The story of two women who are developing their faith in a highly unusual, almost unbelievable situation…but then isn’t that the fitting description of a good story? When you can suspend reality and pretend. And in that pretending, suspend expectations? When you can do that, The Meeting Place becomes an absolutely beautiful story of an era on the Americas that we don’t often visit. The British rule Canada, England is as war with France and the settlers in Canada are forced to take a side that makes no sense to them.
I have not read many of Janette Oke books because in the past; I had a difficult time getting to a point where the story began. This book was a pleasant change from what I expected. Perhaps the addition of another author to the mix has helped.
I enjoyed reading about the clothing, furniture, foods and culture of the period in time, but the depth of the story comes in the spiritual growth achieved at separate times by young couples, one each in the French camp and the English camp. The British authorities bring the political situation to ‘a head’ and arbitrarily force the French Acadians into exile in the lower colonies (another history story that we find familiar).
As the main characters are growing spiritually, two young women, French and English, seek solitude in the same high country meadow and very much against the grain of the British community, become close friends and sisters in Christianity. They read scriptures together and young Catherine visits Louise’s large family in the French community. They share the happiness of marriage and the birth of a daughter to each of them. Angst and stress pains both of them as Louise’s baby does not thrive. French people do not have reasonable access to medical care, but Catherine comes up with a plan where the two ‘trade’ babies and she smuggles Louise’s baby out to a doctor.
While she is gone with her father, the British troops deport the Acadians — and Catherine’s baby girl! The story leaves readers in suspension…as each mother is doing her very best by the child she is raising for a friend while missing her own darling child. The sacrifice has meant that both children will survive and that there will be other changes in the lives of the characters.
There is so much more to this story — everything doesn’t happen smoothly in a couple paragraphs! Treat yourself to a good read that will make you smile and shed a few tears. I have not read many of Janette Oaks books because in the past, I had a difficult time getting to a point where the story began. This book was a pleasant change from what I expected. I highly recommend The Meeting Place.