"When Calls the Heart" is a 1983 novel written by Janette Oke that tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher, a wealthy East Coast American who takes her first teaching assignment in a small coal mining town in the Canadian Western Frontier. The book is the first in Oke's "Canadian West" series about Elizabeth Thatcher and her struggles to adapt to the primitive frontier life.
"When Calls the Heart" largely focuses on the juxtaposition of Elizabeth's previously privileged life with her new teaching post, a position that strips her of her life's previous luxuries. The story is set in Coal Valley, a poor coal mining town struck by grief when a coal mining accident widows many of the town's women.
Beth promises that she would never fall in love with a rough cowboy, but finds her heart softening toward Wynn, a Canadian Mountie who made a similar vow against love.