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Once upon a Summer (Seasons of the Heart, #1)
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Once upon a Summer (Seasons of the Heart #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,717 Ratings  ·  243 Reviews
An orphaned boy finds his security in God after his aunt, who has raised him, marries and moves away. Seasons of the Heart book 1.
Paperback, 203 pages
Published July 1st 1981 by Bethany House Publishers (first published 1981)
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Nadine Keels
Mar 25, 2015 Nadine Keels rated it it was amazing
I don't read book blurbs when I don't have to, and I had no intention of looking at any blurb or other beforehand to know what this book was about. Janette Oke's name and the fact that I've known of this novel's existence for years was enough.

I was in for three noteworthy surprises from the beginning: first, this story is told in the first person, which isn't common for Oke's novels; second, the protagonist is an adolescent boy, Joshua, which isn't common for Oke's novels; and third, Josh's pers
Sara Steger
Sep 23, 2015 Sara Steger rated it it was ok
I do not want to say anything against this book. It was sweet, it was simple, it was boring. It was far more suited to a very young and unsophisticated reader. I have a friend who has insisted that I must read Janette Oke, so I have now fulfilled that demand. I can say with conviction that she writes for a reader who is not me.

Interestingly enough, I have seen a few movies made from her earlier novels and they were quite respectable, with interesting characters. Character development is her str
Nov 23, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a sweet book. I loved the fact that it was written from the perspective of a 12 year old boy. It was a nice change. You see the world through his eyes and it kind of took me back to the way I viewed the world at 12, even though this book takes place in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Joshua is a twelve-year old boy who lives with his 18 year-old aunt, his grandfather and his great-uncle and later, his great-grandfather. Joshua loves his little family and when he discovers that his gran ...more
Feb 23, 2010 H rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
This was a really fun, really tender book. I laughed out loud several times while listening. Josh has a really comfortable head to live in as he tells his story. He really makes you understand what he's feeling. I liked how this book brought God into it, too--and how it wasn't a bam! I believe sort of thing. How Josh really had to struggle with his feelings and belief and come to know God for himself. And I liked how it didn't feel preachy at all, or at least not to me. It was more of a personal ...more
Jan 23, 2009 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Janette Oke is a wonderful writter. If you loved Little House on the Prarie and that's your kind of book, you will love all of Janette Oke's books! They are full of heartwarming stories and good values.
Joanie Bruce
Apr 18, 2014 Joanie Bruce rated it it was amazing
Janette Oke’s books always make me cry, laugh, and get very emotional. This one was no different. It’s a cute story about a twelve year old boy, Josh, being raised by an unusual assortment of relatives: his grandfather, his Uncle, his Great-Grandfather and Aunt Lou (who is only eighteen—not much older than himself.) When the men in the family scheme to find a husband for Aunt Lou, Josh is scared it will break up the only family he’s ever known, and he fights it in every way possible. He blames G ...more
The Book Man
May 16, 2014 The Book Man rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"You didn't have to be a ma and a pa and four kids to be a family. All you need was people living together and loving and helping on another. That's what made a family- blood-ties and love-bonds.
I was right proud to be a member of this family."

"Boys weren't supposed to cry-but I cried. I cried until my eyes ran dry, and then I jest laid and groaned."

"I don't understand all about God, but there's one thing that I'm as sure of as the fact that I live and breath. He loves us. He loves us completely
Sarah's Reviews
Mar 03, 2014 Sarah's Reviews rated it liked it
Review written for and posted on Sarah's Reviews

Orphaned as a baby, Josh blames God for his parents' deaths and fears loosing anyone else. So when Aunt Lou comes of age to marry, Josh is determined to do everything in his power to keep her from leaving. First order of business: scarring off the suitors.

Set on a farm back when telephones were the new thing, Once Upon a Summer is a heartwarming story that deals with anger, sorrow, and God's love. Slow paced but not dull, this book is a light read
Jan 12, 2015 GothCupcake rated it really liked it
This was my first book I had read by Janette Oke, and must say that I am sold! I found that it was a refreshing tale featuring God, the hazards, and rewards of honest, hard work mixed with love. I did enjoy this book, but was a little irked by the cutting of the words for old country-like language (ex: gittin'). Though it made the dialogue sound more realistic at times I felt like it was a little off-putting, especially because it did not limit itself to only the dialogue. That was my only small ...more
May 03, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it
I was delighted to find this free for my Kindle, as I remembered enjoying it many years ago when I first read it. The story is told by the young teenage Josh who was orphaned at a young age, and lives on a farm with his grandfather, great-uncle, and Aunt Lou. Lou is only a few years older than he is, but runs the kitchen and household effectively, while Josh combines a zest for life with a great deal of hard work, both at school and on the farm where he has a lot of daily chores.

