Teenage Daughters, Books, Movies and Love

When it comes to books and movies, my 16 year old daughter Charlotte is very hard to please. Sometimes when we are watching a family movie together, we’ll realise she is no longer in the room with us.

Later I ask, “You didn’t like that movie?”
Charlotte screws up her nose and shakes her head. Something is just not right about it as far as she is concerned. And she can’t make herself endure it to the end.
I remember when we watched the movie Home Alone. Charlotte disappeared very quickly that night. She just couldn’t stand the way the siblings and cousins treated each other in the opening scenes. She didn’t think it was funny at all. I have to say I agree with my daughter. Too much of what society thinks of as funny is really rather sad or even cruel. Funny isn’t always funny.
The other type of movie Charlotte deplores is romance, unless of course it’s of the Jane Austen or Disney kind. But if an over-the-top kissing scene appears on screen (or worse), you can be sure Charlotte will protest. She will refuse to watch. Not that she doesn’t like love. She does. But really? Do we have to watch such intimate behaviour on screen?
The other night the conversation turned to romance novels. The Love Comes Softly series was mentioned. Charlotte’s eyes lit up. She’d read the first one and it had passed her stringent standard. Yes, she liked the book immensely.
“Charlotte, have you read the others in the series?” asked Imogen.
“We haven’t got them.”
“Yes, we have! There’s a box full of them in the family room. They’ve been there nearly a week.”
“How come I didn’t hear about them?” demanded Charlotte.
“Weren’t you there when Mrs D lent them to us?” I asked. “She gave them to us last Sunday.”
I was talking to myself. Charlotte had left the room in search of the box.
For the past few days we’ve had a very contented teenager in our house. Every now and then Charlotte reappears from her bedroom to exchange one Love Comes Softly book for another. I guess she won’t be smiling so widely for much longer. Soon she’s going to run out of books to read.
I’ve heard Janette Oke has written other series. Perhaps I should take a look and see if we can afford to buy them. Good books are worth buying, don’t you think?
Do you know what I love?
I love daughters who are fussy about what they read and watch.
I love authors like Janette Oke who write about love without explicit and sometimes immoral details.
I love friends who are willing to share their books.
And I love LOVE. The right kind, of course.

What about you? What do you think about love, books and movies? Have you read any of Janette Oke’s books? And do you also have generous friends who love to share their treasures with you?

PS There is also a Love Comes Softly video series, available on Youtube. Apparently these are different from the books but still good in their own way. My daughters have been enjoying them too.

I added everyone’s book recommendations to a Christian Novels Pinterest board!
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    • Erin
    • August 26, 2014

    Huge Janette Oke fans here, have tried other Christian authors but none match her.

    1. Reply


      I remember someone mentioning Janette Oke a few years ago. At that time it was very expensive to buy her books because they had to come from the USA. But now? It's so easy to download her books from Amazon onto our Kindles! I hope you found a suitable ereader. Which one did you decide to buy?

    • Amy
    • August 26, 2014

    Oh wow! You just got a huge AMEN from me! I felt the exact same way the first time I ever watched Home Alone…..just made me cringe….especially the way the adults talked to/treated the kids. Anyway…..love Janette Oke…I also liked her Canadian West series. And another author that I really like is Beverly Lewis. She writes Amish fiction. I have read EVERYTHING she's written & really enjoy it. I know not everyone might get into the Amish part—–but it might be worth giving it a try. 😉 Another favorite author is Karen Kingsbury.

    1. Reply


      You cringed? Oh yes, that describes our reaction to Home Alone perfectly! The interactions between the kids, and their parents too, is really very sad. Not funny at all (in my opinion!)

      Thank you so much for your author recommendations. Beverly Lewis and Karen Kingsbury… I am noting them down. I think I'll have to do less writing and more reading because they are so many books I want to read!

  1. Reply

    Love Janette Oke! We have nearly all of the books she has written. Roses for Mama, A Woman Named Damaris are my favorites in the Women of the West Series. I don't like the ones written with T Davis Bunn nearly as well, though.

    1. Reply


      You always know about the good books! I didn't know Janette Oke co-authored some of her books until yesterday. I found one free on Amazon which she wrote with T Davis Bunn. I always wonder how two people can write a novel together. I don't think I could do that. I would probably have different ideas to the co-author and knowing me, I'd get frustrated if I couldn't make all the decisions! Anyway, I shall enjoy my free book. I'll be able to compare it with the ones she wrote by herself.

  2. Reply

    I Really Like the books by Mary Connealy…but your sense of humor may not be the same as mine.

    1. Reply


      Oooh! Another author for my list. Thank you! I often wonder if anyone understands my sense of humour. Maybe we have the same one!

    • Hwee
    • August 26, 2014

    Discretion is a good thing to have. Many things that are hugely popular aren't always wholesome or beneficial.

    1. Reply


      I am sometimes hesitant in expressing a negative opinion about something the majority of people like. But Charlotte comes right out and says what she thinks. Oh yes, I agree with your comment!

  3. Reply

    HooRAY for Charlotte and her good taste! And her good sense! The way people treat each other in Home Alone, and in so many other offerings, bothers me also. I have never read Janette Oke, but am now going to look into doing so.

