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Too Long a Stranger

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The sudden death of her husband had left Sarah Perry and her baby Rebecca alone in their small frontier town. But Sarah resolves for Rebecca's sake to put her life back together and go on. And to everyone's surprise, Sarah finds a way. But the choices forced upon her by life on the frontier are very hard. The most difficult decision comes when Sarah determines that the bes The sudden death of her husband had left Sarah Perry and her baby Rebecca alone in their small frontier town. But Sarah resolves for Rebecca's sake to put her life back together and go on. And to everyone's surprise, Sarah finds a way. But the choices forced upon her by life on the frontier are very hard. The most difficult decision comes when Sarah determines that the best thing for her little daughter's future is to send her away to boarding school.


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The sudden death of her husband had left Sarah Perry and her baby Rebecca alone in their small frontier town. But Sarah resolves for Rebecca's sake to put her life back together and go on. And to everyone's surprise, Sarah finds a way. But the choices forced upon her by life on the frontier are very hard. The most difficult decision comes when Sarah determines that the bes The sudden death of her husband had left Sarah Perry and her baby Rebecca alone in their small frontier town. But Sarah resolves for Rebecca's sake to put her life back together and go on. And to everyone's surprise, Sarah finds a way. But the choices forced upon her by life on the frontier are very hard. The most difficult decision comes when Sarah determines that the best thing for her little daughter's future is to send her away to boarding school.

30 review for Too Long a Stranger

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Chapel

    This is book nine of the woman of the West series by Janette Oke. At first I wasn't too sure that I liked this book. It seemed that Sarah Perry made a lot of mistakes when it came to her young daughter. True Sarah was left with a lot on her plate when her husband died suddenly and left her alone to raise their baby daughter. Sarah was very independent and proud and refused to except help from her friends after her husband died so suddenly. She didn't know what she could do to make a living for h This is book nine of the woman of the West series by Janette Oke. At first I wasn't too sure that I liked this book. It seemed that Sarah Perry made a lot of mistakes when it came to her young daughter. True Sarah was left with a lot on her plate when her husband died suddenly and left her alone to raise their baby daughter. Sarah was very independent and proud and refused to except help from her friends after her husband died so suddenly. She didn't know what she could do to make a living for herself and her daughter. She decided to carry on her husband's business carrying freight from the railroad station in another town to the town where she lived. Sarah was a dainty small woman but she was determined that she would do this mens job even though it would be hard for her. After time she adapted to the heavy lifting and being forced to be out driving a team and wagon in any kind of weather. Money was always scarce and many sacrifices were made. Wanting her daughter to be raised as a lady she saved and done without in order to send Rebecca away to a boarding school far from home . So at age six the child was sent off to the girls school where she stayed till she graduated. Sarah could not afford to bring Rebecca home for the summer months. It was all she could do to pay the school's fees. After graduation Rebecca returned home but had trouble adapting to life in the West. She was used to better and didn't much care for the life her mother had to offer her. Rebecca was ashamed of her Mother because she ran a Freight wagon. She dressed terrible and didn't have any servants working in her home. The girl didn't care for this kind of life and wanted to leave and go back to living with her friends in the city. One would say that Rebecca was selfish but then I felt Sarah made a huge mistake sending the girl away to get an education . Why couldn't Rebecca have attended school in the town where Sarah lived. Sarah wanted her daughter to be raised to be a lady so one should not be surprised when after graduating Rebecca returned home being uppity and finding fault with the way things were at home. This could have been so different if only Sarah had kept the girl at home with her all those years. Rebecca couldn't even remember her Mother after having left her at such a young age and not seeing her again till after graduation. I did enjoy the story but was disappointed in Sarah for the decision she made concerning her daughter. I wasn't overly fond of the rushed ending. I have always loved Janette Okes writing but even though I liked this story it fell a little short in my opinion and I felt it was quite sad at times. Readers of Historical Fiction will enjoy this book. This would be great for a family book. I borrowed a copy of this book from the Hoopla library. A review was not requested. All opinions expressed here are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    R.A.

