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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Light In The Wilderness

Jane is internationally recognized for her lively presentations and well-researched stories that encourage and inspire.  Jane grew up near Mondovi, Wisconsin.  Jane moved to Oregon in 1974 after completing her Master's Degree in Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Jane eventually retired to begin her adventure of writing.

A lively and humorous speaker, Kirkpatrick is a frequent keynote speaker for conferences, women's retreats, fundraisers and workshops.  Jane believes that our lives are the stories people read first and she encourages groups to discover the power of their own stories to divinely heal and transform.

Learn more about Jane and her books by visiting her blog found at  You can also connect with her via FaceBook and Twitter.

Three very different women.

One dangerous journey.

And a future that seems just out of reach.

Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave.  They may not cause most white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free.  

She trusts in those words she can not 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 and 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 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 your heart and mind as you travel on the dusty and dangerous Oregon Trail into the boundless American West. Based on a true story.

My Thoughts:
A Light In The Wilderness was my first novel to read by Jane Kirkpatrick.  I'm not sure why I haven't discovered her before now, but I am so blessed that I have.  Through vivid description, distinct characterization and time honoring dialogue, Kirkpatrick captures an era and transports her readers to another time and place in history.  Kirkpatrick's research is thorough and evident in this novel based on a true story.
Letitia's story is one of love and a faith strong enough to move mountains of doubt and fear.  I so appreciated the gifted way Kirkpatrick is able to convey truth with her words.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes (and there were many!):
"A free woman didn't have to face forward to know she headed in the right direction."
"Both women headed west.  Both gave orders.  So would everyone else.  She'd be straddling freedom and different kinds of chains.  Every day.  They might be in new territory, but it would be with the same people bringing what they knew to wherever they were going."
Kirkpatrick also creatively keeps the story moving without losing the "feel" of the era or the emotions of the characters.  I'll be reading more of Kirkpatrick!

*I was provided a copy of the book by the publisher for the purpose of providing my honest review.

Happy Reading,