The Emma of Aurora trilogy is a fictional rendering based on the real life of Emma Wagner Geisy. She was a strong-willed, outspoken young woman with an independent spirit. Living in the religious Bethel Colony under its controlling leader was difficult for her. These stories show Emma following her heart and God to a new life that she never imagined. The trilogy begins with Emma, her husband, and others from the colony heading from Missouri to Oregon to start a new colony. Emma encountered many joys and heartaches by the end of the trilogy.
Jane Kirkpatrick did a lot research to create this wonderful fictional work about Emma's life. She made her headstrong and feisty but still very likable. The author has a unique style of writing that drew me into Emma's story. I had never heard of the real Bethel Colony before I read this. Jane Kirkpatrick gives us a glimpse into how hard it was to provide the basic needs of food and shelter when our country was still unsettled. This is a great read for anyone who enjoys reading about a character as they grow and change through the ups and downs of life.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
At first glance this book is a little intimidating. Since it is 3 books in one, it has about 1150 pages. So it did take me a while to get through it. Despite the length this book was one I struggled to put down! I loved watching Emma grow not only physically but spiritually as well. We see what a strong, independent, and intelligent woman she was during a time when woman had no voice. It was so amazing to be able to imagine the struggles and hardships that the members of the early American church faced.
This story was based on actually people and events however, the author did add quite a bit so we could really understand the life Emma lived. It was a story about allowing God to lead us and understanding that our plans for life are often wrong. It showed how important family and friends are to our spiritual walk. Emma displayed remarkable courage and selflessness through out her life. Her story should be remembered and treasured.
I would definitely recommend this book to any book lover!!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review, which I have given. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
When I first requested this review copy, I didn't realize that the book came as a volume. I'm half-way through the second book and have been enjoying the adventure this story has brought me on from the get-go. Although I'm not quite finished, I needed to get the word out as it is well worth the read.
The novels are written in the first person and in such a way that it literally feels as though you are experiencing everything the protagonist does. The details in the text also go above and beyond anything I've read in a long time. The time period and personalities are both very believable and realistic, showing that the author has done their research (paired with the incredible gift of their own imagination and the ability to write, of course).
The story is written with heart, adventure and gripping action. Jane also captures what we see in our own culture today, or at least what I've seen and experienced in my own life. Emma's culture believes much as my own did (small-town America) did when I was growing up and since I share the same views of being in the world and not of it made this story come alive for me in ways that others don't.
Jane Kirkpatrick paints Emma's story in a historical setting. Her life isn't perfect, but in the imperfection, God shines through. I think readers will appreciate the rich detail and our protagonist's longing to live a life pleasing to God. Having this come as a volume to read at one time is a huge plus too for those who like to read an entire series together rather than having to hunt down the other books in the series. This was a great read!
I received this book from WaterBrook Multnomah for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own.
"When Emma's outspoken ways and growing skepticism lead to a clash with the beloved leader of her 1850s Bethel, Missouri, colony, she finds new opportunities to pursue her dreams of independence. But as she clears a pathway West to her truest and deepest self, she discovers something she never expected: a yearning for the warm embrace of community."
A Tendering in the Storm
"Determined to raise her children on her own terms, Emma suddenly finds herself alone and pregnant with her third child, struggling to keep her family secure in the remote coastal forest of the Washington Territory. As clouds of despair close in, she must decide whether to continue in her own waning strength or to humble herself and accept help help from the very people she once so eagerly left behind."
A Mending at the Edge
"As a mother, daughter, sister, and estranged wife, Emma struggles to find her place inside-and outside-the confines of her religion community. Emma reaches out to others on the fringe, searching for healing and purpose. By blending her unique talents with service to others, she creates renewed hope as she weaves together the threads of family friends, and faith."
First, I have to say, that when I requested this book, I didn't realize that it was a volume, so it is the entire Change and Cherish Trilogy (giving it over 1000 pages!). I say that to say that I haven't yet finished it yet. I'm not even close to finishing, it is just too overwhelming.
But, I am nearly finished with part one of the first book, so I am going to go ahead and write a review (so I don't go crazy!). It is written in first person, which I really enjoy, and the detail is amazing. I also admire the character's personalities, which are very believable and realistic. I also like the time period the story takes place in.
I am going to say that this story does line up with some of the Bible studies I have been doing. The tribe that Emma lives in believes that they must remain hidden in the wilderness to keep their faith alive and that anyone who is not a part of them is wicked and worldly. However, Emma believes that you should be in the world, but not of the world, as Jesus tells us Christians to do, and tries to bring everyone else into that understanding. It is a very inspirational story and I look forward to finishing the book, but because it is so large, I am just taking it easy;-)
"I received this book from Water Brook Multnomah for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own."
Let me start by saying that discovering this author was one of the greatest finds in recent memory for me. Jane writes historical fiction with heart, adventure and gripping action. Along with those qualities, the characters also reflect what a life of faith might have looked like for a small community of Bethelites who desire to be separate from the world. In this particular trilogy, beginning with the first novel, A Clearing in the Wild, a young woman named Emma wants to strike outside the bounds of communal living in order to go with her new husband and other scouts as they seek new land that is father away from the "world". During her adventures she learns a lot about herself, marriage and traveling in uncharted territories.
The second book is titled, A Tendering in the Storm, continuing Emma's story to the delight of those who love historical fiction. Emma is now parenting alone, which is hard enough, but what makes it more difficult is that she longs to raise her children her way. Again, Emma is striking out to live beyond the boundaries or to put it another way to stretch her wings. Emma is a strong-willed woman, having discovered who she is and how to live without the support of her husband.
In the final installment of the trilogy, A Mending at the Edge, Emma has decisions to make in order to be able to live life that is not always at odds with her new husband or community. As discomfort closes in, Emma seeks to locate others who find themselves in the same place of life, which opens up for her a purpose that she hadn't perceived before.
Jane Kirkpatrick paints a story of a real live person in a historical setting who isn't perfect, but as flawed as all other humans. Emma was a flesh and blood woman who loved God and longed to live her life in a way that pleased God while discovering what her purpose in life was among other believers. I think readers will appreciate the rich history of Emma and other characters, along with discovering a period of history. Emma was just like all women who long to be available and of use to God, living her life serving others. The other plus of this volume is being able to continue reading without waiting to locate the sequels as well as the author sharing with the audience from the start which characters were real and those who truly were fictitious.