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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. 4 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! 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

  2. 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.

  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

    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.

  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. 5 out of 5

    Leesa Sterner

    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

  7. 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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chrystal Hogan Hood

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

  9. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

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

  10. 5 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 5 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.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Codrey

    Enjoyable reading! I just love Janette Oke's writing. I would rate every book of hers that I have read with a 5.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    Very good!

  15. 5 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.

  16. 4 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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?

  19. 4 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Sarah works and struggles after losing her husband to support her daughter Rebecca and give her opportunities. She sends Rebecca to a fancy boarding school to become a lady while she slips farther and farther from being a "lady" as she runs freight and pays off debts. When mother and daughter reunite, Rebecca is embarrassed by who her mother has becomes and doesn't understand the sacrifice her mother has made for her.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Meadow Frisbie

    It was very sad, the saddest Janette Oke has written yet. A women takes over her late husbands freight buisness to pay for her daughters way through a fancy girls school. But her daughter us unawar how hard her mother works and constantly plauges her for more money for un-to-date gowns. I have to admit. I cryed a little. :)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    I read this book a lot in junior high and high school and it made me cry every time. I wanted to read it 10+ years later to see how my perspective had changed. It is a bit simplistic and a very easy read. I liked the general storyline of the book, but it was pretty predictable. Glad to see my reading tastes have grown a bit!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Larisha

    Story about a mother/daughter relationship. Mom, Sarah sacrifices her very self, her looks, home for the 'good' of her daughter after the sudden death of her husband. Daughter, Rebecca never fully learns from her mom about her dad nor fully understands her mom's sacrifices.. But close to the end of the book Rebecca, like the prodigal son learns about complete Forgiveness.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    The story was very plain. I think my 7 yr old could have written it better. I knew what was going to happen long before the end of the book. I have to wonder why all the characters were written like blundering idiots. If she'd left out all the stuttering and groping for words the characters did, then it would actually be a short story. She literally probably used 200 dashes.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Beth Erin

    I was very irritated with Sarah for a large portion of the book. She is stubborn, independent, and determined to be self-sufficient no matter what the cost. I did enjoy the little pioneer town and all the supportive people who live in it. Finally I was happy with the ending so all's well that ends well in this case.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    Probably the best of the Women Of The West series. At least it was far more interesting. I did think the girl was way too immature to even know if she was in love, but other than that, it was a good story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eliana

    A mother's love or was it ambition for a better life for her daughter. Also, a woman too headstrong to think she could have someone love her and help her. It is sad what a person will do to themselves because of too much pride.

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