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"A Clearing in the Wild is a joy to read....It satisfies on every level."
–Historical Novels Review
“Jane Kirkpatrick again proves herself to be one of the finest writers working in historical fiction today. With A Tendering in the Storm, Kirkpatrick applies her usual meticulous research and rich period detail to give readers a wonderful story with strong, unforgettable characters. Beautifully and thoughtfully written as always, this novel will capture your attention, your imagination, and your heart.”
–B.J. Hoff, author of the Mountain Song Legacy and An Emerald Ballad
“In A Tendering in the Storm, Jane Kirkpatrick continues the story of the tensions between the individual and the community that is at the core of the communal experience. The voices of Emma Giesy and Louisa Keil offer personal and passionate perspectives of these often conflicting views. Kirkpatrick presents a historically based and emotionally charged account of challenges, change, and charity.”
–James J. Kopp, Communal Historian, Aurora Colony Historical Society Board of Directors, and the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission
“A Tendering in the Storm is one of Jane Kirkpatrick’s most compelling novels yet–and that’s saying something! With her skilled and lyrical writing, Kirkpatrick brings to vivid life the beauty and severity of pioneer living, a complex provocative villain, and a story that grabs the reader and won’t let go. But most of all, Emma Giesy emerges as a remarkable heroine: appealing and vulnerable, but possessing tenacious courage and true strength. This book kept me turning pages far into the night!”
–Cindy Swanson, online reviewer and radio host
“Jane Kirkpatrick’s riveting history of Emma Wagner Giesy holds up an antique mirror whereby we may regard ourselves today. Kirkpatrick’ s intuitive, effulgent prose leads us from our self-possessed age to the nineteenth century where we participate through Emma in an emerging civilization. Kirkpatrick tears away the proscenium, allowing us to experience Emma’s firm opinions, ravaging losses, fathomless grief. Emma’s life teaches us that without community we lose synergy, love, protection–and perhaps even God. Yet without a strong sense of self, we have no convictions, no dreams–no sehnsucht (to borrow Emma’s word) and therefore, nothing to contribute. In seeing ourselves through this true, fictional rendering of a real life, perhaps we can find the courage to grow and the wisdom to learn.”
–Dorothy Allred Solomon, author of In My Father’s House; Predators, Prey, and Other Kinfolk: Growing Up in Polygamy; Daughter of the Saints; and Sisterhood
“Once again Jane Kirkpatrick's attention to historic detail brings the hardscrabble existence of the Willapa Bay pioneers to life. In A Tendering in the Storm, Emma Wagner Giesy struggles with choices she makes in response to great tragedy. With rigid honesty, Kirkpatrick shows the consequences of these choices and how Emma regains her strength through love, trust, and sacrifice.”
–Karla K. Nelson, owner,
Time Enough Books, Ilwaco, WA.
“The title A Tendering in the Storm keenly expresses the continuing story of the intrepid Emma Wagner Giesy as she struggles between the comfort and security of her religious community and self-reliance in the midst of tumult. Jane Kirkpatrick’s impressive research on this true character reveals many realities of one woman’s efforts to carve out a life for herself and her children on the burgeoning frontier of Washington Territory. In her engaging style rich with metaphor and imagery, the author explores issues still relevant in today’s world: women’s rights, child custody, property rights, domestic violence, and religious freedom. Bravo!”
–Susan G. Butruille, author of Women’s Voices from the Oregon Trail and Women’s Voices from the Western
1. This is a story about giving and receiving. Who gave up the most in this story? Who knew how to receive and why are both capabilities important in our lives and in the life of a family?
2. This is also a story about community and individuals within a community having a voice and making choices. Could Emma have found a way to remain at Willapa and find contentment there? What voice did Louisa have at Aurora Mills? Did either woman pass up opportunities to be heard more clearly?
3. Emma and Louisa both speak of the great longing, the Sehnsucht, that is within each of us. In the German, the word implies something compelling, almost addictive in the human spirit that drives us forward on a spiritual journey. What was Emma’s great longing? Louisa’s? Did these women achieve satisfaction in this second book of the series? Is there a relationship between human intimacy and such spiritual longing?
4. Give some examples of when Emma “began to weave” without waiting for God’s thread. What were the consequences? Is it wise to “begin to weave” without knowing the outcome?
5. The author uses the metaphor of light throughout the book. Is having enough light for the next step really enough? What role does light play in Emma’s discovery that finding meaning in life’s tragedies requires reflection? Give some examples of Emma’s reflective thinking. When might she have been more reflective? Would you describe Louisa as a reflective woman? What prevents us from being more reflective in our everyday lives?
6. How can we receive without feeling obligated? What qualities of obligation sometimes diminish gifts that others might give us? Why does that make it difficult to receive them?
7. Strength is often defined as self-sufficiency. How did Emma’s strength reveal itself? What made is possible for her to ultimately accept the gifts of others?
8. Did Emma use her sons in order to get her own way? What supports your opinion?
9. How much of Emma’s feeling of isolation was self-imposed; how much was isolation related to the demands of the landscape and how much was a spiritual isolation or feeling of abandonment? Did you agree with how the author conveyed these qualities of isolation?
10. Did Emma make the correct choice at the close of the book? Have you ever had to make a choice where all options appeared poor? What helped you take the next step?
