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. 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.
  2. 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.

  3. 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
  4. Phoenix, AZ
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Top-notch Historical Christian Fiction!
    November 3, 2014
    Jeanie
    Phoenix, AZ
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Written with excellence and intrigue, A Light in the Wilderness is a shining example of seeing hope and Christ in any circumstance. Jane Kirkpatricks newest historical novel is a fascinating glimpse of the life of an African American freed woman who travelled west with her common-law husband during the height of slavery and runaway slave laws in the 1800s. As this is one of my favorite American historical eras to read fiction based on, I was captivated from the first page. The women in this novel are strong taking the westward journey to Oregon in the mid 1800s was clearly not for wimps! It is astounding the challenges they faced with the help of God!

    We read primarily about Letitia Carson who had taken the surname of the Irish immigrant with whom she made her life. She was given freedom papers while still a young woman, yet we see how she is pursued by bounty hunters who are more concerned with getting paid than in respecting those with legitimate papers. Letitia was a strong-spirited woman who had already survived slavery whose husband was never quite able to stand against her in anything she wanted even though his lack of follow-up action cost her most of what she and David had worked for together.

    Other ladies, friends of Letitias, that we read about are Nancy Hawkins who she meets on the way west, and Betsy, a Native American neighbor in Oregon. We see the days of Letitias marriage to Davey, their children, the work she does, and the women whose babies she assists into the world. Her care for their home and family as well as her gardening and animal care show Letitia to be a woman of many skills. She and her friends are portraits of how real women in those tumultuous decades persevered and even thrived in spite of enormous odds. Her faith in God and how He was taking care of her and her future are inspiring through our challenges great and small.

    The development of each character is done with care to detail and adventures that bring to life how women, in particular African-American women, lived during those incredibly challenging decades. It is also a demonstration of how difficult life was for the Native Americans who were quickly losing their land, their legacy, their very way of life. I very much admire both Letitia and Betsy, struggling through changes and befriending each other to bring about a better life for both of their families.

    The plot was based on records regarding the life of Letitia and her family and friends, and was told in a compelling manner that led this reader to turn the pages a little more slowly and inhale the fragrance of these lives and the God who cared for them. Disappointments, betrayals, and loss were unwelcome companions, yet they pressed on. Gods love shines through this novel prepared with the combination of countless hours of research, speculation regarding various events, and weaving throughout the history of the times and faith in a God bigger than circumstances. The result is a spectacular tapestry of loss and triumph, of love and forgiveness. Jane Kirkpatricks Authors Note at the back of the book describes the references used and which events in the book demonstrated authenticity or speculation, and a suggested reading list is provided.

    I highly recommend A Light in the Wilderness to Christian women of all ages who appreciate well-written historical fiction and to those who are interested in the lives and progress of African American and Native American women in an era leading up to and immediately following the Civil War. Those who enjoy great adventures based on people who really lived will also enjoy it.

    With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book through the For Readers Only group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
  5. Erie, PA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Carrying their Lights
    October 28, 2014
    mcaldwell
    Erie, PA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Letitia Carson, a free black woman who is married to a white man, struggles to hold onto her freedom every day. Davey, her husband (though not recognized by law as her husband) is an immigrant from Ireland who desires to better his life. Jane Kirkpatrick has mastery of her characters. She pulls real people out of history and brings them to life with all of their hardships and victories. Letitia has free papers but she is still in danger in both Missouri and Oregon. Though married and protected by Davey, her life could be turned upside down in the event of his demise and she reminds him of that every season. What turmoil there was, even on the West Coast, in determining who was free and who was slave. Entering that picture we also have Betsy, a Kalapuya Indian along with Nancy, a widow with several young children. All are trying to survive in 1800s America in the age of expansion. The book provides history and a look into what it very well may have been like for black women, widowed women, and Indian women in the Oregon territory. They took their "lights" to the wilderness of Oregon and they persevered.
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