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Julia's Last Hope

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The only thing she has left is her faith in God. . . . Is it enough? With the closing of the Calder Springs' timber mill, most of the town's residents are left unemployed. Several families, realizing the lack of a future in the small mountain town, soon decide to relocate. But not the Harrigan family. Although John has lost his job at the mill, he and his wife, Julia, ma The only thing she has left is her faith in God. . . . Is it enough? With the closing of the Calder Springs' timber mill, most of the town's residents are left unemployed. Several families, realizing the lack of a future in the small mountain town, soon decide to relocate. But not the Harrigan family. Although John has lost his job at the mill, he and his wife, Julia, make the decision to stay in their beautiful home with their twin daughters. Eastern-educated Julia searches for a way to bring business and people back to Calder Springs--a task she feels God leading her to accomplish. Will her faith and determination carry her through the challenges and setbacks she'll face?


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The only thing she has left is her faith in God. . . . Is it enough? With the closing of the Calder Springs' timber mill, most of the town's residents are left unemployed. Several families, realizing the lack of a future in the small mountain town, soon decide to relocate. But not the Harrigan family. Although John has lost his job at the mill, he and his wife, Julia, ma The only thing she has left is her faith in God. . . . Is it enough? With the closing of the Calder Springs' timber mill, most of the town's residents are left unemployed. Several families, realizing the lack of a future in the small mountain town, soon decide to relocate. But not the Harrigan family. Although John has lost his job at the mill, he and his wife, Julia, make the decision to stay in their beautiful home with their twin daughters. Eastern-educated Julia searches for a way to bring business and people back to Calder Springs--a task she feels God leading her to accomplish. Will her faith and determination carry her through the challenges and setbacks she'll face?

30 review for Julia's Last Hope

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tashawna

    Though slower paced, Julia's Last Hope was an enjoyable read for me. :) Set in the early to mid 1900's (I'm guessing), this is a story about a family living in a mountain mining town. Julia Harrigan is living happily in a beautiful house with her husband and twin daughters when something happens that puts them all in a hard situation. The mine has closed, and the town will be abandoned. In an attempt to save the town, Julia and the families that decide to stay try to turn the place into a reso Though slower paced, Julia's Last Hope was an enjoyable read for me. :) Set in the early to mid 1900's (I'm guessing), this is a story about a family living in a mountain mining town. Julia Harrigan is living happily in a beautiful house with her husband and twin daughters when something happens that puts them all in a hard situation. The mine has closed, and the town will be abandoned. In an attempt to save the town, Julia and the families that decide to stay try to turn the place into a resort town. It was kind of fun to see the different people who came to stay at the Harrigan's home. Some were rich and spoiled, some kept big secrets... It was kind of fun. Though some of the people! Ugh, they're terrible! :( (view spoiler)[ The poor little baby! Priscilla wouldn't even look at her baby. And her mother said the baby wasn't to be given a name?! That is just TERRIBLE! (hide spoiler)] There were good lessons imparted i this book, such as telling your neighbors the gospel message and loving "sinners". :) I liked Julia. She was a nice character, not perfect, but striving to do right. And her and John were sweet. :) Jennifer and Felicity were fun to read about too, and I liked Constance and Hettie too. Anyhow, it was a pretty good book all in all! Historical, a tad bit mysterious, faith-filled, and even a little sweet. ;) my reccomendation: I'm thinking this book is classified as adult, but it's obviously fine for younger ages too (since I read it :P). Maybe 13-15+? Probably the most "mature" theme is that someone who isn't married has a baby and doesn't want (her\him). Then the book is about a married couple and all, too.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hanna

    This didn't keep me interested, as I took very long breaks between reads, and I didn't even really like the ending. This is probably my least favorite Janette Oke book so far.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Salinn

    Loved this book so much! Very highly recommend!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carlene DeNae

