I've read a lot of Janette Oke's books, and I enjoy her writing style, although sometimes it is rather sweet. In my reading, I had skipped the Seasons of the Heart series and I really missed something.
Once Upon a Summer reads like a Tom Sawyer type book with a young boy as a protagonist. The romance in the book is not overt, but it's secondary to the plot.
Josh lives with his grandfather, his great uncle, his aunt, and later on, his great-grandfather, who also adds a dog to the family. While Josh is an obedient boy, he loves his fun, and he's not above pulling a few hi-jinks. He's really content with his homelife, and so when changes come, he is not all that happy about it. Once he gets used to the changes, he's especially glad--like when Gramps--his great-grandfather--comes to live with them. Gramps brings a new life into the family and becomes Josh's best fishing partner. Josh is particularly protective of Auntie Lou and gets a bit riled up when Grandpa and Uncle Charlie decide to find her a husband.
The language Janette uses in the conversations sounds more like it comes from the southern US, rather than Canada. Because she does not specify a location for the book, the reader can imagine the setting to suit his or her own preferences.
I absolutely loved this book, so the rest of the series will go into my TBR list.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a trip to the crik to go fishing.
My thanks to Bethany House for allowing me to read and review this book.