Love Comes Softly (Love Comes Softly Book #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Love Comes Softly introduced the characters of Marty and Clark Davis, whose tragic circumstances brought them to a "marriage of convenience" on the frontier prairies during the mid 1800s. The story of how Clark's patient, caring love mirrored that of the heavenly Father, drawing Marty to faith and to love, has captured the hearts and imaginations of over one million readers on Book One alone!
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Love Comes Softly (Love Comes Softly Book #1)

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Overview

Love Comes Softly introduced the characters of Marty and Clark Davis, whose tragic circumstances brought them to a "marriage of convenience" on the frontier prairies during the mid 1800s. The story of how Clark's patient, caring love mirrored that of the heavenly Father, drawing Marty to faith and to love, has captured the hearts and imaginations of over one million readers on Book One alone!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441202314
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/2003
  • Series: Love Comes Softly , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 30,714
  • File size: 877 KB

Meet the Author

Bestselling author Janette Oke (pronounced "oak") is celebrated across the world for her significant contribution to the Christian book industry. She is credited with launching the modern era of inspirational fiction with the publication of her first novel, Love Comes Softly, in 1979. Today, her novels have sold more than 30 million copies, and she is the recipient of the ECPA President's Award, the CBA Life Impact Award, the Gold Medallion, and the Christy Award. Janette and her husband, Edward, live in Alberta, Canada.
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Read an Excerpt

Love Comes Softly


By Janette Oke

Bethany House Publishers

Copyright © 2003 Janette Oke
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7642-2832-2


Chapter One

The Grim Reaper

The morning sun shone brightly on the canvas of the covered wagon, promising an unseasonably warm day for mid-October. Marty fought for wakefulness, coming slowly out of a troubled and fitful sleep. Why did she feel so heavy and ill at ease-she who usually woke with enthusiasm and readiness for each new day's adventure? Then it all came flooding back, and she fell in a heap on the quilt from which she had just emerged. Sobs shook her body, and she pressed the covering to her face to muffle the sound.

Clem is gone. The truth of it was nearly unthinkable. Less than two short years ago, strong, adventurous, boyish Clem had quickly and easily made her love him. Self-assured and confident, he had captured her heart and her hand. Fourteen months later, she was a married woman out west, beginning a new and challenging adventure with the man she loved-until yesterday.

Oh, Clem, she wept. Her whole world had fallen around her when the men came to tell her that Clem was dead. Killed outright. His horse had fallen. They'd had to destroy the horse. Did she want to come with them?

No, she'd stay.

Would she like the missus to come over?

No, she'd manage.

She wondered how she had even gotten the words past her lips.

They'd care for the body, one of them had told her. His missus was right good at that. The neighbors would arrange for the burying. Lucky the parson was paying his visit through the area. Was to have moved on today, but they were certain that he'd stay over. Sure she didn't want to come with them?

No, she'd be all right. Hated to leave her alone.

She needed to be alone.

They'd see her on the morrow. Not to worry. They'd care for everything.

Thank ya-

And they had gone, taking her Clem with them, wrapped in one of her few blankets and fastened on the back of a horse. The kindly neighbor should have been riding it, but he was now leading the animal slowly, careful of its burden.

And now it was the morrow and the sun was shining. Why was the sun shining? Didn't nature know that today should be as lifeless as she felt, with a cold wind blowing like the chill that gripped her heart?

The fact that she was way out west in the fall of the year with no way back home, no one around that she knew-and she was expecting Clem's baby besides-should have filled her with panic. But for the moment the only thing her mind could settle on and her heart grasp was the overwhelming pain of her great loss.

"Oh, Clem! Clem!" she cried aloud. "What am I gonna do without you?" She buried her face again in the quilt.

Clem had come out west with such wild excitement.

"We'll find everything we want there in thet new country. The land's there fer the takin'," he had exulted.

"What 'bout the wild animals-an' the Injuns?" she had stammered.

He had laughed at her silliness, picked her up in his strong arms, and whirled her around in the air.

"What 'bout a house? It'll be 'most winter when we git there," she worried.

"The neighbors will help us build one. I've heered all 'bout it. They'll help one another do whatever needs to be done out there."

And it was true. Those hardy frontiersmen scattered across the wilderness would leave their highly valued crops standing in the fields, if need be, while they gave of their time to put a roof over a needy if somewhat cocky and reckless newcomer, because they would know far better than he the fierceness of the winter winds.