    I’m sad to say that this book did not set right with me. It would’ve been a three star read if the ending was not what it was. My problems with it: —— • The ending. Read the ending and you’ll know what I mean. There was no reason for it to end that way, and with it ending that way, WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THE BOOK?! • Julia & John. I didn’t necessarily have a problem with Julia nor John, individually. However, they did not feel like a married couple to me. They didn’t ever strike me as in love or SO c I’m sad to say that this book did not set right with me. It would’ve been a three star read if the ending was not what it was. My problems with it: —— • The ending. Read the ending and you’ll know what I mean. There was no reason for it to end that way, and with it ending that way, WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THE BOOK?! • Julia & John. I didn’t necessarily have a problem with Julia nor John, individually. However, they did not feel like a married couple to me. They didn’t ever strike me as in love or SO caring for one another. It just put me off. • Jennifer & Felicity’s names. I know this is nit picky, but it bothered throughout the entire book. Jennifer and Felicity just don’t sound like they would be sisters, much less twin sisters. Jennifer makes me think of a city girl who cowers at the mere thought of the country, and Felicity makes me think of a girl who loves horses despite her mother’s attempt at making her a true lady. They just don’t sound like sisters and it distracted and bothered me. My enjoyment with it: —— • Jennifer & Felicity’s banter. There were times that I would be laughing so hard that I was wheezing; their arguments were definitely my favorite part of the whole book. • Julia’s determination. I like how determined Julia is as soon as she learns that the mill is shutting down. She could’ve been down and out and just said “guess we’ll have to move”, but she didn’t want to do that, so she became determined to save her town. Would I recommend this book? No. Maybe if you’re just looking for a quick read and don’t care about a good ending or anything, then maybe I would then, but that’s the only scenario in which I would recommend this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    Another enjoyable historical fiction yarn from this author.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rebeca

    4.5 if there were half stars. Janette Oke is my favorite author. I loved this book, specifically how it started but I really did not enjoy the ending. It would have been worth it if the book was longer so readers could enjoy a more developed and satisfying ending. The ending screams sequel. I absolutely loved Jennifer and Felicity. The book started with a balance between the perspectives of Julia, John, and Jennifer and Felicity, which was perfect but after a few chapters, John sort of lost scre 4.5 if there were half stars. Janette Oke is my favorite author. I loved this book, specifically how it started but I really did not enjoy the ending. It would have been worth it if the book was longer so readers could enjoy a more developed and satisfying ending. The ending screams sequel. I absolutely loved Jennifer and Felicity. The book started with a balance between the perspectives of Julia, John, and Jennifer and Felicity, which was perfect but after a few chapters, John sort of lost screen time and so did Jennifer and Felicity. The two daughters were such strong and interesting characters and the book could have been so much stronger if the story was told through their perspective. Their conversations, banter, and just general sisterly talk was so sweet and enjoyable; it would have been enough to carry the story. Now, I'm so disappointed because I would want to know how their lives continued after the events of this book. i.e. careers, marriages, children, did they move back to the west or become city girls? Etc. Janette Oke's writing style is definitely for me so this was a good read!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ali

    When the timber mill closes in Calder springs, people are worried. The men who worked there don't have a job anymore. Julia has an idea to try and make Calder Springs a resort town. Some people do stay at Calder Springs for a little bit, but their neighbors start moving away. What is going to happen? What are they going to do? Read this fascinating book to find out! I liked this book a lot!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Manuel

    Trusting God in hard times Reminds us that we have trying times and are placed in those places for specific reasons. We have to stay close to God and wait for Him to show us what they are and bring us through the trials

  9. 4 out of 5

    Adele

    This is the third book in this series that I’ve read and the only one I’ve liked. It was a nice change to read about hardships that a family faces together. The heroine was a strong woman but not in a feminist way.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I know this is only the second book but this one is so far my favorite. The loved that the people of the town tried to come together and save it. The explanation given at a point during the book that marriage is more then just romance was good too. So far I’m enjoying this series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    Sweet quick read - story of a woman’s desire to save her town and home after the lumber mill that her husband and all the town’s men work at closes down. Her faith in God brings her through many challenges.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    I found an old reading journal from 2001. I wrote "enjoyed listening to it"

  13. 5 out of 5

    Taryn

    This served the purpose I wanted it to, a light historical fiction for a sick Sunday afternoon. No new world or elaborate plot to have to follow. Nothing special, but enjoyable enough.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    Moves too slow. I found the main character difficult to bear, believe.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ambrosia Waives

    A lovely story of a woman trying to keep her family together in a dying town

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    This is another great book from Janette Oke, but it did seem to end a little abruptly. Still, I recommend it if you like Christian historical fiction.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vernell Schutte

    Good story but didn't like the way the dialogue for the mother was written. Did she stutter or what?!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    This series of books is so enjoyable. This is the second in the series, although they are really stand-alone books. They are Christian based.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Not one of my favorite Janette Oke books, but is a quick read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Gates

    I was all right with this novel up until the ending, which was so abrupt and left too many dangling threads to keep it at a three star read for me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    A nice story with references to Christian faith and helping others come to know the Lord.

