lou.  Even though she is only 5 years older than he is, she has been the only mother he can remember.

Grandpa and Uncle Charlie not only plan to ask their newly widowed father, who Josh has never met, to move in with them, but they decide it is their responsibility to select a husband for Aunt Lou.  Joshua is not happy at all about the idea of his family structure changing.  He doesn't like the idea of an "old man" who will require care coming to live with them.  And, he certainly doesn't want to lose his Aunt Lou to marriage.

It is actually funny listening to these two older gentlemen discuss how to handle different situations.  They even make a list of acceptable suitors for Lou while she is sleeping and completely clueless about their "plans".  Since Josh is ease-dropping on the conversation, he is not clueless.  He makes plans of his own, which include asking for Divine intervention.

I can appreciate Josh's antics to make every suitor unacceptable.  What he didn't expect at all was that he would find an ally in his "Gramps" when he joins the household.  He becomes close friends with the "old man" and together they make things happen.

The real life situations, the family changes mixed with humor, is quite entertaining.  I actually hated to see the book end!  So much so, that I gladly paid for the second book in the "Seasons of the Heart" series to be added to my Kindle.

My Book Recommendation

I can easily recommend this book to anyone!  I thoroughly enjoyed Janette Oke's unique approach by writing a Christian romance from the perspective of a young boy.  It was very easy for me to embrace his entire family.  Each member reminded me of someone I have known in my own life, which made the book even more enjoyable.

You should be forewarned though, this first book will certainly whet your appetite for more!

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Sounds like a charming series of books. I love books where the main character is a child as I love reading and following the interactions between them and adults. Children have a unique perspective on life, which we tend to forget when we 'grow up'. :)

    1. That is so true Elf! I couldn't help but wonder if Janette Oke had a child in her life at the time she wrote the book to use as inspiration and to help develop the character. I could easily imagine the though process described in the book, but I doubt I would ever have remembered enough about childhood thoughts to write an actual book.

  2. "I hated to see it end" is probably the best compliment anyone can pay to a book. I really need to make some time to read this. Of course the author is classic and I know this is a well-loved series. Thanks for whetting my appetite!

    1. I hadn't really thought of it when I wrote this article, but I have to agree with you Susan. That really is the best compliment anyone could pay to a book.

  3. "I hated to see it end" is probably the best compliment anyone can pay to a book. I really need to make some time to read this. Of course the author is classic and I know this is a well-loved series. Thanks for whetting my appetite!

  4. Cynthia, sounds excellent and like something I would enjoy. Saving your review and recommendation, thank you :)

  5. I'll have to see if these are sitting around here somewhere. I've read a lot from this author, and even met her at Book Expo one year. I stock a lot of her books, meaning I still have a bunch here as part of the inventory I have to get rid of when I have time. I have not yet read all of them.


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