Current Promotions
 

A Clearing in the Wild, Change and Cherish Series #1A Clearing in the Wild, Change and Cherish Series #1
Jane Kirkpatrick
Retail Price: $13.99
CBD Price: $8.49
( In Stock )
Add To Cart

Excerpt


In 1850s Bethel, Missouri, people live simply, setting themselves apart from worldly distractions. But spirited Emma Wagner chafes at this would-be utopia. When her outspoken manner clashes with the colony's leader, she heads west in search of independence. But she discovers something unexpected: a longing for the warm embrace of community. Based on a true story!
     
A Clearing in the Wild Discussion Questions: by Jane Kirkpatrick

1. How would you characterize the role of women within the Bethel colony? What changes occurred in the Willapa Valley that redefined the role of the women? Who or what brought about those changes?

2. It's said that feeling unique and being acknowledged for that uniqueness is a prerequisite for a healthy sense of self. Do you agree or disagree? Can you identify something that is unique about you? Has that gift/talent/behavior/ ever been noticed by others? Is receiving appreciation for that recognition an act of vanity? What was unique about Emma?

3. After their marriage, why didn’t Emma attempt to go with her husband on his recruiting into Kentucky or other places in the Southwest? If she had, would that have changed her desire to go west with the scouts?

4. Was Emma’s decision to travel to the west with the scouts an act of love for her husband or her own wish to be independent of the colony? Was she a scout?

5. What were some of Wilhelm Keil’s strengths as a leader? How did he hold so large a colony together for such a long time? What were his faults as a leader?

6. What did Wilhelm and Emma have in common? Did those qualities tend to help them or get in their way of what they said they wanted for themselves and their families?

7. What were some of Emma’s growing pains? Was leaving her husband while they were building that first winter her only choice? How might she have accomplished the same result with different actions?

8. What do you think the German proverb “Begin to weave / God provides the thread” means?

9. What tied the Bethel colony together? What held the Willapa scouts together? What threats worked against the success of the Willapa colony? Are there similar threats to communities of faith today? What helps them continue on?

10. Are there any parallels in our contemporary time to what Emma refers to when she says, “It was an intricate task blending isolation with protection; melding worldliness with spiritual calm”?

11. What was the Diamond Rule practiced by the Bethel colony? Is such a rule substantiated scripturally for Christians? Other world faiths? Did Wilhelm Keil demonstrate the Diamond Rule in his reaction to the scouts at Willapa?

12. Did Emma manipulate Christian to remain in Willapa? Was her interest in staying on after their harsh winter an act of love for her husband, a desire to be free of the colony, or from a new belief that she followed God’s direction for her life? Do you think Emma would have remained in Willapa without Christian if he hadn’t agreed with the possibilities of her plan?

13. Why did Christian concur with Wilhelm about the need to leave the valley? What made Christian change his mind? Are there likely to be conflicts between Emma and Christian in the years ahead, and if so, what do you think will enable them to accommodate each other in helpful ways?

14. Though we see the other women in this story through the eyes of Emma, what are Mary’s strengths? Sarah’s? Louisa’s? Emma’s mother’s? her sister Catherine’s? Do these women change throughout the story, or are they static characters acting as backdrops for Emma’s choice and change?

15. Toward the end, the author has Emma identify four spiritual pains* that she sees plaguing her husband, keeping him from seeking healing solace and from making the choice that Emma hopes he will: hopelessness, unforgiveness, separation from those who love him, and lack of meaning. What examples of Christian’s behavior does the reader have that help define these four areas of Christian’s struggle? How does Emma attempt to help him throughout their marriage?

*These four spiritual pains are described in greater detail in The American Way of Dying, Lessons in Healing Spiritual Pain by Richard Groves and Henriette Anne Klauser, published by Celestial Arts, Berkely, CA 2005.

