While on the surface it may seem like just a Christian "Chick Flick on the Prairie," Love Comes Softly explores several deep theological and cultural themes that make for good viewing by men and women alike.
Love Comes Softly is based on the first of Janette Oke's best-selling series (by the same name) of Christian "prairie romance" books. The book, originally published in 1979, has sold more than 30 million copies. The made-for-TV movie version debuted on the Hallmark Channel in the spring of 2003 and received the network's highest ratings ever—especially among female viewers ages 25-54.
Love Comes Softly is the story of Marty Claridge, a young woman who has left her familiar life in the city to begin a new life on the prairie with her husband, Aaron. But their youthful dream becomes a nightmare, as Aaron's life is cut short and Marty suddenly finds herself a widow. As if dealing with her grief isn't enough, Marty must also decide where she will spend the harsh prairie winter, as the wagon trains have already stopped traveling for the season.
Facing her future, Marty receives a proposition from a soft-spoken widower named Clark Davis. Marry him for convenience, he suggests; she will then have a roof over her head for the winter, and Clark's daughter Missie will benefit from some much-needed maternal influence. When the spring thaw comes, Marty will be free to leave if she so chooses.
Marty brokenheartedly agrees and takes up with Clark and Missie for what she believes will only be a six-month stay. During that time, however, she learns the true nature of love as she struggles to build a new life while grieving her old one.
As far as TV movies go, Love Comes Softly is very well done. The setting is straight from Little ...1