Monday, April 21, 2008
Have you ever finished a book and realized that you had been so immersed that it felt like you were reluctantly saying good-bye to the characters? In her Author's Notes at the conclusion of her latest book, Oregon writer Jane Kirkpatrick says something similar about one of her characters. After reading the book, I fully understand why.
A Mending at the Edge is the third and final installment in the Change and Cherish Historical Series, a trilogy that shares a fictionalized account of the historical figure Emma Wagner Giesy. Once again, Mrs. Kirkpatrick has done meticulous and extensive research and has masterfully amplified history with infusions of fiction. The end result is a teacher's dream: history comes alive and is truly meaningful to the reader.
The story starts where the last book (A Tendering In the Storm, reviewed here) left off. Frau Giesy has grudgingly accepted the help of the Aurora Colony and the colony's spiritual leader, Herr Doctor William Keil. Over the course of the story, her grudging acceptance transforms into loving Christian servanthood and the mature understanding that God knows better than any human ever could.
In addition to making history accessible and appealing to the reader, Mrs. Kirkpatrick shows us through Frau Giesy that following the Word of the LORD is much more important than following the pressures of those around us.
This book will take its place on our bookshelf next to the other books from the series, but I doubt they'll sit unread for long.
A synopsis of the history of the Aurora Colony can be found here.
Jane Kirkpatrick is the best-selling author of two nonfiction books and fourteen historical novels, including the popular Kinship and Courage series. Her award-winning writing has appeared in more than fifty publications, including Sports Afield and Decision. She’s won the coveted Western Heritage Wrangler Award, an honor shared by such writers as Larry McMurtry and Barbara Kingsolver. Jane is a licensed clinical social worker as well as an internationally recognized speaker. She and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 acres in eastern Oregon.