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!
The first book in the Change and Cherish trilogy from the CBA bestseller and WILLA Literary Award Winner, Jane Kirkpatrick.
Young Emma Wagner chafes at the constraints of Bethel colony, an 1850s religious community in Missouri that is determined to remain untainted by the concerns of the world. A passionate and independent thinker, she resents the limitations placed on women, who are expected to serve in quiet submission. In a community where dissent of any form is discouraged, Emma finds it difficult to rein in her tongue--and often doesnt even try to do so, fueling the animosity between her and the colonys charismatic and increasingly autocratic leader, Wilhelm Keil.
Eventually Emma and her husband, Christian, are sent along with eight other men to scout out a new location in the northwest where the Bethelites can prepare to await "the last days." Christian believes theyve found the ideal situation in Washington territory, but when Keil arrives with the rest of the community, he rejects Christians choice in favor of moving to Oregon.
Emma pushes her husband to take this opportunity to break away from the group, but her longed-for influence brings unexpected consequences. As she seeks a refuge for her wounded faith, she learns that her passionate nature can be her greatest strength--if she can harness it effectively.
Jane Kirkpatrick is the award-winning, best-selling author of more than thirty books, including A Name of Her Own and the acclaimed Kinship and Courage series. Jane is a winner of the coveted Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center and National Cowboy Hall of Fame. A licensed clinical social worker as well as an inspirational retreat leader and speaker, she lives with her husband on 160 acres in eastern Oregon. Visit Jane's website at www.jkbooks.com!