Monday, November 4, 2013

Book Review: When Breaks the Dawn

When Breaks the Dawn. Janette Oke. 1985. Bethany House. 215 pages. [Source: Library]

When Breaks the Dawn continues right where When Comes The Spring leaves off. In When Comes The Spring, the community is desperate but resourceful after a horrible fire destroys the village's supply store. Without these resources to see them through, the whole community is at risk. Alone these families and individuals have little chance, but, working together, well, they might just survive: not that it will be easy, but still, there's hope. When Breaks the Dawn begins with the arrival of the supply wagons and with the return of Ian and Nimmie McLain.

When Breaks the Dawn is about Elizabeth's struggle for peace and contentment, in a way. She loves, loves, loves her husband, but, how can she stop WORRYING about him and where his work takes him?! She has embraced the community and made a handful of good friends, including a BEST friend, Nimmie, but she can't help feeling envious of her friend at times. For Elizabeth's BIG BIG BIG struggle is infertility. She is disappointed and frustrated and angry and bitter and broken up over the fact that she has not been able to conceive. She sees Nimmie have child after child, she watches little ones in the community grow up; she can't understand why something she wants so very very badly doesn't happen for her. Why hasn't God answered that prayer, that very specific prayer, that prayer that she prays so faithfully?! Elizabeth is incredibly vulnerable in this one. She opens her heart and her home TWICE to native children in need of an adoptive home. One, a little girl, Susie, I believe. She lives with Elizabeth and Wynn for months before her mother is able to take her back. And a second child, a newborn baby boy, Samuel, whom they take in for about a year. Elizabeth is emotionally crushed in this book; in many ways, it is a sad book. But I like the fact that this book deals with a hard subject in a very honest way. The happy but shallow Elizabeth from chapter one in When Calls The Heart has been erased by the all-too-human Elizabeth whose dreams of a perfect-perfect-perfect life has failed her. In When Breaks The Dawn, Elizabeth has to choose to be thankful and learn that God is GOOD.

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