    And I am another Karen Kingsbury fan. I've read my favorite of hers – "Unlocked" – twice. It's about an autistic boy (late teens) and how he is treated by his peers, and of how one girl stands up for him. I think the story in that is beautiful. It goes into his love of music, and his kind heart, and it involves a class play of "Beauty and the Beast." Magical!

    1. Reply


      I am so glad I am not alone in my dislike of 'Home Alone'. Obviously most people liked it because they made a few sequels.

      I have only read 2 Janette Oke books: 'Love Comes Softly' and 'When Calls the Heart' but I enjoyed both of them. I'm hoping to dip into the borrowed box of books before we have to return it.

      I haven't read any of Karen Kingsbury's books but reading a novel of hers twice, sounds like good recommendation to me! A class play of Beauty and the Beast? Oh, Charlotte would love it! The girls love that particular Disney movie even if Charlotte says the prince isn't 'right'. She preferred him as the Beast!

  4. Reply

    Good for Charlotte! Images and ideas are the very best thing to be picky about!

    I couldn't watch Home Alone either. Mean really bothers me, and mean that invites you to laugh along…no.

    Being able to walk out is great. It's the kind of picky that used to be called strength of character!

    Now I just have to look up all the wonderful books!

    1. Reply


      Mean is the perfect word to describe the behaviour in Home Alone. I really can't understand why people would laugh at it.

      Strength of character? Oh that is much more accurate than picky. I shall remember that!

      I'm going to have a wonderful time looking up all those books too. I suspect I might be tempted to buy a few! Money well spent, I imagine.

  5. Reply

    Hi Sue,

    It's good to hear that she's that picky, and is able to walk away from things that make her uncomfortable!

    I agree that a lot of what society can see as 'funny' is insulting, cruel, and wrong. I've noticed this on numerous occasions, the opening scenes to Home Alone being one of them.

    I also agree that unnecessary and excessive intimacy in movies is, well, completely unnecessary. It doesn't need to be there, at all. It's quite sad that they have to put it in, really.

    1. Reply


      Good to see you back! I hear you've had a really busy time recently. I shall have to hop over to your blog and read all about your adventures!

      When I was much younger I used to laugh at things I no longer think funny at all. I don't know why. Maybe we just go along with the crowd and accept their standards. I think we are fortunate being homeschoolers. It's easier to make a stand and form our own opinions. Not so much peer pressure, maybe.

      I have watched many movies which would have been excellent except for a couple of really unnecessary love scenes. Do you remember the opening scene to one of the Sense and Sensibility mini-series? We turned it off after the first couple of minutes. Later we were encouraged to skip over the beginning and it turned out to be a wonderful series. That opening scene was totally unnecessary.

      Lovely to chat with you!

  6. Reply

    Home Alone made me feel quite upset – it was cruel. Even the mother was cold and heartless.

    I hadn't heard of any of these authors, Sue, so I did a search on Amazon and found a few free ebooks. Now, I just have to find time for reading – I have a long list of to-read books and have just bought a whole heap of Bethlehem books to read aloud to the children.

    But, now, I know to come to Charlotte next time I'm looking for a new book to read!


    1. Reply


      I'm glad you agree about Home Alone!

      Oh yes, I found a couple of free ebooks too. I posted the links on my FB page. I'm glad you also found them. (That's assuming we found the same books!)

      I do ask Charlotte's opinion about books and movies. I know if they pass her test then they're okay. She seems to have an excellent in-built sensor for these things!

      It's lovely to see you on my blog. Welcome back!

  7. Reply

    My girls love the Love Come Softly series. Did you know Oke wrote another series as an off shoot of that one? I enjoyed all her books as a new Christian in my 20's. I think they give a young lady a real heart for the home and for her family.

    1. Reply


      I am not really familiar with Janette Oke's books as I've only read two of them. But I did enjoy those ones, and I'm eager to read more after everyone's high recommendations. I shall look out for the off-shoot series. 'A real heart for the home and for her family'? Oh that sounds excellent! Thank you so much for stopping by!

  8. Reply

    Charlotte is on the right track, it sounds as though she is mature in her discernment, which is an excellent quality for a young person. We tried Home Alone once. For about 20 minutes. It was awful. One of the things that bothers me so much about modern movies is that most of the characters are dysfunctional and immoral, as though that is what a normal person is. Blech.
    I haven't heard of Janette Oke, it sounds like her books are worth reading 🙂

    1. Reply


      Oh yes, dysfunctional and immoral. Sad how people accept that as 'normal'. I remember watching part of 'The Santa Clause' one Christmas. I turned it off because I didn't want my young children to think of divorce as 'normal'. I think it's okay for our children to know about these things because that's the way the world is, but I'd like them to be aware of how things should be too.

      It is always fascinating looking back to a time when everyone went to church and lived a life which included God. Recently, I posted a couple of things on my FB page about the video series 'Tudor Monastery Farm'. It's set in the early 500s before the Reformation, and it is so delightful to see how every aspect of people's lives in those days were intertwined with the church. So sad most people turned away from God.

    • Miu
    • August 29, 2014

    Oh, that sounds like a series I have to check out!

    1. Reply


      I am sure you will enjoy the books! Two of Janette Oke's books are still available free on Kindle. (I just checked!) Here's the link…


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