    This book has always been one of my favourites, even if it's rather bittersweet! But more about that later! The Characters: Sarah - quite an independent woman, but one can't help but feel sorry for her! She worked so hard for her daughter! <3 I wish she had asked for Boyd's help more often though! Boyd - *squeals* I love him! He was so thoughtful and kind to poor Sarah! He's so sweet to Rebecca as well!! Rebecca - I loved her more as a child than a grown up, but that's understandable! ;) Her and her This book has always been one of my favourites, even if it's rather bittersweet! But more about that later! The Characters: Sarah - quite an independent woman, but one can't help but feel sorry for her! She worked so hard for her daughter! <3 I wish she had asked for Boyd's help more often though! Boyd - *squeals* I love him! He was so thoughtful and kind to poor Sarah! He's so sweet to Rebecca as well!! Rebecca - I loved her more as a child than a grown up, but that's understandable! ;) Her and her proper ways got on my nerves, but she couldn't really help it! I'm so glad she understands later on! (I won't mention the couple times she was trying to get a guys attention! :D) Mrs. Galvan - aww! She was so sweet! Seth - :) He was amazing! His spiritual life was incredible! He was such a help to those who really needed it! <3 Can I also mention that the men in this book worked so hard? It was so amazing! The Story-line: It wasn't boring, that's for sure! The main lady worked as a freight hauler to get enough money to care for her daughter! It was so touching! The story-line also had the salvation message throughout which was wonderful! And in the end, the prodigal son story was definitely an aspect! Content: Every once in a while, girls would mention guys noticing them or their other friends. One "romantic" walk. A young man kisses a girl's hand. An unmarried man and lady hug, but it wasn't for love - rather for comfort. Nothing inappropriate. All-in-all: This book is amazing, folks! If you haven't read it, I'd advise you do! I can't exactly spill out the major bittersweet part because it is rather a spoiler! You'd have to read it to find out! :) I've lost count on how many time I've read this beauty! Also, I shouldn't have been reading this since I was already reading a couple other books. But since this one was in book-form and the others aren't, it was rather easy to pick up, sit on my bed, and read it! :D <3 Five Stars! <3

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This one was better than some of the other Women of the West books but it still had some problems. The ending felt very rushed and neither Sarah nor Rebecca were sympathetic characters. I can't imagine shipping my child across the country to be without me for years. I wanted to admire Sarah for her strength and determination to be independent and take care of herself and her child by working a man's job. But instead she came off rather cold and pathetic and too indulgent of her child. When she r This one was better than some of the other Women of the West books but it still had some problems. The ending felt very rushed and neither Sarah nor Rebecca were sympathetic characters. I can't imagine shipping my child across the country to be without me for years. I wanted to admire Sarah for her strength and determination to be independent and take care of herself and her child by working a man's job. But instead she came off rather cold and pathetic and too indulgent of her child. When she returned home, Rebecca should have still been young enough to need parenting and instead Sarah apologized for giving her the rebuke she needed and deserved. And then she was just going to let her leave after only being home for a few months and not only not try to convince her to stay but to take out a loan to pay for her ticket. What utter nonsense and terrible parenting. I also wanted to see Sarah warm up to one of the two men who cared for her and have some sort of romance with them, but nothing. Rebecca's romance was just glossed over at the end of the book and Seth came off as a bit of a know-it-all goody-goody. I did enjoy the struggles, hardships, and sense of community, especially in the first part of the book before Rebecca gets shipped off to school. It was worth reading, I just couldn't put myself into the story or its characters' shoes.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jomariem

