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A Clearing in the Wild Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Length: 386 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love
Inspiring Historical Fiction
Escape the snow and travel to another time with these fantastic fiction finds. Learn more | See related books

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Here begins another of Kirkpatrick's trilogies about the settlement of Oregon, this one set in the early 1850s. At stage center is a restless young female, Emma Wagner, in the midst of a quiet, then not so quiet, rebellion against the world of men. First up, there's the dour patriarch of Emma's religious colony, who thinks that childbirth is God's punishment to women for original sin. But Emma is clever and marries the colony's number-two man, Christian Giesy. Though pregnant, she manages to accompany Christian on the hazardous trail from Bethel, Missouri, to the coast of Oregon, where the patriarch has determined the colony should move. Along the way, Emma develops her own theology: colonies may not be such a good idea; good neighbors and equality of the sexes are better ones. The sequels will no doubt treat what the patriarch thinks of all this. John Mort
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Jane Kirkpatrick is the award-winning, best-selling author of two nonfiction books and eleven novels, 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!

Product Details

  • File Size: 4140 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (February 4, 2009)
  • Publication Date: February 4, 2009
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,601 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

If you'd like more information about me, please come visit my website at and click on my blog. My dog also has a blog and you can find out what it's like to be Bodacious Bo, too. A monthly newsletter called Story Sparks is my way of sharing books about authors I enjoy as well as commenting on life and love. You'll find out more about me than you probably ever wanted to know!

One item not listed on my lists of books is my selection included in an anthology called "Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American West" published by Houghton Mifflin I also have a piece in Storytellers II, a book published a few years ago by Multnomah Press and a few short selections in Daily Guideposts of a few years back. My first novella, "The Courting Quilt" is part of a collection that made the New York Times bestsellers September 2011 in a collection called Log Cabin Christmas. The rest of my writing, as they say, is history. Or it was until my first contemporary came out this fall. Called Barcelona Calling, it's the story of a writer who loses her way as she seeks fulfillment thinking she'll find it with fame. It's a laugh out loud book according to reviewers. I hope you'll enjoy it.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The story--based on actual people and events--centers around Emma Wagner, a young woman who is part of the Bethel colony, a close-knit religious community ruled by a charismatic and autocratic leader, Dr. Wilhelm Kiel.

Spirited, outgoing and opinionated, Emma has trouble buckling under in a community that scarcely allows women to speak, much less contribute an opinion. When one of the main men in the colony falls in love with her, conflict inevitably arises between Emma and Kiel, the leader. And then, Kiel decides to send Emma's husband on a trip to Oregon, and the conflict really begins!

The Bethel colony is fascinating becauses of its paradoxes (a ruffle on a woman's petticoat is a sin, but the colony makes and sells whiskey...severe plainness in home decorating is a must, but the colony has a brass band and enjoys dancing parties complete with beer-drinking), and the arbitrary and heavy-handed leadership of its leader.

We come to care deeply about Emma, who comes across not only as feisty and outspoken, but refreshing and courageous.

As always, Jane Kirkpatrick breathes life into a small portion of history, through meticulous research and beautiful writing. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
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Format: Paperback
Jane Kirkpatrick is one of historical faith fiction's best literary prose-masters, and this first installment in a new series, A CLEARING IN THE WILD, is a welcome invitation to explore the settling of the west. This is more than a historical tale, however. Based on her research into a true story, Kirkpatrick opens up to the reader endless questions about gender roles, the values and pitfalls of community, the dangers of power and problems of blind allegiances, the troubling balance between following the courage of one's convictions and selfishness, and the riddle of how a good God can be resolved with personal tragedy and suffering.

In the 1850s in Bethel, Missouri, a Christian community seeks to live in harmony with each other yet separate from worldly things. Through first-person narrative, we discover that young 17-year-old Emma Wagner of the community is in love and ready to tie the knot with Christian Giesy, 20 years her senior and only a year younger than her father. The leader of the religious colony, Father Keil, is against the match, and his word is usually law among the group. But Emma's strong will prevails.

Emma chafes against conformity and longs to express her individuality. Her dress is plain, yet she sews a double row of ruffles into her crinoline where no one but herself and her husband can see them. (Says her new husband, who loves her independence even as it troubles him, "It's a good thing to do, when you feel overcome by the rules.") She discovers that Christian has wanderlust, and in the way of all newly married women must readjust her thoughts of her beloved. "That momentary insight changed the way I looked at him, altered how I thought he saw our marriage too.
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Format: Paperback
Set in the 1850s and based upon true events through the tiny community of Bethel Missouri and its people, A Clearing In The Wild by novelist Jane Kirkpatrick is the engaging story of Emma Wagner. As the young Emma becomes less and less restrained by social barriers in an evocative tale of a young woman standing up for her individualism against the social, cultural, and religiously based strictures imposed upon women of the era. Jane Kirkpatrick's epic novel is characterized by memorable characters embedded in an original and engaging plot that rivets the readers total attention from beginning to end. A Clearing In The Wild is a welcome acquisition for any community library, and will result in readers seeking out Jane Kirkpatrick's many previous novels including A Land Of Sheltered Promise (1578567335), and her three volume "Tender Ties" series from WaterBrook Press.
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Format: Paperback
Jane Kirkpatrick is an unexpected treasure; like finding an Armani suit at Goodwill on 50% off Saturday! Her literary style makes you want to savor each word, chewing on each nuance while her stories demand that you gobble them up and enjoy. Based on a true story, A CLEARING IN THE WILD is the first book in her latest trilogy. In it she explores not only the vast country between Bethel, Missouri and Willapa Bay, Washington but also the hearts, minds and spirits of those pioneers who braved the unknown to find a safe haven for themselves and their families where they could live independently while practicing their faith.

A CLEARING IN THE WILD tells the story of how an entire community of German Christian believers formed a community in which they could live together based on the Biblical concepts found in the book of Acts. They worked together for the common good, shared what they had and made decisions based on God's word. They reached out to others, taking them into the fold and worked to follow not only the Golden Rule but the Diamond Rule which directs us to help others to live even better than we do. When rumblings of the conflicts between the North and the South began to reach them, their leader Wilhelm Keil, proposed that scouts travel west to find a place where the community could escape being drawn into the war that was inevitable.

Emma Wagner is a young woman who represents the aspects of the human spirit that spark both progress and failure, independence and rebellion. It is that spark that cannot be smothered by Utopian concepts that require everyone to be equal. I am convinced that such a peaceful, harmonious ideal cannot be achieved anywhere but in Heaven itself.
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