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on September 22, 2000
Wynn and Elizabeth Delaney's two adopted children are now grown, Henry serving as a Mountie, and Christine starting her adult life in the workforce. Both are forced to relocate miles away from the parents they love and the family life they miss.
This book parallels the lives of these two young people. For Henry, the memory of an earlier encounter with a young widow haunts him day and night...until he runs into her again in a most unusual circumstance. The girl re-enters his life under an alias. In spite of her constantly ignoring him, Henry is consumed with protecting her and becoming a father figure to her 5 yr. old son, Danny.
Christine, 18, is taking her first job and while living in one room at a boarding house receives an offer from her wealthy boss. He wants her to come live in his expensive, large home in exchange for cooking his dinners. She declines, but in the process meets her boss's son, Boyd. Boyd is a spoiled, wild, lazy, drinking, university student with a completely different set of values from Christine's. They eventually do become engaged, which holds the reader on pins and needles.
This book deals with family issues of the day, apparently just before a great war is to start. It takes place in Canada, and seems to be set just before WWI. Family trust and values are stressed, along with the empty nest of Elizabeth and Wynn. Strengths of this book are the religious and family values carried on by both grown adopted children.
I found it rather unusual for Oke to introduce for the first time, issues which deal with total control and spousal abuse, but she did so in a well-controlled way. Of extreme importance all through this book is family loyalty, family values and family devotion.
Per Oke, this is another book which holds ones attention and cries for a sequel.
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on December 15, 2000
To begin with, this is a good book if you enjoy reading fiction. It was wonderful to be reunited with old characters, and I liked how this book was slightly different from many of Janette Oke's other books in time period and style. Reading this book without the intent of being critical, this was a good book, and a must read for anyone who values Janette Oke's books.
However, to be perfectly fair and honest in my review, this book does have its flaws. I felt as though I grew somewhat attached to Christine and Henry, but this book lacked some of the necessary material and substance that causes the reader to truly bond with the characters. Furthermore, as much as I would love to say I enjoyed every aspect of this book, I was disappointed with Christine for her refusal to see sooner that Boyd wouldn't change. Christine seemed to be a smart, bright girl, but why did the matter of Boyd's attitude seem to be slightly glossed over? There was just something missing to make this a great book. Finally, the book ended very abruptly, in my opinion. Perhaps a sequal is in the making, but if not, Christine's story seemed to vanish near the end, leaving me feeling that her future, or even present, was unsolved. Then with Henry and Sam, I felt totally lost in the abruptness of the ending. Sure, I know what happened with them, but what about the void that gets them to where they are?
Despite my opinions (which provoked me to lower my rating to 3 stars), I still would recommend "Beyone the Gathering Storm" just because it was fun to read.
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on July 25, 2000
I just finished reading Beyond the Gathering Storm. I could not put it down! If you loved Mrs. Oke's Canadian West series, you will more than enjoy Beyond the Gathering Storm. It is so refreshing to revisit the characters of Elizabeth and Wynn Delaney and the setting of the Canadian wilderness. Though Elizabeth and Wynn are only supporting characters, there is enough interaction with them that the reader knows that they still posess the same endearing qualities that they did in the Canadian West series. Now, instead of a young married couple, they are middle-aged parents.
Beyond the Gathering Storm focuses on the Delaney's two adopted children, Henry and Christine. Henry follows in his father's footsteps as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Though Henry had wanted to be a member of the RCMP since he was young, he now finds his duties difficult, especially when he is sent to inform a young lady that her logger husband has been killed. Five years later, when he is at a new post, he encounters the young lady again. Will the haunting memories that he has had of this lady finally be put to rest?
Christine leaves her family and the North for a job in the city. Though uncomfortable and lonely at first, she comes to accept city life and to accept the attentions of her boss's worldly son, Boyd. Will Christine's love be enough to help Boyd see the emptiness of his life and the need for the only Someone who can fill that emptiness?
Mrs. Oke is a very gifted writer, and her books are always heartwarming. Beyond the Gathering Storm is no exception. Through it she weaves a lovely story about a brother and sister, who use their faith and their family to help them deal with life's heartaches. Besides the story, Mrs. Oke teaches her readers valuable lessons about prayer, about being "unequally yoked," and about being true to one's faith. The only disappointment I had with this book is that it took so long, after the last book in the Canadian West series, to be published.
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on November 23, 2000
_Beyond the Gathering Storm_ did not disappoint me, because my expectations for the novel were none too high. How could Oke hope to top the original _When Calls the Heart_ books? Still, she might have done a better job than this.
My first complaint was with the writing style. The endless sentence fragments, which did, thankfully, taper off over the course of the book, were distracting. The writing was simply poor overall. My second complaint was with the character development, or rather, the lack of character development. I just finished the book, yet I have little sense of Henry or Christine or "Sam." The plots were not weak so much as I didn't care *what* happened to the characters. Altogether, the book was missable.
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on August 28, 2000
This is a wonderful book. Once you get started you can't put it down! If you have not read the other books on the Delany family, don't worry for Ms. Oke catches you up on where they have been to the present storyline. The way she bring the message of God and his teachings is simply excellent, and she also ties this in to today's society and how easy it is to relate to the characters just like you were there yourself. I hope there is a sequel soon! I love her books and would reccommend them to anyone!
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on August 30, 2000
It had been some time since I had read the Canadian West Series, but this book brought most of it back for me. It's not really necessary to have read the series if you don't have a desire to. Janette Oke did a wonderful job of writing this book so that background information from the series was not required in order to understand it. I throughly enjoyed this book. I couldn't hardly put it down. I don't remember when I have enjoyed a Janette Oke book so much. I highly reccommend this book.
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on July 12, 2001
I was so excited when I saw this 5th book added to her Canadian West series! The children really go through a lot. It was suspenseful waiting for things to happen sometimes, but isn't that real life? :-) Janette Oke has produced yet another wonderful story that I couldn't put down until the end. Even then, her characters are so well written that it left me wondering if she would write one more for this series!
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on July 22, 2000
I was so glad Janette Oke wrote another story about the Delaney family. Her stories are so fabulous that you feel like you are really there. I was glad to finally find out how Henry's life turned out after being abandoned by his family. This new book was hard to put down. Jannette did it again. This book as in all of her books was so moving and I can't wait until her next book comes out.
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on August 15, 2000
A truly great book coming from an excellent author. Continuing the saga of the Delaney family. Henry and Christine, Elizabeth and Wynn's children, have to face challanges as their compassion leads them into tricky situations. A book of love, hope, betrayal, and most of all, learning to listen to God's voice in your life. I am now awaiting a sequel to this book, hoping it will come.
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on December 2, 2000
This book was really enjoyable more so because it sort of finished the Wynn and Elizabeth story from the Canadaian West Series, while starting on a new story. This book was much the same as her others really readable and too easy to read its over with much too quickly!. Can't wait for the next one
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