"We'll make out jest fine. Don't ya worry yourself none, Marty," Clem had assured her. With some reluctance, Marty had begun preparations for the long trek by wagon train to follow her beloved husband's dream.

After many weeks of travel, they had come upon a farmhouse in an area of rolling hills and pastureland, and Clem had made inquiries. Over a friendly cup of coffee, the farmer had informed them that he owned the land down to the creek, but the land beyond that, reaching up into the hills, had not yet been claimed. With an effort, Clem had restrained himself from whooping on the spot. Marty could tell that the very thought of being so near his dream filled Clem with wild anticipation. Thanking their soon-to-be neighbor, they hurried on, traveling a bit too fast for the much-mended wagon. They were within sight of their destination when another wheel gave way, and this time it was beyond repair.

They had camped for the night, still on the neighbor's land, and Clem had piled rocks and timbers under the broken wagon in an effort to make it somewhat level. In the morning they had discovered more bad luck. One of the horses had deserted them during the night, and his broken rope still dangled from the tree. Clem had ridden out on the remaining horse to look for it. And then the accident, and now he wouldn't be coming back. There would be no land claimed in his name, nor a house built that would stand proud and strong to shelter his wife and baby.

Marty sobbed again, but then she heard a noise outside the wagon and peeped timidly through the canvas. Neighbors were there-four men with grim faces, silently and soberly digging beneath the largest spruce tree. As she realized what their digging meant, a fresh torment tore at her soul. Clem's grave. It was really true. This horrible nightmare was actually happening. Clem was gone. She was without him. He would be buried on borrowed land.

"Oh, Clem. What'll I do?"

She wept until she had no more tears. The digging continued. She could hear the scraping of the shovels, and each thrust seemed to stab deeper into her heart.

More sounds reached her, and she realized that other neighbors were arriving. She must take herself in hand. Clem would not want her hiding away inside the wagon.

She climbed from the quilt and tried to tidy her unruly hair. Quickly dressing in her dark blue cotton frock, which seemed to be the most suitable for the occasion, she snatched a towel and her comb and slipped out of the wagon and down to the spring to wash away her tears and straighten her tangled hair. This done, she squared her shoulders, lifted her chin, and went back to meet the somber little group gathered under the spruce.

* * *

There was a kindness, a caring, in all of them. She could feel it. It was not pity, but an understanding. This was the West. Things were hard out here. Most likely every person there had faced a similar time, but one didn't go under. There was no time or energy for pity here-not for self, not for one another. It took your whole being to accept the reality that death was part of life, that the sorrow was inevitable, but that you picked up and carried on.

The visiting pastor spoke the words of interment, committing Clem's body to the dust of the earth, his soul into the hands of God. He also spoke to the sorrowing, who in this case was one lone, small person, the widow of the deceased; for one could hardly count the baby that she was carrying as one of the mourners, even if it was Clem's.

Pastor Magnuson spoke words that were fitting for the occasion-words of comfort and words of encouragement. The neighbors listened in silent sympathy to the familiar Scriptures they had heard on similar occasions. When the brief ceremony was over, Marty, her head bowed, turned from the grave toward the wagon, and the four men with the shovels went back to the task of covering the stout wooden box they had brought with them. As Marty walked away, a woman stepped forward and placed her hand on the slim shoulder.

"I'm Wanda Marshall," she said, her voice low. "I'm sorry we don't have any more than the one room, but you'd be welcome to share it for a few days until you sort things out."

"Much obliged." Marty spoke in almost a whisper. "But I wouldn't wanta impose upon ya. 'Sides, I think I'll jest stay on here fer a while. I need me time to think."

"I understand," the woman answered with a small pat, and she moved away.

Marty continued toward the wagon and was stopped again, this time by an older woman's gentle hand.

"This ain't an easy time fer ya, I know. I buried my first husband many years ago, and I know how you're feelin'." She paused a minute and then went on. "I don't s'pose you've had ya time to plan." At the slight shake of Marty's head, she continued, "I can't offer ya a place to stay; we're full up at our place. But I can offer ya somethin' to eat, and iffen you'd like to move yer wagon to our yard, we'd be happy to help ya pack yer things, and my Ben, Ben Graham, will be more'n glad to help ya git to town whenever yer ready to go."

"Thank ya," Marty murmured, "but I think I'll stay on here fer a while."

How could she explain that she had no money to stay, not even for one night, and no hope of getting any? What kind of work could a young, untrained woman in her condition hope to get? What kind of a future was there for her, anyway?