  22. 5 out of 5

    wanda woff

    Good book

  23. 5 out of 5

    Korah

    very interesting book how Julia works through her hardship. i would recommend this book, but i can not say it has anything extremely thrilling but is still worth reading!

  24. 5 out of 5

    LeonaJane

    Great story of love and perseverance.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    2015 Review: It seems I’ve read this one before, but it didn’t seem familiar. Perhaps that because it was felt a little underwhelming. It had all the classic elements of Oke’s “new adventures in the West” gentle romances, but I just didn’t connect with these characters. The book tried to cover a lot of territory so the children all sort of started running together, which probably didn’t add to my enjoyment. Overall, not a bad read but not my favorite. 2012 Review: Reread 8 or 9? Maybe? I used to 2015 Review: It seems I’ve read this one before, but it didn’t seem familiar. Perhaps that because it was felt a little underwhelming. It had all the classic elements of Oke’s “new adventures in the West” gentle romances, but I just didn’t connect with these characters. The book tried to cover a lot of territory so the children all sort of started running together, which probably didn’t add to my enjoyment. Overall, not a bad read but not my favorite. 2012 Review: Reread 8 or 9? Maybe? I used to own the first four Women of the West books and would reread them at the drop of a hat. In my early teens I devoured Janette Oke’s books about women in the frontier west and they are still among my favorite “romances”, if they can be called that. This one is less about finding love then about the challenges and struggles a family may face, but I remember really liking the way the relationship between Julia and John is portrayed and thinking that I wanted the support and teamwork they showed to be part of my own marriage someday. On this reread (as it’s been at least 10 years), the simplicity and sweetness of this story still appeals but I don’t find the characters as interesting as I once did. I don’t think this is Oke’s strongest writing but it’s a nice story about family and overcoming adversity and not a terribly long read so – time well spent, I think.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This was definitely one of the better Women of the West books, albeit one of the shortest and simplest. It is such a sweet and cheerful story, even with the sadness of the town dieing when the mill closed. I actually had read this before when I was a teen and forgot about it until near the end when the baby is born. It had started to feel familiar at times midway through the book but apparently that one scene really stuck with me. There really isn't much hardship and adversity in this book. Julia' This was definitely one of the better Women of the West books, albeit one of the shortest and simplest. It is such a sweet and cheerful story, even with the sadness of the town dieing when the mill closed. I actually had read this before when I was a teen and forgot about it until near the end when the baby is born. It had started to feel familiar at times midway through the book but apparently that one scene really stuck with me. There really isn't much hardship and adversity in this book. Julia's family was very blessed and fortunate that they had an inheritance from a rich uncle, a nice house, nice wedding gifts to sell, and a rich father back East to ship the daughters off to when things got bad. I would have liked to see the perspective of some of the other townspeople who suffered a lot more. I think the best part of this book was the stories of the boarders that Julia took in. It gave the book a sense of adventure and made it much more interesting than it would have been otherwise. As with all of Janette Oke's books, you have to put up with some preachiness in the story but it made sense in this book and barely escaped feeling overdone. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting a quick, easy, lighthearted read. There are also some good lessons about gratefulness, materialism, and hard work that would make this a good book for young girls.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nadine Keels