The arrival of
May 24, 2015 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was truly a delightful story told from the eyes of a 12 year old boy, Josh, who lost his parents as a baby but who was loved by a number of interesting and caring relatives.

As Josh tells of the many happenings on a farm back in the days when neighbours all worked together to help with harvesting the crops, it brought back memories of my days as a child living on the farm in a large family and a small community where farm life and church life was our main existence.

The only section of this
Dora Wagner
I really enjoyed Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly series. I decided to try out some of her other books. As such, I did a search of her name and stumbled upon The Seasons of the Heart series.

Her stories are very down to earth and have a meaning. Here, her main character is a 12 year old orphan named Josh. He lives with his grandfather, great-grandfather, great uncle and an aunt that is 5 years his senior. His grandfather and great uncle decide it is time for Aunty Lou to marry. Josh has to fight h
Apr 15, 2015 Hannah rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, historical
After reading so much ridiculous western romance centered on spoiled little city girls who couldn't possibly be construed as belonging to the American Western culture, it was amazing to read some more Janette Oke and find a sympathetic, authentic portrait of life among rural American Christians at the turn of the century. You can tell this book was written in the 80s---it feels like a less comical extra episode of the later seasons of the Little House on The Prairie tv show. Or like a prequel to ...more
Sarah Jamison
I think that there are two ways you could go with this. You could be touched and pleasant and say it's a sweet story about a little boy and the family he loves across a very important summer. Or you could be over it and say it's a treacly story about an idealized past written in such overweening dialect it's barely readable. I'll come down in between.

The story itself is sweet-- Joshua is young, maybe 10 and concerned with the things of a 10 year old in what seems to be the late 19th or early 20t
Rosa Cline
3 1/2 star

This was a little different than what I was used to with other writings of Ms Oke; so am wondering if it's not some of her first work? But either way, it wasn't bad but wasn't really good either. Am I regretting the time I spend on it, no. I did enjoy listening to it. But at times it was a bit boring but other times it was nice. The relationships between the 'not normal' family unit that was the main characters. Was nice to be involved with a non traditional family like they were.

Dianne Sidebottom
Jul 15, 2014 Dianne Sidebottom rated it it was amazing
Daniel a school boy looks at how he perceives life at this time. He lives with 3 adult men n an 17yr old aunt who turns 18.
He is angry with God because he feels robbed of memories until Aunt Lou told him of her memories so he rethinks to bring up moments he can commit to memory. He switches off at church because he has heard the sermon before. A puppy was lost to him after one day but Gramps soon gets him another. Grandpa n Uncle Charlie try their hand at matchmaking n interfere when Lou finds h
Molly Cline
This was a little different than what I was used to with other writings of Ms Oke; so am wondering if it's not some of her first work? But either way, it wasn't bad but wasn't really good either. Am I regretting the time I spend on it, no. I did enjoy listening to it. But at times it was a bit boring but other times it was nice. The relationships between the 'not normal' family unit that was the main characters. Was nice to be involved with a non traditional family like they were.

And yes, I wou
Cass Wessel
Oct 24, 2015 Cass Wessel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women and Young Adults
Another Gentle Janette Oke Story

A five star rating is the only one for a Janette Oke tale. Her pastoral settings, authentic characters, and flawless moral compass speak volumes of encouragement to the Christian reader. This reader always feels bathed by grace at the end. Yes, the characters experience challenges, but nothing truly despicable . . . at least not in this story they don't. So if you've just finished a hair raising nail biting thriller and long for a whisper soft relaxing read, Once
Apr 06, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
This was a quick read and probably more appropriate for a younger reader - a great choice for a young boy of say fifth or sixth grade, I would say.
Josh is being raised by his grandfather, great uncle, and Auntie Lou when life begins to change .... His great grandfather moves in with the family and then to make matters MUCH WORSE Grandpa begins looking for a husband formAuntie Lou ! This book is true to Oke's traditional form and is full of family values and God's praise making it totally suitabl
May 13, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it
Sweet. Lovely Christian story.
Nov 03, 2015 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Summary from Amazon

Josh Jones realizes his family isn't typical, but it's the only life he's ever known. Aunt Lou, Gramps, Uncle Charlie, Grandpa--they all have shaped the young man he has become. But as he grows into manhood, Josh begins to face important questions about life, love, and faith.

