Well, we have indeed arrived at #WonderWednesday, the last one of the month. Wow, in some ways, June flew right by! Amazing how that happens! Well, today we finish up the spotlight week for the fearless leader, Michael Landon Jr. I put the question out there to you Hearties on social media, asking what your favorite project of his was, (outside of When Calls the Heart, of course!) Thank you to everyone who answered. Frankly, it was a landslide! The overwhelming choice was “Love Comes Softly”.

Watching that movie for the first time was the first time I had heard Michael’s name. I knew who his father was, of course. I better after all the reruns of “Little House on the Prairie” I’ve watched over the years. So when I saw Michael Jr.’s name, I let out a tender and sentimental, “Ohhh!” I knew I was in for a treat!

So I would be more than happy to review it! There’s only one problem: I already have! 😀 I’ve included the link to that review in the comments. Then, what shall I discuss for Michael’s birthday spotlight? 😉 Well, after the actual movie, “Love Comes Softly”, several votes said the series. I think that makes the most natural choice the second movie in the saga, “Love’s Enduring Promise”. The original is always the best, but this one is almost just as good; it has most of the original characters, plus a few wonderful additions.

This installment was released a year after the first, in 2004. Funny story about this: one of my childhood friends took the time to record both “Love Comes Softly” and “Love’s Enduring Promise” on DVD for me as a birthday present. I was in my twenties, and home from college for the summer. Another friend was staying with me for a few days, and we were trying to figure out what we should do one night. I suggested trying the first one, and we ended up staying up half the night so we could watch both! We loved them! And we didn’t realize that one was a continuation of the other until we saw the same actors in the beginning. So, naturally, we had to keep going!

This movie, like its predecessor, did not disappoint. The plot picks up probably nine years later. (SPOILERS AHEAD if you have yet to see it!) Marty’s declaration of, “What a wonderful life you’ve given me, Clark! What a wonderful life we’ve made together!” definitely rings true! They’ve built a larger house, expanded their farm, and even added a son to the family they’d blended.

Missie, who was a wild, almost illiterate tomboy, has grown into a beautiful and refined young lady, who by her own admission, spends “an exorbitant amount of time reading.” We recognize her by the locket around her heck Marty gave her at the end of “Love Comes Softly”. The first time we see her, she misses breakfast because she’s too busy acting out “Pride and Prejudice” in the barn. Clark and the boys leave without her, she rushes past them on horseback, and we soon discover she is the town’s schoolteacher. Imagine THAT transformation!

Here’s where things get interesting. We meet two men: 1) Grant Thomas, a wealthy land surveyor who spies Missie in his transit, and leaves no doubt that he’s very taken with her, 2) a handsome (VERY handsome! You should have seen our 20-something reactions to him at the time!) mystery man who keeps appearing and disappearing, and won’t say his name at first. It turns out his name is Willie Nathan Leheigh, a boy Missie knew in school. He’s going by Nate so no one from home will recognize him, and to escape his past. (This is very meaningful to me because I ended up marrying a man named William who went by Willie as a kid, and he has a younger brother named Nathan!)

Hearties, I’m afraid something has come up, and I have to close for now. So looks like we will get a full week for Michael’s birthday spotlight week; I’ll finish this up on Friday. Thanks for understanding! Good night! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

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