Everything She Didn't Say

Everything She Didn't Say

by Jane Kirkpatrick

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In 1911, Carrie Strahorn wrote a memoir entitled Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage, which shared some of the most exciting events of 25 years of traveling and shaping the American West with her husband, Robert Strahorn, a railroad promoter, investor, and writer. That is all fact. Everything She Didn't Say imagines Carrie nearly ten years later as she decides to write down what was really on her mind during those adventurous nomadic years.

Certain that her husband will not read it, and in fact that it will only be found after her death, Carrie is finally willing to explore the lessons she learned along the way, including the danger a woman faces of losing herself within a relationship with a strong-willed man and the courage it takes to accept her own God-given worth apart from him. Carrie discovers that wealth doesn't insulate a soul from pain and disappointment, family is essential, pioneering is a challenge, and western landscapes are both demanding and nourishing. Most of all, she discovers that home can be found, even in a rootless life.

With a deft hand, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick draws out the emotions of living--the laughter and pain, the love and loss--to give readers a window not only into the past, but into their own conflicted hearts. Based on a true story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493415175
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 27,736
File size: 11 MB
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About the Author

Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling and award-winning author of more than thirty books, including All She Left Behind, A Light in the Wilderness, The Memory Weaver, This Road We Traveled, and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have won the WILLA Literary Award, USABestBooks, the Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and the 2016 Will Rogers Medallion Award. Jane lives in Central Oregon with her husband, Jerry. Learn more at www.jkbooks.com.

Read an Excerpt


What's in a name?

Life if anything must be an adventure, one we make ourselves from whatever comes our way. Tomorrow I begin my greatest adventure. My Robert is whisking me away to the wilds of the West as his bride. I will pick up my fiancé at the train station, we'll marry and the we leave for Cheyenne on the Union Pacific. My thoughts are on the newness, not what I'll leave behind in Marengo, Illinois. There'll be new twists and turns like the Mississippi River that meanders. Surely there'll be waysides and green oxbows where I can adjust my bustle and catch my breath following this wordly man whose book has been published to rave reviews. I shall make light of trouble should there be any. That shall be my motto, to remain in the happy lane of life which is where I am today, September 18, 1877.

Carrie Adell Green

I have a stack of foolscap papers tied in lavender ribbons written and preserved from my elementary school years when I discovered the power of words. I began a new notebook for my life as Mrs. Robert Strahorn. I hold it now. I'll write a memoir if my life is adventurous enough and if I'm strong enough to tell the truth to myself, and others, without whining over the hard times nor becoming overbearing at those ace- high moments. These journal entries will be the ore I mine for memoir.

Scared, that's what I was, though I don't think I'll mention that in my memoir.

I'll make light of the concerns my parents had about sending me off to the unknown wilds of Cheyenne as a new bride. I know they hoped I'd marry someone from the university, but I didn't. And after the years went by, my sister Mary married and I was still "at home," as the census recorder noted, so perhaps they welcomed this unknown entity — a westerner — and trusted my judgment. I know he endeared himself to them when he left out the word "obey" in the wedding vows. I thought that quaint. I didn't realize then how obedience can have a certain comfort to it, a certainty in an otherwise uncertain world. That is, if both confess obedience.

I was twenty-three years old and Robert was twenty-five. We had a minor crisis with the printer misspelling Robert's last name on the invitations, but I was more concerned with my father's melancholy as he pondered our nuptials.

"I hope he can support my little girl. Writers don't make much money, do they?"

I had no idea.

Before I knew it, I stood in the First Presbyterian Church (Marengo, Illinois) with my sisters fluffing my hair and me trying to make light of the worries in their eyes. Mary, my older sister, tall and slender, wore the most concern. She'd been married three years, was now a mother herself. "I love my Willie," she said, "but marriage takes more than love."

"You're the wise sister," I told her. And to Hattie I said, "And you're the most beautiful sister and that leaves me with being ...

the most adventurous sister. I'm off to the wilderness. Everything's going to be fine."

"But he calls you 'Dell,' as though the name our parents chose for you isn't good enough." Mary stood before me. We shared strong chins, high foreheads, blue eyes, and hair the color of chestnuts, though mine frizzed like spewed baby bubbles, tiny and soft at my temples in the September heat. "You're Carrie and will always be Carrie to us." She reached for the ivory combs, pushed them into my hair. She straightened the sleeves of my satin dress, the scent of lavender left over from the dressmaker's hands bringing comfort. "Did the two of you discuss him calling you Dell?"

"I don't really mind." His first fiancée, my friend Carrie, and I had shared given names. She had died. I missed her.

Hattie held Christina, our one-year-old niece, in her arms. I loved that child. Nieces and nephews, they can be such a comfort. "It's diminishing, calling you Dell."

"No. I ... it's just that Carrie Lucy has passed and I don't think he likes being reminded of her death by using any part of her name for me."

"Do you love him?" The wiser older sister asked.

"I do. I really do." I sank onto the wide arm of the horsehair-stuffed couch. I didn't want to wrinkle the satin dress that fit around my curves nor bust the bustle, either. I didn't remind them that I was twenty-three years old, college-educated, and there weren't a lot of men willing to take on an oldster like me. Robert was. He was charming, and yes, I did indeed love him and his western garb of cowboy boots, his closely tailored sack-suit with wing-tip collar and tie. He didn't don the Stetson hats we'd seen on Texans coming up the Mississippi but instead wore the stylish Homburg made of black wool.

