This is book 4 in Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly series. Marty and Clark return as the center of this story. Clark gives Marty a birthday gift of train tickets to visit Missie and Willie on the ranch. The story chronicles their journey by train and the happenings once at the ranch. In this particular story Clark suffers a near fatal accident that changes his life forever. Does he give into depression because of his handicap or will he emerge stronger? You can probably guess.
This story has the strongest religious overtones of all of the books thus far. It becomes even more evident that the author is writing from a modern Evangelical point of view, which is fine. Historically, I am not sure this particular point of view was around and the author tries to be subtle about it. If you take up these books to read, just know that her religious persuasion is very evident.
Having said that, the story does pick up some excitement when Clark is injured in the mine cave-in. I was about to give up on the story until I reached this point. Stick with it, because the story isn't all sappy. Though, it is admittedly a very gentle story.
There is very little of book 4 in the movies. I think they incorporated Clark's injury from book 4 with his injury in book 1 into the second movie. Yeah, it doesn't make sense, but that is about all of the material they use. Well, there is Clark's visit to the LaHaye ranch in the third movie that could be attributed to book 4 too, but the story is completely different. Just like his father, Michael Landon Jr. feels free to adapt or change his source material for the camera. Unlike the Little House books, the Love Comes Softly series would have been too boring for the camera otherwise.
Book Rating: 2 1/2 stars