*If you are new here, WELCOME! For Love Comes Softly, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!
After reading When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke, I decided to revisit an old friend: Love Comes Softly. It’s another classic by Janette Oke. I read this book as a teenager and loved it. When Hallmark made a movie out of it, I was even happier. What can I say? I love a good, clean romance, especially a historical.
This book is the first in a series by Janette Oke, much like When Calls the Heart. The books have all been made into movies, which is a testament to how much readers love them.
If your book club hasn’t read Love Comes Softly, I recommend it as a reprieve from the heavier options that book clubs often read, especially if your book club is open to inspirational titles. If you love a sweet romance as much as I do, but you’ve already read Love Comes Softly, then you should also check out this post and this post. Both posts feature books you’re sure to love if you love small-town, feel-good romances.
For Love Comes Softly, I’ve created a recipe for coffee punch and book club questions to help facilitate your meeting. And, who doesn’t love coffee and ice cream? So if you are looking for food ideas and more for your book club, keep reading!
Here’s a brief summary of Love Comes Softly:
In the same day, Marty Claridge buries her beloved Clem and receives a marriage proposal from a complete stranger. All alone on the western frontier and pregnant, Marty has no choice but to accept Clark Davis’s offer to become a mama to his daughter Missie. Set against the hardship of prairie life in the 1800s, their “marriage of convenience” grows into a deeper understanding and friendship. Clark has agreed that Marty can travel back east with her baby and little Missie come spring if she still desires, but, as time wears on, Marty’s heart begins to warm to Clark and to the unexpected, but wonderful life on the prairie. Will this new life and the bond with Clark be enough to make her stay?
For the Love Comes Softly recipe:
If you’re searching for food suggestions for Love Comes Softly, I’ve got a winner. I was torn between a coffee recipe and pancakes–the two things Marty can make–but I decided on coffee. I really loved seeing Marty struggle in this real way.
As a newly wed, cooking is often an adventure to say the least. When she makes biscuits and fails miserably, I felt for her! Especially when she later catches the dog digging it up and gnawing on it like a bone. Thankfully, Ma Graham comes to the rescue with a little love and a lot of recipes!
If you are looking for food ideas for Love Comes Softly, you’ll love sharing this recipe with your book club!
- 4 tbsp instant coffee
- 1 ½ quarts hot water
- ½ tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 quarts vanilla ice cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups milk
- 8 oz chocolate syrup
For the punch:
- Heat the water to a boil.
- Turn off burner and add instant coffee and sugar. Stir into the water until dissolved. Let the mixture cool.
- When completely cool, add in the milk, vanilla extract, and chocolate syrup.
- Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours at minimum.
- For the ice cream, you can put the entire amount into a punch bowl and pour the punch over it, or you can scoop individual servings into each glass as I did in the pictures.
Love Comes Softly Book Club Questions:
*WARNING: May contain spoilers!
- Marty is thrown into a terrible situation at the beginning of the book. If you had been in her shoes, would you have accepted Clark’s offer? Did Marty’s acceptance cast her as a strong or a weak character to you? How do you think it made her feel about herself?
- No one seems to question Marty’s decision to marry Clark. In fact, other neighbors have similar stories. How does the perception of marriage portrayed in the book differ from marriage today? What are the pros and cons of seeing marriage from a more practical stance rather than a romantic one?
- Marty mentions very little about Clem, although she often mentions her grief. Did you want to know more about Clem and more about who Marty was before the beginning of the book, or did you think this added to the no-nonsense, hard-scrabble-prairie-life tone of the book?
- Marty tries to be best the housewife to Clark and mother to Missie. Every time she fails to fill Clark’s second cup of coffee or cook a good meal, she feels like a failure. She doesn’t want owe Clark anything in their agreement. Do you think this is true or do you think Marty is already experiencing feelings, without realizing them, and expressing them through these actions until her heart is ready?
- Clark is a very patient man, always dealing with Marty and any hardships with a generous and quiet spirit. Janette Oke most likely intended him to be a representation of Christ in the book. However, as a hero, did you think he was too perfect? Did you think the backstory of Ellen’s death helped to humanize him?
- When do you think Clark first began to have deeper feelings for Marty? When he brings her a large package of material for new clothes or gives her Ellen’s sewing machine or works to bring a doctor to town for the birth or sometime earlier? When do you think Marty’s feelings begin?
- After Clare’s birth, a string of neighbors come to visit. Who was your favorite neighbor and why?
- Laura’s death affects Marty deeply. Why do you think this is? Do you think Marty realizes how lucky she was to have Clark rescue her when she might have ended up with a man like Milt Conners?
- This is an inspirational novel. How do you feel the Christian themes added or detracted from the book? Do you think that Marty’s salvation experience changed the way she looked at Clark? Do you think her realization of the always-present love of God illuminated Clark’s quiet, but steady loyalty and love to her?
- The book ends immediately after Clark and Marty’s first kiss and embrace. Was the ending too abrupt for you or did you feel satisfied? What would you have liked to see added?
Have you read Love Comes Softly? What was your favorite part? What questions arose as you read?
Until next time, Happy Reading!
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Other items inspired or written by Janette Oke!
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I’m reading the second book now.
I can’t remember all the Characters in the Love Comes Softly books.
Can someone tell me about all the characters?