My Review

I enjoyed this historical fiction book. The story is told from the point of view of Josh, who is a young man that lives on a farm. Josh was a very likable boy and I fell in love with him and
Valerie (Val's Vicinity)
Apr 07, 2012 Valerie (Val's Vicinity) rated it really liked it
This is a cute and enjoyable read. Written from the perspective of 12 year old Josh, "Once Upon A Summer" covers the events that take place in his family during one summer and autumn.

Josh's parents died when he was a baby, but he has his Grandpa, great-uncle Charlie, and Aunt Louisa to take care of him. Although he sometimes laments the fact that he has no memories of his parents, Josh is very happy with his family and doesn't want anything to change. So when Josh's Great-Grandfather comes to li
This book is significantly different from what I usually read, since it focuses on and is narrated by a young boy. I stumbled across this book when I was trying to find a book to listen to during a flight. I found the last of the series and ended up checking out this ebook as well, which worked out well since I had problems playing the audio version of the other book.
I enjoyed the chastity of its content, the hint of romance (for the narrator's aunt), and the Christian themes.
Mar 09, 2014 Meghan rated it liked it
I am not quite sure how I felt about it. It was very different than all the other Oke books I've read. It was in first person, which took a while to get used to after reading so many third person books for a while. The narrator was a typical twelve year old boy, so I couldn't really connect with him even though he felt authentic. The religious aspect was not as strong as all her other books, which was admittedly a nice change. However some parts that were religious felt out of place. The plot en ...more
Oct 09, 2015 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Secret thoughts

I enjoyed this book ,how often we have thought,life was hard and unfair,losing a loved ones it grips you and the enemy is so aware of this . You must tell others of your sorrow,and remember to keep your mind on good things ,for Christ knows our pain ,and he went to the cross and bore our sorrows, so we could be healed ! Christ paid the price for your freedom from allowing the enemy to haunt our thoughts.....
Jun 16, 2015 Abigail rated it it was amazing
A cute story from the point of view of a 12 year old boy who is trying to keep his grandfather and great uncle from marrying off his aunt. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I've read several other of Oke's works and while the stories were interesting, I was never a huge fan of her writing style. I wouldn't have even known about this one if my mom hadn't recommended it to me and it probably wouldn't have gotten read for an extremely long time if someone in one of my groups hadn't pick ...more
Opeyemi Otolorin
Patient Read, Great message of Hope

Same storyline as seen in other books I have read. However, telling a story front he point of view of a twelve year old boy did help liven things up.

You need to be patient while reading the book, because the fun doesn't just jump out right at ya.

I enjoyed the lesson on pain, hope, healing and trusting God.
Howard Katzoff
Sep 04, 2014 Howard Katzoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You must read this book!!

This was a tender story of love in a family. It had ups, downs and every thing in between. The characters were believable and extremely likeable. The young boy, who stays at the center of the action, was totally loveable and I was so hoping that things would work out for all of them. Read the book to learn their story.
Most of Oke's books are YA, but this one was told from the perspective of a 12 year old, from start to finish, so it didn't have the same satisfaction as her other books. Sweet story, sweet characters, but it was slow and didn't fit the craving. Still, a good Christian story with a sweet romance, and quality characters facing life challenges, and coming out on top.
Karen marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2016
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Janette Oke writes with a profound simplicity of what she knows best—real life, honest love, and lasting values. With over 23 million in sales, her historical novels portray the lives of early North American settlers from many walks of life and geographical settings. She also writes engaging children's stories and inspiring gift books that warm the heart.

Janette was born during the depression year
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Other Books in the Series

Seasons of the Heart (4 books)
  • Winds of Autumn (Seasons Of The Heart, #2)
  • Winter is Not Forever (Seasons of the Heart, #3)
  • Spring's Gentle Promise (Seasons of the Heart, #4)

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“God loves you, that He plans for your good, not your hurt. “It’s true that things happen in life that seem wrong and are painful, but it isn’t because God likes to see us suffer. He wants to see us grow. He wants us to love Him, to trust Him.” 7 likes
“Memories are beautiful things, Boy. When the person that ya loved is gone, when the happy time is over, then ya’ve still got yer memories. Thank God fer this special gift of His that lets ya sorta live yer experiences again and again. S’pose there ain’t no price one would settle on fer the worth of memories.” 5 likes
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