A Light in the Wilderness  -     By: Jane Kirkpatrick
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A Light in the Wilderness

Revell / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read--as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.

Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband that she knows she will follow him anywhere--even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.

Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Revell
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0800722310
ISBN-13: 9780800722319
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read--as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.

Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband that she knows she will follow him anywhere--even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.

Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.

As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill. This multilayered story from bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick will grip readers' hearts and minds as they travel with Letitia on the dusty and dangerous Oregon trail into the boundless American West.

Author Bio

Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the coveted Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have been finalists for the Christy Award, Spur Award, Oregon Book Award, and Reader's Choice awards, and have won the WILLA Literary Award and Carol Award for Historical Fiction. Many of her titles have been Book of the Month and Literary Guild selections. You can also read her work in more than fifty publications, including Decision, Private Pilot, and Daily Guideposts. Jane lives in Central Oregon with her husband, Jerry. Learn more at www.jkbooks.com.

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  1. Clare, MI
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    historical fiction based on a true story
    December 21, 2014
    Gazpacho
    Clare, MI
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    A Light in the Wilderness is a historical fiction that is based on fact. The main character, Letitia, actually existed. The principle points of history and her part in them actually happened although the minute details have been lost over time. However, official records contain enough information that along with the well-researched facts of events of that time period, the author's fictionalization makes this character and other main players in the story, come alive. The book is well worth the time to read. I highly recommend it.

    Letitia was a former slave for the Bowman family in Kentucky. Before the senior Bowman passed on, he freed her and provided her papers to prove her status. Later, when the younger Bowman and his wife moved to Missouri, she went with them. They bartered with her, trading her care of their children for a place to live. During her years in Missouri, she obtained a job at a local hotel doing the laundry, making up the rooms and occasionally serving drinks in the evenings. She also possessed the skills of a midwife. With her savings she bought her own milk cow and earned a little more income selling the milk. For a person with such a tiny stature, she had a big heart and a strong, determined, enterprising personality. In the pre-civil war days, life was especially hard for free blacks. They were often despised by slaves and whites alike. But Letitia was proud of her status as a free woman. She valued and carefully guarded her papers at all times.

    In the purest sense of the term, this book is not really a romance. There are romantic elements in the story, but my opinion is that Davey and Tish stayed together because he was kind, generous and needed a partner, while Tish needed his protection and security and was fond of him. She didn't mind providing him with children. I consider this tale more of a historical fiction than a romance. Still, their relationship provided a catalyst for change toward maturity in their lives. Letitia grew in confidence about her place in life, while Davey settled down a bit more to be a responsible husband and father. However, that restlessness of his got him into trouble one last time and cost him his life.

    The author, Jane Kirkpatrick, is a true storyteller. She created characters that were easy for me to empathize with. I felt fear and anger and sadness for all the unfairness Letitia faced in her life. I rejoiced when she discovered true friendship with neighbors with whom they traveled to Oregon. I felt the pain she went through when people turned their backs on her because of her skin color, and after Davey died. I could understand Davey's wanderlust, and yet felt Tish's frustration when he left her and their children a couple months at a time when it hit him. I could feel justified anger and frustration with Tish in her fight to keep her home after Davey had passed on. I was completely wrapped up in the story. Those are the signs of a good storyteller.

    I read a lot of historical fiction works, and yet there were several facts revealed in this book I had never heard before--some things about living in Missouri in that time period, some new information about the trip to Oregon over the mountains and through dangerous territory, and definitely about Oregon itself during its formation years. One way the author shares tidbits of history and viewpoints is through the narration. But what stood out most to me was how the author shared perspectives through her characters' thoughts. I admire how the author accomplished this; she even pushed the envelope a bit using this method. By sharing a person's point of view about the harsh realities they faced, the author presented conflict and resolution while still remaining within the confines of compassionate Christian fiction.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from The Book Club Network on behalf of Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  2. Canada
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Inspiring
    November 24, 2014
    Jenna
    Canada
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    In reading A Light in the Wilderness, I was awestruck by how incredibly brave women like Letitia, Nancy, and Betsy were. Letitia for facing down daily racism and prejudice; Nancy, for giving up the home she loves for the unknown; and Betsy, for also facing prejudice and being forced to move from her own home. Stories like these inspire people to overcome their own personal obstacles and move forward, even while their knees are shaking a little in fear. Courage doesn't mean fear is absent - it is making that decision to move in spite of the fear. And we don't have to face that fear alone! God, who is ever faithful, promises to never leave us or forsake us. What a beautiful promise!

    Wonderfully written, A Light in the Wilderness is a story readers will not easily forget.

    Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

    Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A gripping story!
    November 16, 2014
    Britney Adams
    Three very different women. One dangerous journey. And a future that seems just out of reach.

    A Light in the Wilderness is a gripping story, one that captivated me from the very beginning! Based on a true story, Jane Kirkpatrick breathes life into her characters and beckons the reader into their world. I loved the historical depth of the story and the palpable emotions of the characters. A Light in the Wilderness is a very compelling story and a recommended read for fans of historical fiction!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Book Club Network. All thoughts expressed are my own and no monetary compensation was received.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A heartrending journey toward freedom
    November 16, 2014
    Nancee
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The story of Letitia Carson is a fictional characterization of a freed slave whose story is beautifully told in rich detail. Her life story is heartrending, but her strength and faith kept her moving forward through hard times and overwhelming obstacles. Her common law husband, Davey Carson, was supportive and yet not available to her in times of need. Belittled and harassed by those she traveled with from Missouri to Oregon, Letitia kept to herself and her common law husband. During their journey she found friendship through one other woman whose husband was a doctor. A midwife, Letitia had assisted Nancy Hawkins in childbirth, and their friendship became a strong bond as they met from time to time throughout their lengthy journey to the great northwest. Once she reached her destination she met Betsy, a Kalapuya Indian who became a great support to her, and taught her much about her surroundings.

    Jane Kirkpatrick has created a spirit-moving portrayal of Letitia, and the trials she suffered because of the color of her skin. This book of realistic fiction is filled with great detailing and believable representations of a woman of color at a time in our nation's history when people of color were looked upon as property, not as human beings. It is obvious that the author has done a great deal of research in producing this compelling and undiluted narrative of the strengths of the women who held one another up through great stress and hardship. I highly recommend this powerful book! I intend to read more of Jane Kirkpatrick's writing!

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Book Fun through The Book Club Network's For Readers Only program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.

  5. Pennsylvania
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Well researched and engaging story
    November 14, 2014
    Cindi
    Pennsylvania
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Letitia, once a slave with her freedom papers in hand, decides that leaving Missouri is the only way to truly be free. What she doesn't count on is that G.B. Smith, who despises Negros, joins the same wagon train. This story takes a look into the lives of some of the folks including the Carson, Hawkins, and Bowman families. There are many difficulties had throughout this journey and even after their arrival in the Oregon territory.

    The author does a wonderful job of painting realistic characters and describes the happenings in fluid detail.

    Nancy Hawkins was my favorite character because of her loving nature. She showed Letitia such kindness and true friendship.

    Another great book by Jane Kirkpatrick! 4.5 stars
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