When Calls The Heart ~ Family Entertainment

A review of the Hallmark Channel series When Calls The Heart

     Our family enjoys winding down our evenings with family friendly movies and series. It is a treat to find new ones that we can watch together. When I heard that WHEN CALLS THE HEART was inspired by author Janette Oke’s beloved book series, I knew that we would enjoy watching it. My parents gave me a set of Janette Oke's books when I was a young girl, and I added to my collection through the years. Both of my girls have also enjoyed reading her books, though only my oldest daughter has read the Canadian West series which this television series is based on. 

From Grace Hill Media:
This heartwarming family drama was first aired as a 2-hour pilot back in October and comes on the heels of Hallmark’s first scripted series, “Cedar Cove”, which held the #1 Saturday primetime slot for over 12 consecutive weeks! 
Synopsis: “When Calls the Heart” tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coalmining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a 19th century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.

Starring Lori Loughlin ("Full House," "90210"), Erin Krakow ("Army Wives," "Castle"), and Daniel Lissing ("Last Resort"), WHEN CALLS THE HEART is the second of Jannette Oke’s books to be made into a Hallmark series and reunites Oke with Executive Producer and Director, Michael Landon, Jr. 


 Hallmark Channel website.

     When Calls the Heart takes place in a mining town a hundred years ago. Along with the story of a community that comes together after tragic loss, history is painted for us through the images shared. More than just clothing styles, the lifestyle of mine workers that depend on the mine owners for everything is shared with us. Housing and even the preacher were provided to the workers. Set in Canada, the inclusion of a Royal Canadian Mountie led to us explore more about them. 

     In the first episode, the miner's wives share that they decided to take back control of their children's education instead of leaving that to the mine owner. They work together to hire a teacher, who is the main character in this series. There is an obvious contrast in the beautifully dressed lady from the city and the poor miners. With her Latin quotes, she isn't quickly embraced by the community. Her determination to serve them does change their relationships over time. 

     One of the things that the teacher receives in a box from family and friends back home is a journal. She shares insights at the end of each episode either in letters home or in journal entries. This was one of her musings: "There is a cost to the things that matter most in life, and it is in that sacrifice that we find our true treasure." Lessons are woven into the stories such as first impressions not always being correct. 
(image provided)

     We were given a sneak peek of the 4th episode which will air on the Hallmark Channel on Saturday, February 1st. Each episode has included a bit of excitement, and this one built on a mystery previously introduced. One rather uncomfortable situation was worded in such a way that the show maintained its family friendly appeal. Overall, our whole family is enjoying this series and looking forward to future episodes. Watch it and tell me what you think.

Disclaimer: As a blogger, I participated in a special, press-only screening for this never-before-seen episode of Hallmark’s new television seriesWHEN CALLS THE HEARTNo compensation has been received for this blog post.
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  1. Anonymous1/31/2014

    I love this new series! I can't wait for the new episodes... I'm already hooked! I was glad Hallmark came out with this series, as I also really enjoyed the "Loves Comes Softly," series that they have. Great review! :) Jenn@Teaching Two Stinkers

    1. Thanks, Jenn. We enjoyed the Love Comes Softly series, too. That was actually the first book I ever read by Janette Oke.


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