    I usually enjoy most of Jeanette Oke's books, but I was disappointed in this one. At first, the storyline sounds great. An independent widowed woman decides to make some major sacrifices so that her daughter can have a good education, but the ending made me wish that she had just kept her daughter home for all those years. Sarah came across as WAY too independent for me, and then she sent her daughter off to a fancy school where she learned how to become accustomed to ways of wealthy people, and I usually enjoy most of Jeanette Oke's books, but I was disappointed in this one. At first, the storyline sounds great. An independent widowed woman decides to make some major sacrifices so that her daughter can have a good education, but the ending made me wish that she had just kept her daughter home for all those years. Sarah came across as WAY too independent for me, and then she sent her daughter off to a fancy school where she learned how to become accustomed to ways of wealthy people, and then Sarah was disappointed because her daughter wanted to return to the people she had grown up with instead of staying in a sleepy western town. True, Rebecca was a brat at times and I'm not excusing her behavior, but I feel like that was partially Sarah's felt because she set her daughter up to want the finer things in life, and because of the long separation, there was no real mother/daughter bonding. She could have easily kept her daughter with her and Rebecca would have still turned out fine, especially since they seemed to be living in a nice town and they weren't exactly in dire financial straits at the time Rebecca went away. I have a hard time being sympathetic to either character in this story, really. Even the ending didn't really come across as satisfying for me, and seemed a bit rushed and unrealistic. IMO, this is not one of Jeanette Oke's best books. For a better read, pick up the Love Comes Softly series, Roses For Mama, or Heart Of The Wilderness.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adele

    So far, I am not a fan of this series. It was hard to believe that a cultured woman could haul freight and work as hard as a man especially in the days before the feminist movement. Sarah was too stubborn and independent. As a mother, I totally understand wanting to take care of my child, but she had two very nice men who were willing to help. She sent her daughter away to be educated and cultured and was basically raised by another family. She turned out to be spoiled and selfish and her change So far, I am not a fan of this series. It was hard to believe that a cultured woman could haul freight and work as hard as a man especially in the days before the feminist movement. Sarah was too stubborn and independent. As a mother, I totally understand wanting to take care of my child, but she had two very nice men who were willing to help. She sent her daughter away to be educated and cultured and was basically raised by another family. She turned out to be spoiled and selfish and her change was also not believable.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shana

    A Difficult Read The whole book I was hoping for happiness for the two women. They never made choices to make their life better or happy until at the last page. I usually love this author, but this book was my least favorite.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leesa

    I enjoyed other books by Janette Oke but this one had me irritated. Sarah was too proud and Rebecca was selfish and entitled. It was annoying! I'm glad it turned out but it was hard to relate to the characters because of how annoying they were I enjoyed other books by Janette Oke but this one had me irritated. Sarah was too proud and Rebecca was selfish and entitled. It was annoying! I'm glad it turned out but it was hard to relate to the characters because of how annoying they were

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chrystal Hogan

    this book was beautifully written. It has made me appreciate my parents even more.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    The story is very good, inspiring, but calls for a sequel. I don't know if there was one. The story is very good, inspiring, but calls for a sequel. I don't know if there was one.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Read as a teenager, and then again in college! My Mom has passed these down to me, and I am so thankful!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mouna Hezbri

    A lonesome widow struggle to survive the cruelty of the world by sacrificing her feminine nature and needs to provide for her only child Becky. However, her ingratitude to the Galvans, who spare no effort to see to the woman needs, fire back at the end. As instead of rising an independent and dainty little lady, Sarah, creates ungrateful little lady who disdained and looked down at her mother. However, thanks to Boyd and Seth that things turn right, eventually.

  12. 4 out of 5

    GJ S

    Clean historical christian novel I loved the story and the characters were easy to relate to. I loved learning about the job opportunities of women in that time period. I really enjoyed the parts where the Lord was central in the lives. I recommend the book and the author

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    A story that is probably repeated too often, but these stories always remind me that I need to rely on my Savior and that the blessings I enjoy are because of His grace.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amulya N Grace

    Thoroughly enjoyed the book.Really loved how the story line panned out . Undoubtedly,one of the best books of Janette Oke.Wish there's a sequel to this. Thoroughly enjoyed the book.Really loved how the story line panned out . Undoubtedly,one of the best books of Janette Oke.Wish there's a sequel to this.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Barb Nifong

