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.
Set in the 1850s and based on actual people and events of the tiny community of Bethel Missouri and its people, by novelist Jane Kirkpatrick is the engaging story that centers around Emma Wagner,a young woman who is part of the Bethel colony, a close-knit religious community ruled by a charismatic and autocratic leader, Dr. Wilhelm Kiel.
In the first book A Clearing In The Wild", we discover that young 17-year-old Emma Wagner of the community is in love and ready to tie the knot with Christian Giesy, 20 years her senior and only a year younger than her father. The leader of the religious colony, Father Keil, is against the match, and his word is usually law among the group. After having to wait they are finally able to marry but their marriage is not what they had hoped for.
A Tendering in the Storm is the second book in the series, and the one that broke my heart.As the story continues from book one, newly married Emma and Christian travel from their home in Missouri to the new frontier - Willapa Bay.When Christian is taken away from Emma, and she has to survive with 2 small children, pregnant with her third, there are many events that unfold that are exciting and fascinating to read about. Because of Christian's death Emma has even turned her back on God determined she doesn't need Him either. During her grieving time only one man proposed marriage to pick up where Christian left off and that was the strange Jack Giesy.
A Mending at the Edge finishes Emma's story. She has escaped from her abusive second husband Jack, back to the repressive Bethel colony. Although offering her shelter and work at the colony, its leader, Wilhelm Keil has made it clear that Emma must do what she can to reconcile with Jack.
This unpredictable story, based on a true one, has it all - adventure and survival in a new frontier, history, love, hate, compassion, cruelty, family, friendship, struggles with faith. I loved the way issues with God and faith were presented and with characters fully developed to portray each with their strengths and weaknesses, beauty and ugliness, regardless of their degree of faith. This series was captivating, keeping my interest and desire to find out what was going to happen next.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions are my own.