Sunday, March 9, 2014

What I’m reading lately: Once Upon a Summer

In Once Upon a Summer, the first in Janette Oke’s Seasons of the Heart series, Joshua Jones had lost his parents before he was old enough to retain memories of them. Since his infancy, he had been raised and loved by his Aunt Lou, Grandpa, and Uncle Charlie at his Grandpa’s farm.

Their guidance had imbued him with a strong sense of right and wrong and personal responsibility.

Josh recognizes that although his family is not the standard mother, father and children, his is a close-knit, loving family in which every individual works hard with good humor and values each other.  But an overheard conversation plunges a horrified Josh into fear that his beloved Aunt Lou will be expected to marry soon.

Josh’s eventful summer is marked with his strategies to thwart the matchmaking efforts of the adult men in his family and his struggle with questions of loss, love, faith and change. Josh tells his own story of summer, revealing in his boy’s voice his journey toward young manhood.

I enjoyed several of this author’s books of inspirational fiction several decades ago. Even though this was a free Kindle book, the author did not disappoint with this easy-to-read tale.  I don’t know how long it will be offered free, but it was still free on at 8:45 p.m. Central Daylight Savings Time March 9, 2014.

A personal digression: Josh’s perceptions and actions made me recall how much my late mother loved teaching children of Josh’s age. She said her third graders, especially the boys, experienced dramatic changes.

She noted that the planes of their faces became more pronounced. They lost that “little boy” look. And like Josh, her students were beginning to question things formerly accepted without question and to ponder life, even if they did not always have the vocabulary to articulate what was stirring in their thoughts.

She considered it a pivotal season of life, ripe for teachers to make a difference.


  1. My older daughter and her husband are both teachers, so I know what you are talking about.

  2. my mother loved teaching children... i had never thought about the changes, but now that you mention it, that is true and they start to change drastically again at 12 and 13....

  3. I haven't read any of this author's books, but I've enjoyed the movies spawned from them! I'm enjoying the new Hallmark series 'When Calls the Heart', based on one of her books, as well.
    I think I'll check and see if this book is still available for free! Thanks for sharing the review, as well as your personal digression :)

  4. I have enjoyed the movies and was delighted to see this was still offered free on Kindle. It is now on my TBR list.

  5. This sounds like a wonderful book! I will check it out this evening. Thank you!

  6. I really enjoy Janet Oke's books and style. I don't remember reading this one so I may have to look into it.
    I like your book reviews Linda. Keep them up.

  7. Sounds like just the ticket. Well done Linda!