    I love books by this author. This one has so many good biblical lessons, that it is a exceptionally good one. A lot of characters, but also nicely developed plot.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ann Peachman Stewart

    When Sarah’s husband does, she feels alone in her frontier town, wondering how she can support herself and her baby girl. She decides to do the unthinkable, and take over her husband’s freight hauling business. The work is physically taxing and she struggles to survive. She sends her little girl to a girls school to learn the womanly skills she had to give up, but what will happen when her daughter grows up and comes home?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Allan67

    Another book that I read to Diana. We can't do much anymore after her stroke, so I read to her to spend time together. Diana has always loved to have someone to read to her - and I like to do just that. An interesting story of a widowed mother who pretty well sacrifices her life to provide an education for her only daughter at a boarding school "back east". Once the education is complete, the educated, spoiled daughter returns home to find what her home life really would have been if not for her Another book that I read to Diana. We can't do much anymore after her stroke, so I read to her to spend time together. Diana has always loved to have someone to read to her - and I like to do just that. An interesting story of a widowed mother who pretty well sacrifices her life to provide an education for her only daughter at a boarding school "back east". Once the education is complete, the educated, spoiled daughter returns home to find what her home life really would have been if not for her mother's sacrifices. We almost expected daughter's reaction. The ending was not a surprise as well since we knew that it would something as it did.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    The author didn't follow through on the main character's decision making process. The character made some really stupid choices and never really had to answer for them. It made this book annoying to read. The author didn't follow through on the main character's decision making process. The character made some really stupid choices and never really had to answer for them. It made this book annoying to read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I’m glad that Rebeca came to her senses by the end of this. She became kind of a snob once she finished school. I was surprised that there wasn’t really a romance in this. Outside of Rebecas parents at least.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nan Dixon

    Excellent Read I really liked the rich content of each character. The suspense surrounding Sarah and her choice kept me interested until the end of the story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    Very good!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    3.5 Quick read Ok story

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ginny Reed

    I did enjoy reading this book but found it a little hard to understand how this mother could send her 6-year old away to boarding school and not see her again until she was a grown woman! I did enjoy the characters in this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Becca Weston

    When her husband dies, Sarah Perry is left with no way to support herself and her daughter, Rebecca. Reluctantly, she takes over operation of her husband's freight-hauling business, managing to save enough money to send Rebecca east to a boarding school- to an easier life and a future Sarah could not provide. With the boarding-school fees consuming Sarah's savings, there is no money left for trips home. Over the years, the chasm between mother and daughter becomes much more than geographical dis When her husband dies, Sarah Perry is left with no way to support herself and her daughter, Rebecca. Reluctantly, she takes over operation of her husband's freight-hauling business, managing to save enough money to send Rebecca east to a boarding school- to an easier life and a future Sarah could not provide. With the boarding-school fees consuming Sarah's savings, there is no money left for trips home. Over the years, the chasm between mother and daughter becomes much more than geographical distance, and when Rebecca finally returns home, it seems that she and her mother are from different worlds. what hope is there of breaking down the enormous barriers between them. This was an emotional story of a woman trying to survive in a world where women had almost no options. As with most of her other books, Ms. Oke didn't clearly mark the passage of time, and years passed suddenly, surprising you with the fact that Rebecca is now ten instead of six, and then suddenly graduating. However, the story was well developed, interesting, and attention-grabbing. I enjoyed it a lot, because it wasn't just a love story, (in fact, that had little to do with the story-line at all!). It was about relationships, and real life. (I don't mean that love isn't real life, it just isn't all there is, which is the way it is portrayed in a lot of books.) I would recommend this book to those who enjoy stories of the West, and are in search of a sweet story about a mother's love and sacrifice.

