GrowingForChrist

Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

A Clearing in the Wild by Jane Kirkpatrick (review)

on June 21, 2013

A Clearing in the Wild by Jane Kirkpatrick

About the Book:

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 doesn’t even try to do so, fueling the animosity between her and the colony’s 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 they’ve found the ideal situation in Washington territory, but when Keil arrives with the rest of the community, he rejects Christian’s 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.

My Opinion:

This was my first time reading a book by Jane Kirkpatrick and I will be rectifying that in the near future as I absolutely loved her style of writing and the historical accurateness of the book.  The book is based on actual events and people who lived and whose stories are true with some fiction woven in where there were spots that weren’t quite known or to add to the overall story.  This was not a bad thing – although I didn’t know it was based on truth until after I read the entire book but it wouldn’t have mattered because that is what made it so real.

This is not a fast paced book, in fact it took me longer than I thought to finish it as it was somewhat slow due to the details and wading through Emma’s thoughts.  The majority of the story is told through Emma’s perception of her life in the Bethel Community and as she moves West with her husband and other scouts to find a new land for this utopian community.  I’m very intrigued by this woman whose strenth shows through the pages as well as her very real struggle to follow God’s leading, support her husband and yet be the woman she knew she was supposed to be.

If you enjoy Christian historical fiction that is based on true events then this book will be right up your alley, even though Emma is in love with her husband and there is some very subtle teasing about their marriage relationship it’s not as centered around romance as other books in today’s Christian fiction market are, which I enjoyed.  The book presents Emma and those who lived in the Bethel community in a way that as one reads it you can feel them come to life especially Emma.

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 doesn’t even try to do so, fueling the animosity between her and the colony’s 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 they’ve found the ideal situation in Washington territory, but when Keil arrives with the rest of the community, he rejects Christian’s 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. – See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=93262#sthash.zdZsZ06E.dpuf

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 doesn’t even try to do so, fueling the animosity between her and the colony’s charismatic and increasingly autocratic leader, Wilhelm Keil.

 

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