    When the lumber mill closes down in Calder Springs, it essentially spells sudden doom for the town. But Julia is determined to find a way to keep the town going and to hold on to her home for her family in Julia's Last Hope by author Janette Oke. This is at least the third time I've read this novel over the years, from one of my all-time favorite series, Women of the West. Sure, some of the aspects still aren't my cup of tea (too many dashes making much of the dialogue jerky, tears so frequent th When the lumber mill closes down in Calder Springs, it essentially spells sudden doom for the town. But Julia is determined to find a way to keep the town going and to hold on to her home for her family in Julia's Last Hope by author Janette Oke. This is at least the third time I've read this novel over the years, from one of my all-time favorite series, Women of the West. Sure, some of the aspects still aren't my cup of tea (too many dashes making much of the dialogue jerky, tears so frequent that they lose their effect, and other issues.) Even so, while some of the stylistic and delivery choices here aren't what I go for in ChristFic now, there are reasons why I keep returning to this series. In the case of Julia's story, even knowing the ending already, I had to see the process again. The eerie feeling in the streets and among the remaining townsfolk as a "ghost town" cloud starts creeping over the place. The questions and uncertainties. The way Julia's industrious idea brings about outcomes she wouldn't have foreseen and lessons she wouldn't have learned otherwise. Plus, wholesome novels that are easy to digest are still great to mix in between heavier reads. I'll again be making my way back around to this series of standalone novels in the near future.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nellie Anne

    This book has some real depth that it might be easy to miss. On the surface, it is about a family fighting to save the home and town the love (already a thought-provoking if not predictable plotline), but really, it is about fighting the tide, and about attempting to control things that are really out of human control. Also, the slowness of resignation to the enevitable is very lifelike. I first read this book on a long flight from the United States to Great Britain in 2000, and was nonplussed b This book has some real depth that it might be easy to miss. On the surface, it is about a family fighting to save the home and town the love (already a thought-provoking if not predictable plotline), but really, it is about fighting the tide, and about attempting to control things that are really out of human control. Also, the slowness of resignation to the enevitable is very lifelike. I first read this book on a long flight from the United States to Great Britain in 2000, and was nonplussed by the anticlimactic conclusion. However, upon rereading it numerous times since, I believe the author is really speaking to the idea of holding on and letting go in the proper time, and about God's grace and guidcance in the process. Each phase in the adventures in Calder Springs had a purpose in this story. It mirrors an experience I had in ministry many years ago involving an attempt to help save a church that was on the edge of decline. The feelings and determination Julia and her family exibit are so familiar to me that the book is truly a therapeutic read. I recommend it highly, but only for those who have a depth of thought on the subject of loss.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    This book was boring even for Christian fiction. I was disappointed since Janette Oke is usually such an excellent writer. It was almost as if she didn't put any effort at all into writing this book. There was no conflict whatsoever. Even the usual "struggle to retain faith in the midst of doubt" was superficial at best. All of the characters were almost perfect and got along wonderfully...BORING and unrealistic. The ending was completely rushed, jumping over months with just a few sentences. In This book was boring even for Christian fiction. I was disappointed since Janette Oke is usually such an excellent writer. It was almost as if she didn't put any effort at all into writing this book. There was no conflict whatsoever. Even the usual "struggle to retain faith in the midst of doubt" was superficial at best. All of the characters were almost perfect and got along wonderfully...BORING and unrealistic. The ending was completely rushed, jumping over months with just a few sentences. In addition, the ending was a huge letdown and didn't even fit the rest of the plot. The only reason this book got even 2 stars is because Oke is still a very articulate writer. The quality of the writing itself - grammar, sentence structure, mechanics, and comprehensability - is good and the book is readable. Considering that many books can't even claim that much, I had to at least give it an additional star.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dorrice

    O think this book must have been shorter than the first book in the series. I have read the whole thing today. A poignant story about what happens to a small pioneer town when the one source of employment and business closes. Julia, the protagonist, does her best to work toward making the town self sufficient again by advertising it as a place to vacation.Sadly, one by one the other families leave and only Julia and John are left. John has already found work in another town so has been away much O think this book must have been shorter than the first book in the series. I have read the whole thing today. A poignant story about what happens to a small pioneer town when the one source of employment and business closes. Julia, the protagonist, does her best to work toward making the town self sufficient again by advertising it as a place to vacation.Sadly, one by one the other families leave and only Julia and John are left. John has already found work in another town so has been away much of the time in the last few months.They had sent their daughters East for schooling since the school in the town had been closed.In the end John and Julia decide that a house in that little town was a lot less important than having the family together, and the book ends with the knowledge that the family was going to be reunited.

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