Monday, March 4, 2019

Book Review: A Clearing in the Wild

A Clearing in the Wild. (Change and Cherish #1) Jane Kirkpatrick. 2006. Waterbrook. 368 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Some say that love's enough to stave off suffering and loss, but I would disagree. Quietly, of course. Words of dissent aren't welcome in our colony, especially words from women.

Premise/plot: A Clearing the Wild is historical fiction based on a true story. Emma Wagner is the heroine. When the novel opens she's falling in love with a fellow Bethelite, Christian Giesy. He is older--quite a bit older--and a trusted leader in the communal community. The leader, Wilhelm Keil, is opposed to Christian marrying, especially marrying Emma Wagner. He thinks that Emma Wagner is not docile enough, submissive enough. That she hasn't yet learned the lessons that she needs: she needs to be humbled and come to the realization that women are the root cause of the world's problems. (Do I exaggerate? Perhaps slightly, but only slightly.) These two do marry. But it won't be easy. Keil has decided that it's time for the community to move from Bethel to a more secluded place--a place like Oregon territory. Christian will be one of nine trusted enough to go ahead of the others. Emma wants to go--desperately. But she'll have to manipulate her way in....for better or worse.

My thoughts: I'd recommend this one to anyone who likes pioneer stories or stories about strong women who persevere no matter the odds. Emma struggles for all three-hundred plus pages of this one. Sometimes with patience--sometimes not.

Wilhelm Keil Wikipedia
The Story of Willie Keil.
Aurora Colony
Emma Wagner Giesy

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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