Janette Oke’s Seasons of the Heart Series: Once Upon a Summer


Janette Oke is one of the most widely read and well loved Christian authors of all time, she is the first Christian author whose books I read and loved dearly, and the only author whom I ever contacted by mail (as a preteen) and received a reply from.:) Reading Oke’s novels is like talking to an old and dear friend, they have a warm and inviting nature that has attracted eager readers of all ages. Her books will always hold many fond memories for me. They will make you laugh, cry, and then repeat both all over again. Janette Oke revolutionized Christian fiction in her era, and opened up a whole new world for starved, and eager readers. She paved the way for meaningful Christian romance novels, and is an inspiration to many Christian writers today. In the past, certain people have attempted to make one of her book series into a film series, however, they failed; turning her most loved series into a laughingstock. This is why we here at Box Office Revolution believe that its time someone (besides Hallmark, who has tried and failed) discovered some of her lesser-known novels, and brought them to life on the big screen. Seasons of the Heart is an engaging four-book series that tells the story of a young boy growing up in a non-traditional family, and the struggles and joys he experiences. The first book in the series, Once Upon a Summer, deals with subjects such as grief, loss, childhood experiences, salvation, God’s love, change, family dynamics, and discoveries. Once Upon A Summer is a rare book that is appropriate for all ages, it appeals to children and preteens, and is nostalgic for adults. The first chapter opens with the main character, Josh, explaining the mysteries of his unique family unit. Josh explains that his grandmother died, leaving Grandpa to care for his young daughter alone. Soon after, Josh’s parents died tragically, leaving his Grandpa with an infant grandson and a toddler to care for alone. Thankfully, Grandpa’s brother, Uncle Charlie, moved in to help him out. Josh also divulges that he is angry at God for letting his parents die, and plans to never forgive Him. However, no one knows this secret, as he is afraid to voice his bitterness and anger regarding his parent’s death. Josh takes solace in his Aunt Lou, who has become a mother/sister figure in his life. Yet, there is one problem, Grandpa and Uncle Charlie are set on finding a husband for Lou, as she has come of age. Well, Josh can’t let that happen, he won’t let God take anyone else away from him! So, he devises a plan to scare off potential suitors. Throughout the book Josh makes many mistakes, and learns lessons that he will carry with him forever. Will Josh ever share his secret? Will he discover the depth of God’s love for him? Will Grandpa and Uncle Charlie ever find the right man for Aunt Lou? To discover the answers to these questions, read the book!;) Seasons of the Heart would, in my opinion, be best portrayed in a miniseries. The four novels flow together well and would most likely generate a more positive reception when presented as a whole, rather than being divided into individual films.

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