Her feet somehow moved her on to the wagon and she lifted a heavy hand to the canvas flap. She just wanted to crawl away, out of sight, and let the world cave in upon her.

It was hot in there at midday, and the rush of torrid air sent her already dizzy head to spinning. She crawled back out and down on the grass on the shady side of the wagon, propping herself up against the broken wheel. Her senses seemed to be playing tricks on her. Round and round in her head swept the whirlwind of grief, making her wonder what truly was real and what imagined. She was mentally groping to make some sense of it all when a male voice suddenly made her jump with its closeness.

"Ma'am."

She lifted her head and looked up. A man stood before her, cap in hand, fingering it determinedly as he cleared his throat. She vaguely recognized him as one of the shovel bearers. His height and build evidenced strength, and there was an oldness about his eyes that belied his youthful features. Her eyes looked into his face, but her lips refused to respond.

He seemed to draw courage from somewhere deep inside himself and spoke again.

"Ma'am, I know thet this be untimely-ya jest havin' buried yer husband an' all. But I'm afraid the matter can't wait none fer a proper-like time an' place."

He cleared his throat again and glanced up from the hat in his hands.

"My name be Clark Davis," he hurried on, "an' it 'pears to me thet you an' me be in need of one another."

A sharp intake of breath from Marty made him pause, then raise a hand.

"Now, hold a minute," he told her, almost a command. "It jest be a matter of common sense. Ya lost yer man an' are here alone." He cast a glance at the broken wagon wheel, then crouched down to speak directly to her.

"I reckon ya got no money to go to yer folks, iffen ya have folks to go back to. An' even if thet could be, ain't no wagon train fer the East will go through here 'til next spring. Me, now, I got me a need, too."

He stopped there and his eyes dropped. It was a minute before he raised them and looked into her face. "I have a little 'un, not much more'n a mite-an' she be needin' a mama. Now, as I see it, if we marries, you an' me"-he looked away a moment, then faced her again-"we could solve both of those problems. I would've waited, but the preacher is only here fer today an' won't be back through agin 'til next April or May, so's it has to be today."

He must have recognized in her face the sheer horror Marty was feeling.

"I know. I know," he stammered. "It don't seem likely, but what else be there?"

What else indeed? raged through Marty's brain. I'd die first, that's all. I'd rather die than marry you-or any man. Get out. Go away.

But he didn't read any more of her rampaging thoughts and went on. "I've been strugglin' along, tryin' to be pa an' ma both fer Missie, an' not doin' much of a job of it, either, with tryin' to work the land an' all. I've got me a good piece of land an' a cabin thet's right comfortable like, even if it be small, an' I could offer ya all the things thet a woman be a needin' in exchange fer ya takin' on my Missie. I be sure thet ya could learn to love her. She be a right pert little thing." He paused. "But she do be needin' a woman's hand, my Missie. That's all I be askin' ya, ma'am. Jest to be Missie's mama. Nothin' more. You an' Missie can share the bedroom. I'll take me the lean-to. An' ..." He hesitated a bit. "I'll promise ya this, too. When the next wagon train goes through headin' east to where ya can catch yerself a stagecoach, iffen ya ain't happy here, I'll see to yer fare back home-on one condition-thet ya take my Missie along with ya." He paused to swallow, then said, "It jest don't be fair to the little mite not to have a mama."

He rose suddenly. "I'll leave ya to be a thinkin' on it, ma'am. We don't have much time."

He turned and strode away. The sag of his shoulders told her how much the words had cost him. Still, she thought angrily, what kind of a man could propose marriage-even this kind of a marriage-to a woman who had just turned from her husband's grave? She felt despair well up within her. I'd rather die, she told herself. I'd rather die. But what of Clem's baby? She didn't want death for their little one, neither for her sake nor for Clem's. Frustration and anger and grief whirled through her. What a situation to be in. No one, nothing, out in this Godforsaken country. Family and friends were out of reach, and she was completely alone. She knew he was right. She needed him, and she hated him for it.

"I hate this country! I hate it! I hate him, the cold, miserable man! I hate him! I hate him!" But even as she stormed against him, she knew she had no way around it.