Posted June 1, 2014
Posted September 27, 2010
When you find yourself strongly tempted to pray for the characters in a book I think it safe to say the author has done a good job of character development! Such was the state I found myself in while reading Jane Kirkpatrick's Change and Cherish series. I wanted God to help the main character make good decisions and expose others' bad behavior. I had to keep reminding myself the characters didn't exist and the story was already done!!
Likewise, a sign of a good story line is when it inspires you to do something different in you own life. One scene in A Tendering in the Storm has Emma making a difficult journey on a mule when she barely had strength to stand. She got tough and did it.
I live on a remote ranch an hour from town and at the same time I was reading this scene, a horse got hurt and had to go to the vet. I, too, was extremely physically weak, sick and felt unable. Then I thought, "If Emma can do it, I can do it!" So, I made the trip and did fine...in fact, by the end of the day, I felt better.
Thanks, Jane, for continuing to be a good steward of your incredible talent and thus impacting our lives. A Tendering in the Storm is your most compelling book yet.
Posted October 31, 2007
German Emma Giesy was independent and strong, determined, married to Christian five short years with a love that both thought would last forever, with two small children Andy and Kate. The struggle of everyday life consisted of always doing what the will of the community leader Herr Kiel dictated, but independent Emma was always trying to get Christian to leave the community but Christian felt they needed the community but did agree to stay in Willapa instead of going on to Aurora Mills as Herr Kiel wanted. Than one day Christian doing what he did best helping others, drowned helping an old man save his belongings as he tried desperately to cross a river during a raging storm. Forced to carry on alone, not wanting the help of Christian¿s family or the community Emma sets out to raise her family on her own and run the homestead. A few days after Christian¿s death Emma finds herself pregnant with their third child and names him Christian, giving birth to him alone at the homestead. Emma is still determined to take care of her own children but Christian¿s family will not let her be. The worst telling her what she should and should not do in raising her sons but ignoring her daughter as though she is not important Because of Christian¿s death Emma has even turned her back on God determined she doesn¿t need Him either. The final straw seemed to be while Emma was ill and Andy was staying with her in-laws they took him to Aurora Mills without even asking or telling her. She felt she had to do something for fear her in-laws would take her sons from her. During her grieving time only one man proposed marriage to pick up where Christian left off and that was the strange Jack Giesy. She avoided his advances for a time than felt she had no choice thinking Herr Kiel and her in-laws were her enemies. Finally determined to protect her children she proposes a business proposition of marriage to Jack. Jack would have none of that wanting her as a wife in every sense. Fearing she had no choice agreed. From that point on her life turns from struggle to nightmare dealing with Jack¿s moods and outbursts of violence until she fears Andy will kill Jack. Emma knows she has to take the children and leave but where will she go? Based on a true story this awesome story shows the ups and downs of the German community way of life during the mid to late 1800¿s under the rule of Herr Kiel and the life of Emma Giesy. You may find yourself just as I did routing for Emma in this page turner but humbled as she was to learn life¿s hard lessons and to depend upon the kindness of the very ones she considered her enemies. Multiple lessons for us all are woven within the pages of this novel, the biggest being the lesson of giving and receiving which we all must learn. The second book in the series author Jane Kirkpatrick has done an awesome job of bringing history alive. I truly like the extras included especially the interview with the author that explains so much more of the background. I highly recommend placing this one on your must read list!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 29, 2009
A Tendering in the Storm is a must-read for historical fiction lovers. If you want insight into the hardships from the 19th century pioneers who left everything to move west hoping for a better life, then you'll love this story. If you find oppressive religious groups intriguing, you'll want to check this story out. If you'd like to reflect on how few rights women had in the mid-1860s then this is the book for you! To quote a cliche, We've come a long way, baby! After finding the author's bio and reading that she is a certified social worker, I now see where she got her insight for this book. No dysfunction is easy to understand. All people are complex. But there are certain truths that exist in human nature and the author insightfully captured them all. Her illumination of the human heart and certain domestic issues is superb. I can't say what those issues are or I'll blow part of the storyline, but I will say that the subtly of how people are lured from their good senses--because of sometimes desperate situations--is expertly shown in this novel. I loved this story. It's real. It's deep. It's edgy...and it's not at all boring.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
In 1857 in Willapa Bay, Washington Territory the tragic death of her beloved spouse Christian Giesy, leaves his widow Emma alone to raise their preadolescent children though their respective families offer to help her. The religious order she and Christian used to belong to before the group moved south to the Oregon Territory also offers to help her if she relocates, but she declines as their severity and intolerance made life untenable when she belonged. ---------------------- However, her best proves not good enough as her pride of demonstrating she is a strong capable mother reaches the point where she may be hurting herself and her children. Emma prays to God for guidance as she realizes she must choose between accepting the help of others that she and her family need or put them at risk.---------------- Apparently based on a true mid nineteenth century account, this Americana historical is a fascinating tale of the maturing of a headstrong woman whose allows her pride to interfere with what is best for her children especially with a baby born after her spouse¿s death. Although the religious sect led by Kiehl seems to have become tolerant and kinder since the events of A CLEARING IN THE WILD, readers will enjoy this entertaining look at a person who changes as she cherishes the preciousness of life she learns it takes a village to raise children.-------------- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 9, 2010
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