Thursday, August 6, 2015

All About: When Calls the Heart~ the Books, Movie & TV Series

When Calls the Heart. What comes to mind when you hear that title? A book series you grew up with? Or maybe a TV show you’re constantly tweeting about? {#SEASON THREE, WHOOP!} Or even something you’ve heard about from friends, but never really checked out. Maybe you have checked it out, and then panicked with all the info that popped up.
  I’m giving two points to the people who say they know about this series from this blog. Whaaaat? ;)
{{Click on any of these picture to enlarge it. Click the Text underneath to see my review.}}

I’m here today to help with all that info! But first, a bit of history. :)

Pretty neat, huh? Let’s get started on the books!

First off, you have two different book series: “Canadian West” (Janette Oke) and “Return to Canadian West” (Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan). The first series started in 1983 and finished three years later with a total of four books…much to the dismay of the fans. Janette Oke eventually wrote two more books in 1990 and 2001 following Elizabeth’s (and her husband’s) children (the children, now grown, are the main characters, not their parents.) {Look at me giving no spoilers! ;D }. “Return to Canadian West” came out when the TV show started; the books in this series are a special companion story to the show on Hallmark.
  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

“When Calls the Heart” first—originally—came out in 1983 and you’ll see many different covers for this book! 
Review Here!

Here’s the thing though: It’s not to be confused with the movie or TV series of the same name! The book (this book) is told in Elizabeth Thatcher’s POV. The first Elizabeth Thatcher. In the movie, “When Calls the Heart”, you follow Auntie Elizabeth’s journey as her niece Elizabeth (or Beth) reads her journal. (Niece Elizabeth, who I’ll be referring to as Beth, is the main character in the second book series and TV series). Confusing? It’s okay, you’ll get it. :)

Elizabeth Thatcher, the first. ;)

Elizabeth/Beth Thatcher.

What do I mean by Aunt/Cousin and Niece/Cousin? Just this: In “Where Courage Calls”, Beth Thatcher says about her “Auntie Elizabeth”: “She [Beth] remembered again how very fascinating it was that she would now be following in Auntie’s footsteps, traveling to the West to teach. And even though Beth had later come to discover that her namesake Elizabeth was not truly an aunt—being the older daughter of Father’s eldest brother Ephraim and thus an older cousin whom Mother insisted be addressed respectfully—Beth and her sisters chose to continue the term of endearment.” ~ page 35, “Where Courage Calls” by Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan.

As for the rest of the books in the first series:
Review Here!

Review Here!
Review Here!

So, I’ve talked about the Books & Movie, now it’s time to talk about the TV Show. (Comparing the TV Show to the Books & Movie are very different, but I’ll get into that in a bit.) If I could go back and live in any time period in History, it would be 1908 in New York City. Why? and Why am I saying this? The Clothes! Oh, the clothes! The Hats, the hair, the shoes! *swoon* Needless to say, I love Season One because of the breathtaking clothes that I *so* would wear. Season One & Season Two are pretty different in the regard: 

Season Two’s clothing seems a bit more Modern, but still beautiful.  :)

Now, let’s play a game of Red Light, Green Light. How it works: I’ll type a part of the plot from the book, “Where Courage Calls” (the companion story to the TV Show) and will compare it to the Movie & TV Show. Green means ‘Yes, that’s in there’. Red means ‘No, not in this one!’. Example:
~Edward is a possible love interest of Beth/Elizabeth…(Movie, TV Show) Edward is in the movie, but not mentioned at all in the TV show {instead we get good ol’ Chuck.}. Make sense? This is basically to understand that the Book, Movie & TV Show have different details. :)
~Beth has two sisters, Margaret (married to John, with a son) & Julie…(Movie= Sisters are Unsaid (but able to assume it’s Margaret, married to John & has a son) and Julie, TV Show=Elizabeth’s sisters are Viola (not married) and Julie (TV Show Julie is nearly the same as Book Julie.)) {Just a note that Margaret (Books) is much nicer than Viola (TV Show).}
~Beth lost a younger brother to Whooping Cough and had it as well, it left her frail & sickly (Movie nor the TV Show mention little William or Beth’s ailments).
~The “Return to Canadian West” series are set in the 1920s…(Movie=set in 1910, TV Show=set in 1910-1911).
~Beth loves music & plays the violin…(Movie nor the TV Show mention this fact or have Elizabeth/Beth play, which she does many times in the Return series.)
~Unlike both the Movie & TV Show, young Elizabeth Thatcher is not held up on her way to Coal Valley in WCC. Her father’s compass at the train station he gave her is stolen, but not robbed. (The Compass is in the Movie, but not the TV Show.)
~Jack (who Beth calls by his full name, Jarrick) has a handlebar mustache! (Jack is not at all in the Movie, and sadly Jack in the TV Show is clean shaven…and goes by Jack to everyone.) {I’m laughing so hard at the picture of Daniel Lissing with a handlebar mustache!}

I could go on with comparing the Books, Movie & TV Show, but the gist of it is that the Movie is more like “Where Courage Calls” than to the TV Show of which it’s a special companion. {The TV Show has been made more TV-y with a bit more drama & action. ;) }
I, personally, like the book “When Calls the Heart” better than the movie. (Well, I am a book reviewer. ;) ) There’s some pretty big differences, but is overall nearly the same. (Did that make any sense? ;) )
I watched the Movie, then the TV series and then read the books. I think that not reading the books first had me enjoy the Movie & TV show more, as I wasn’t comparing them to the books. :}

And as a fun bonus: here’s a couple pictures of Janette Oke with some of the actors of the TV Show! 

Photo credit Copyright 2014 Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo credit Copyright 2014 Crown Media United States, LLC

So, I hoped this helped! {And didn’t make you more confused…} If you haven’t joined the WCTH group on Facebook, click Here to check it out!
Did I answer everything? I hope so! If you have a question feel free to comment it below, and, if I know the answer, I’ll let you know. :)

(Read Reviews of the original series: #1 Here, #2 Here, #3 Here, #4 Here, #5 Here, and #6 Here. )
(Read Reviews of the sequel series: #1 Here, and #2 Here.)

To new visitors of this site, please have a look around and find some Christian books for girls ages 9-19 in your life! :) 

See y’all on Monday with a new review! :)


  1. Very good explanation for "beginners". I've enjoyed the movie, season 1 and 2 of the Tv show but not the books...This made me want to read them, though!

  2. Thank you for the helpful explanation!

  3. Oh my! Daniel Lissing with a handlebar mustache is hilarious! I, personally, am grateful they were inaccurate in that regard. LOL
    -Brandi Gabriel

  4. Would you say this book series would be appropriate for a 10 year old? Is there any surprises co.pared to the movie or TV show?

    1. Hello there!
      It is a "romance", but very clean, so I would say it depends on the ten year old and their family. I do have a full content review that I will link below that discusses what is in the book--Spritual, negative, and sexual.
      I hope this helps!
      Have a wonderfully Blessed week!