She wiped her tears and got up from the shady grass. She wouldn't wait for him to come back in his lordly fashion for her decision, she thought stubbornly, and she went into the wagon and began to pack the few things she called hers.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke Copyright © 2003 by Janette Oke. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 128 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(95)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 128 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2012

    This is a great read. Not exactly like the movie, yet very enjo

    This is a great read. Not exactly like the movie, yet very enjoyable to read.
    Can anyone please tell me the name of the second book in the Love comes Softly
    series. thanks

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2011

    Great book and exciting glimpse into the frontier life of early settlers of the west.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book Love Comes Softly, and look forward to reading the rest of the series. Janette Oke makes you feel like you are going through all the trials that they are going through each day. I highly recommend it to every age to read this exciting book. I think this book would be good for book club readers.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    The following books...

    Here are a list of the books in order:
    1 Love Comes Softly
    2 Love's Enduring Promise
    3 Love's Long Journey
    4 Love's Abiding Joy
    5 Love's Unending Legacy
    6 Love's Unfolding Dream
    7 Love Takes Wing
    8 Love Finds A Home

    This is the Prarie Legacy series a continuation of the Love Comes Softly series.

    1 The Tender Years
    2 A Searching Heart
    3 A Quiet Strength
    4 Like Gold Refined

    I LOVE JANETTE OKE!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2011

    Love it

    One of the most beautiful love stories i have ever read. I have read this series so many times and it touches me every time.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    I have recommeded this book to others' who feel in love with the series.

    One of the best series I have read. One thing for sure you realize the difficulties that this generation went through just to survive. You learn how each individual learned to share, help, and willing to trust God to get not only themselves through each day, but also those of the family, neighbors or anyone in need. So much can be learned about their honesty and respect for the earth and animals. It is sad that their experience has not filtered down to today's generation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    BEST EVER!!!!!!

    I remember watching the movie every time i went to my grandmas house when i was little. When a lady i go to church with lended me the books i couldnt put it down. Even after i already new what was going to happen. From the movie to the books it really helps you feels for the charaters and opens your heart of what God can do in your life. This is a must read for everyone ;)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 22, 2012

    This was the first christian book I ever read over 25 years ago.

    This was the first christian book I ever read over 25 years ago....and I'm embarrassed to say now that I loved it so much, I went to the church were I found it and I actually stole the whole set from the church.....obviously I was a baby baby christian. But Janette Oke's books opened my world up to christian fiction...and closed the doors on all the junk I used to read. I know God forgives me for stealing these books.... Thank you Janette for inspiring me..... the movies will never do the books justice.......

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    I love this story and series!!!

    Best series ever! You'll love it!! 8D

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Lovely Story

    Great story. The writing is a bit simple...but I great story nonetheless.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Buy this book

    Not as good as little house on the praire but still 5 stars

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Oke truly understands the meaning of lov

    I am not a serious reader, but after reading this one I had to complete the set. And the next and the next after that.This story touches your emotions every time you read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Great Read

    Great book with engaging characters that leave you wanting more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2011

    Love comes Softly

    Amazing page turner! A wonderful christian romance! I highly reccomend it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    As much as I like the movie, I can't help but like the book too.

    Even though the book is a little different than the movie, having more details concerning the characters, events and the ending. Marty's husband Clem just died. While she's mourning, a man name Clark Davis asks her of something: they marry and Marty can be a mom for his daughter name Missie. At first Marty isn't sure. But with the upcoming winter season approaching she agrees. Slowly Marty gets used to her new life with her new husband and daughter. A quick but good read that was nice and liked how patient and understanding Clark was to Marty. The ending to the book and movie may be different but I like them both. Makes me want to see the movie again.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Love Comes Softly

    I would definitly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read. I saw the movie and loved it, so decided to read the book. I LOVE THIS SERIES! Favorites are Love Comes Softly and Love's Long Journey. Each Book gets better and better each time. It's so cool to see how the family's faith in god helps them keep moving forward. An awesome feel-good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2009

    One of the best books I have ever read!!

    Love Comes Softly (book 1 only) was an awesome book. Janette Oke portrayed the characters and setting perfectly. She gave Marty the correct emotions of a widow such as sorrow as well as young Missie the correct actions and dilect of a young toddler. Janette was so descriptive that I enjoyed and was interested in the simplest things such as Marty preparing for the day. I felt as if I was a part of the Davis family. This book had some slow spots but what book doesn't. This book also contains religious elements (Christianity). Janette gave Marty and Clark a western dialect which, at the beginning, was difficult to read but as you go, you get use to it. I really enjoyed this book and will recommend it to everyone one I know!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Best book ever!!!! Read seires!!!!

    Really good book. I love all the books!!!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    Book is horrid

    Book is horrid. Love the movie tho

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    H

    Love it read almost the whole series

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    Best book ever

    MY FAVORITE BOOK!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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