Mending at the Edge

( 3 )


"Of all the things I left in Willapa, hope is what I missed the most."

So begins this story of one woman's restoration from personal grief to the meaning of community. Based on the life of German-American Emma Wagner Giesy, the only woman sent to the Oregon Territory in the 1850s to help found a communal society, award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick shows how landscape, relationships, spirituality and artistry poignantly reflect a woman's ...
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A Mending at the Edge: A Novel

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"Of all the things I left in Willapa, hope is what I missed the most."

So begins this story of one woman's restoration from personal grief to the meaning of community. Based on the life of German-American Emma Wagner Giesy, the only woman sent to the Oregon Territory in the 1850s to help found a communal society, award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick shows how landscape, relationships, spirituality and artistry poignantly reflect a woman's desire to weave a unique and meaningful legacy from the threads of an ordinary life. While set in the historical past, it's a story for our own time answering the question: Can threads of an isolated life weave a legacy of purpose in community?
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I love when a book illuminates a small slice of history that has relevance to our lives today–even better when it does so with interesting characters and a compelling story. Emma Giesy is a woman with flaws and attributes we all can relate to and whose journey is one that easily could have taken place today."
Judith Pella, bestselling author of seven series, including Daughters of Fortune series

"Jane has a gift for breathing simple beauty into the lives of remarkable historical women characters. In A Mending at the Edge, Emma comes off the page and shows readers an unforgettable picture of a very unique Oregon community. I love living within view of Mt. Hood even more now that I better understand those who shaped the tenacious beginnings of this region."
Robin Jones Gunn, author of the bestselling Glenbrooke Series and the Christy Award-winning Sisterchicks novels

"Jane Kirkpatrick's knack for stitching history and fiction together is as skillful as the quilts she writes about in the Change and Cherish Historical Series. A Mending at the Edge is a satisfying ending to an absorbing series that manages to stay true to the past while relating remarkably well to today's modern women."
Tina Ann Forkner, author of Ruby Among Us

"In A Mending at the Edge, Jane Kirkpatrick completes the literary quilt of the Emma Wagner Giesy trilogy, piecing together the historical fabric of Emma's personal story with that of the Aurora Colony. Emma's efforts to find a house–and a home–in this communal society in Oregon once again reflect the conflict of individual and community needs represented in Kirkpatrick's earlier two works in the Change and Cherish Historical Series. Based on a solid historical framework of the Aurora Colony and the broader social, political, and cultural landscape of the 1860s, Kirkpatrick offers a story of hope and achievement that captures the spirit of giving, sharing, and receiving central to 'mending' within a communal settlement."
James J. Kopp, communal historian and Board Member of Aurora Colony Historical Society

"Jane Kirkpatrick artfully weaves this story for us, rather like Emma and the women of Oregon's Aurora Colony weave together their quilted existence as well as their personal quilting projects. Her masterful placement of the fresh-turned phrase and the graceful metaphor enriches this captivating and yet disquieting story of mid-19th century pioneer women whose lives are so very different from ours–or are they?"
Sarah Byrn Rickman, author of Nancy Love and the WASP Ferry Pilots of World War II, The Originals, and Flight from Fear

Library Journal

In the third title in Kirkpatrick's historical series (after A Clearing in the Wildand A Tendering in the Storm)-which is based on the true-life experiences of Emma Wagner Giesy, who traveled to the Oregon Territory in the mid-19th century to establish a communal society-Emma's grief will be turned into a lesson of hope and restoration.

—Tamara Butler
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578569793
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/15/2008
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,454,842
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

An international keynote speaker, Jane Kirkpatrick's two nonfiction books and fourteen novels, including All Together in One Place, BookSense 76 Bestseller A Name of Her Own and Oregon's Literary 100, A Sweetness to the Soul, blend her clinical social work with her Oregon ranching life and love of history. Her works earn regional and national literary merit including the coveted Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center and National Cowboy Hall of Fame. She lives on Starvation Lane with her husband of 31 years, Jerry; and with two dogs and a goat.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 17, 2011

    Good read

    Good story, slow and detailed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2008

    About a woman of strength, endurance, and, yes, hope.

    A Mending at the Edge, I now realize is a series beginning with A Clearing in the Wild and followed by A Tendering in the Storm. Although I read the last first, it did not detract from the story for the author has skillfully woven in the past events pertinent to this story. Set in 19th century Oregon, the story is based on the true life of a woman named Emma who finds herself estranged from an abusive husband and living in a commune that both restricts and protects her. I loved Emma¿s independence, her strong will, and her compassionate heart, seen often in the story, but I especially liked how she befriended the other woman who came into the commune for a short time with her children. She, too, had the heart of a lioness, the strength of will to overcome that which she could not change, one being her dwarfism, and to bear it all without complaining. A woman¿s lot in Emma¿s day would be unthinkable to most women today and many of us would not, if shoved back into those times of female oppression, be able, as Emma did, to carve out a life of our own. Eunice Boeve, author of Ride a Shadowed Trail

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    Emma Wagner Giesy left hope in Missouri along with an abusive spouse and disapproving parents to bring her two preadolescent daughters to a safe environs in Aurora, Oregon Territory. Her supportive uncle brought her other two to safety. However, so far Brother Keil has not approved a house for the Giesy brood. This has increased Emma¿s despair that she desperately tries to conceal from her four children.------------ As Brother Keil stalls letting a separated woman settle down without a man to protect her and her children, new arrivals flood the community. Emma¿s faith in the Lord sending her to this new religious commune is the right thing for her and her offspring is all that keeps her going.-------------- The third Aurora mid nineteenth century tale (see A CLEARING IN THE WILD and A TENDERING IN THE STORM) is a superb historical that stars a strong heroine whose spiritual beliefs keep her from giving up to the despondence that engulfs her. However, MENDING AT THE EDGE is much more as Emma (the author says was a real person) begins to participate with others in the community coming out of her self-imposed isolationism. Readers will appreciate her journey to belong as Jane Kirkpatrick provides a profound Americana tale that showcases people trying to live their dreams.-------- Harriet Klausner

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