  25. 4 out of 5

    A Hoppy Reader

    1.5 stars Daughter goes away to school, returns years later and has to get reacquainted with family. Everything goes as you would expect it to.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I love books with a very strong woman as protagonist and in this one Sarah Perry is definitely a strong woman. After the sudden death of her husband, Sarah is left alone to figure out how to afford to care for her baby, Rebecca. She decides to take over her husband's business hauling freight. She sacrifices nearly everything she has, except perhaps her own self-respect, to be able to afford to send Rebecca to a school out east. When her education is finally finished, Sarah buys a ticket for Rebe I love books with a very strong woman as protagonist and in this one Sarah Perry is definitely a strong woman. After the sudden death of her husband, Sarah is left alone to figure out how to afford to care for her baby, Rebecca. She decides to take over her husband's business hauling freight. She sacrifices nearly everything she has, except perhaps her own self-respect, to be able to afford to send Rebecca to a school out east. When her education is finally finished, Sarah buys a ticket for Rebecca to return home. But now that she has been accustomed to having the finer things in life, including servants, will she fit in to their frontier life of hard work? Sarah says, "It's the person-they are-we are responsible-we are each responsible-for how we turn out-what we do with our life-not our circumstances." This is a good reminder for all of us. So will Rebecca ever be able to understand that her mom has become who she has so that she could give Rebecca the best of everything? or has Rebecca simply been too long a stranger to return to frontier life?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nadine Keels

    Thoughts on the entire series. Overall, Women of the West is my favorite series (that I’ve read so far) by Oke, where I really reveled in what the author had to bring in all of her sweet, warm, and simplistic glory. However, the books aren’t only warm fuzzies, as Oke does deal with some tough, and even some potentially controversial, issues, giving the reader some points to chew on but doing it in her warm style. I’ve read most of the books in the series more than once (maybe even three times, wit Thoughts on the entire series. Overall, Women of the West is my favorite series (that I’ve read so far) by Oke, where I really reveled in what the author had to bring in all of her sweet, warm, and simplistic glory. However, the books aren’t only warm fuzzies, as Oke does deal with some tough, and even some potentially controversial, issues, giving the reader some points to chew on but doing it in her warm style. I’ve read most of the books in the series more than once (maybe even three times, with The Measure of a Heart), and while not each of them are individual favorites of mine, the series as a whole took me places I’m so grateful to have gone.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bobbie

    This book was a good read. It hit close to home as my two older girls live with their dad and I didn't see them every day for the past 9 years and that was super super hard for me. I can't imagine sending my child away at the age of 5 and having letters be the only contact until she was 18 and graduated school. It would have killed me. Not seeing my daughters every day did just about kill me, but that's what happens sometimes in a divorce and there wasn't anything I could do about it. Great read. This book was a good read. It hit close to home as my two older girls live with their dad and I didn't see them every day for the past 9 years and that was super super hard for me. I can't imagine sending my child away at the age of 5 and having letters be the only contact until she was 18 and graduated school. It would have killed me. Not seeing my daughters every day did just about kill me, but that's what happens sometimes in a divorce and there wasn't anything I could do about it. Great read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Fred Ann

    A devoted mother dedicates her life to supporting her daughter. The mother changes from a beautiful , well groomed lady to a hard working, pants wearing workhorse to raise money to keep her daughter in a private school in the east so that her daughter can learn to be a lady. The young lady returns home to find her dust laden mother wearing pants, having calloused , dirty hands work worm with broken and dirty fingernails. The daughter has forgotten her previous life with her mother.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    I have always enjoyed the Janette Oke books so decided to try this one. Western, Christian, Romance all in one book! Sarah is a young widow with a little girl, Rebecca, and a debt to pay off. She decides to continue her husband's freight hauling business to provide for her family. It is a hard life, but she wants the best for her daughter. Many "bumps in the road" later, Sarah finds she needs to let God work with her! I have always enjoyed the Janette Oke books so decided to try this one. Western, Christian, Romance all in one book! Sarah is a young widow with a little girl, Rebecca, and a debt to pay off. She decides to continue her husband's freight hauling business to provide for her family. It is a hard life, but she wants the best for her daughter. Many "bumps in the road" later, Sarah finds she needs to let God work with her!

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