Copyright © 2006 Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

More Titles by Jane Kirkpatrick
Back to Top
Return to Fiction Home Page
Discussion Question Index

A


 • Abigail: Jill Eileen Smith
 • Abigail's New Hope: Mary Ellis
 • Against All Odds: Irene Hannon
 • Against the Tide: Elizabeth Camden
 • Almost Forever: Deborah Raney

B


 • Blue Moon Promise: Colleen Coble
 • Blue Widow Brides: Maggie Brendan
 • Breach of Trust: DiAnn Mills
 • (The) Bridesmaid: Beverly Lewis
 • (The) Bridge: Karen Kingsbury
 • Brigid of Ireland: Cindy Thomson
 • Burn: Ted Dekker

C


 • (The) Calling: Suzanne Woods Fisher
 • (The) Chance: Karen Kingsbury
 • Chasing Mona Lisa: Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey
 • Chasing the Sun: Tracie Peterson
 • Choices of the Heart: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate: Diana Wallis Taylor
 • Critical Care: Candace Calvert
 • Crossing Oceans: Gina Holmes

D


 • (The) Dance: Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley
 • Deadline: Randy Alcorn
 • Deadly Devotion: Sandra Orchard
 • Deadly Ties: Vicki Hinze
 • Deception: Randy Alcorn
 • (The) Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow: Olivia Newport
 • (The) Discovery: Dan Walsh
 •  Dolled Up to Die: Lorena McCourtney
 • Demon: A Memoir: Tosca Lee
 • Digitalis: Ronie Kendig
 • Dogwood: Chris Fabry
 • Double Minds: Terri Blackstock
 • Dying to Read: Lorena McCourtney

 F


 • Fair Is the Rose: Liz Curtis Higgs
 • Freefall: Kristen Heitzmann
 • Frontiersman's Daughter: Laura Frantz

G


 • Gift of Grace: Amy Clipston
 • Gone South: Meg Mosley
 • Grace: Shelley Shepard Gray

H


 • Havah; The Story of Eve: Tosca Lee
 • Heart's Safe Passage: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Highland Sanctuary: Jennifer Hudson Taylor
 • Hope of Refuge: Cindy Woodsmall

I


 • Intervention: Terri Blackstock
 • Into the Whirlwind: Elizabeth Camden
 • Invisible: Ginny Yttrup
 • Iscariot: Tosca Lee

J


 • (The) Jewel of His Heart: Maggie Brendan
 • June Bug: Chris Fabry

 K


 • Katie's Way: Marta Perry
 • Killer Among Us: Lynette Eason

L


 • Lady in the Mist: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Lady of Bolton Hill: Elizabeth Camden
 • Lady of Milkweed Manor: Julie Klassen
 • (A) Lasting Impression: Tamera Alexander
 • Leah's Choice: Marta Perry
 • The Lesson: Suzanne Woods Fisher
 • Lethal Remedy: Richard Mabry
 • Life in Defiance: MaryLu Tyndall
 • Like Dandelion Dust: Karen Kingsbury
 • Lonestar Sanctuary: Colleen Coble
 • Lonestar Secrets: Colleen Coble
 • Love Amid the Ashes: Mesu Andrews
 • Love at Any Cost: By Julie Lessman
 • Love Calls: Lorna Sielstad
 • Love in a Broken Vessel: Mesu Andrews

M

 • Making Waves: Lorna Sielstad
 • (A) Memory Between Us: Sarah Sundin
 • Moon in the Mango Tree: Pamela Ewen
 • Moonlight Masquerade: Ruth Axtell
 • (A) Most Peculiar Circumstance: Jen Turano
 • My Heart Remembers: Kim Vogel Sawyer

N


 • Naomi's Gift: Amy Clipston
 • Never Far From Home: Mary Ellis
 • Nightshade: by Ronie Kendig
 • No Place for a Lady: Maggie Brendan
 • (A) Noble Groom: Jody Hedlund

O


P


 • Paper Roses, by Amanda Cabot
 • Plain Jayne, by Hillary Manton Lodge
 • Preacher's Bride: Jody Hedlund
 • Promise of an Angel: Ruth Reid


R


 • Rebekah: by Jill Eileen Smith
 • Redeeming Love: Francine Rivers
 • Redemption: Karen Kingsbury & Gary Smalley
 • (A) Reluctant Queen: Joan Wolf
 • Remember to Forget: Deborah Raney
 • Remembered: Tamera Alexander

S


 • Sarah's Gift: Marta Perry
 • Shadows of the Past: Patricia Bradley
 • Simple Choices: Nancy Mehl
 • Simple Deceit: Nancy Mehl
 • Slow Moon Rising: Eva Marie Everson
 • Someone to Blame: Susanne Lakin
 • A Sound Among the Trees: Susan Meissner
 • The Sweetest Thing: Elizabeth Musser

T


 • Tailor Made Bride: Karen Witemeyer
 • That Certain Summer: Irene Hannon