"I saw him care for her, grieve when she died. I watched his tenderness as he held her hands in his, and the attentiveness he extended to Carrie's family and to me while he dealt with his own grief."

Hattie smoothed my dress. I could tell she held back a thought. She was nineteen and not yet with a steady beau. She was the beautiful sister with eyebrows as though painted perfectly on, and quick-witted.

"My accommodation to his simple request to not have to call me Carrie is a little thing I can do to make him happy." I reached for the rouge and dabbed my lips. "Marriage is made up of little sacrifices like that, isn't that so, Mary?" She didn't reply.

His request to call me Dell had come after he arrived on the Union Pacific and told me his grand news about his book — and new job offer. We were in the carriage heading to my parents' home.

"Omaha? I thought we'd be heading to Cheyenne." I'd been looking forward to the more exotic life of Cheyenne, putting down roots as deep as the sage. "Carrie would have loved Omaha."

That was dull of me, bringing up her memory.

Robert removed his hat, ran his hands through his thick dark hair. He closed his eyes as he leaned his head against the backrest. I sat across from him. He was tall and slender and quite handsome, with thick eyebrows and sideburns framing a jaw cut from sharp scissors. "Yes, Carrie would have loved Omaha." He paused. "About that."

"We'll be fine there. I'll adjust my imagination."

"No, about what Carrie would have liked. Or more, Carrie's name." He cleared his throat.

"She was my best friend, Robert."

He leaned in, patted my hand, held my fingers, forearms on his knees. "What I wonder is, would you mind if I called you Dell instead of Carrie, from your middle name?"

I must have flinched, as he quickly added, "It makes you unique to me, having a name that doesn't bring up loss."

"But —"

"I know it's a great deal to ask of you. And I wouldn't want you to give up your name legally, just what I might call you. I know I'm marrying Carrie Adell Green and looking forward to it, absolutely." His smile could melt cheese. "But when I say your name in the sweetness of an hour — or when I tell stories of our adventures, and there will be those — well, I'd love to have no startling memories rise up with the sound of 'Carrie' in my ears. Does that make sense to you?"

I wanted to tell him to separate the two of us some other way. I wanted to say, "Change how you feel," because people can do that, change how we feel. We do it all the time, from one anxious moment anticipating the arrival of one's fiancé to worrying that something has gone wrong on the tracks to flashing to a beloved memory of sadness, all within seconds. He could have changed how he heard my name, given himself some time to associate me with it and not his first fiancée.

"Men are named Del, aren't they?"

"Yes, but it's spelled differently."

I didn't tell him that didn't matter to the ear. "It'll take a bit of getting used to."

"One of the things I love about you, Dell, is that you are open to trying new things. We're partners in that, or 'pardners' as the cowboys say. We're on a track that will take us to amazing places with remarkable people, the most important being you and me, working together."

"In Omaha."

"In Omaha, where everyone will come to know you as Dell Strahorn."

Carrie Adell Green had stepped off the caboose.

He at least could have called me Adell, but I suppose the old printer in him knew that the A took extra space in a line and good writers are all about saving space.

"I'll call you Pard," I offered.

"Good, that's good. We are partners in all things. I like that."

So Dell and Pard got married, and arrived in Omaha. I adapted. It isn't written in the marriage vows that one must adapt, but it ought to be. Somehow I'll find a way to explore that in my memoir — if I write one — remembering the happy lane from my journal, but sprinkled with a little Mark Twain making fun of things too serious to explore. It's not a lie to not tell all the truth.

From Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage, vol. 1, by Carrie Adell Strahorn (page 8)

"I say, mother, I made our new son promise to put in a hundred bushels of potatoes every fall, but if he stays in Wyoming I think he will have to rustle some when its credits now are only wind and Indians." "Well, pa, don't worry," mother replied, "It does seem a long ways to be from home if things don't go right, but so long as daughter can sing as she does now she will never go hungry for they do say there are churches in Cheyenne just the same as here.... You know she is a pretty good judge of human nature and maybe he'll surprise us all someday by living up to her ideal. He don't seem to know much about women, but he does seem dreadfully fond of our girl. It was really funny last night to hear him tell Rev. Hutchinson, the minister, that the bride-to-be wanted the word 'obey' left out of the ceremony because there is Woman's Suffrage in Wyoming, and suggest, 'If you don't want to leave it out entirely, just put it in my part, for I've been running wild so long I just want to be obliged to obey somebody.'"


Excerpted from "Everything She Didn't Say"
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Copyright © 2018 Jane Kirkpatrick.
Excerpted by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Everything She Didn't Say 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way Jane Kirkpatrick weaves a simple strength and beauty into her character, Carrie. What she did not say: this woman must have been a saint and one who learned true forgiveness with Pard’s betrayals: never telling her he could not have children while courting, having to leave towns in the middle of the night because he had gone bankrupt, and selling her beloved home, The Pines! I loved the book, as I have every other one of Jane’s books. She creates a story that I can see in my mind’s eye with her descriptions. She allows us to deeply know the heart, soul and passion of the women she writes. She captures the heart of woman in a most beautiful way. Thank you, Jane, for sharing your precious gift with me. You never cease to amaze, inspire, feed my love for true history and give hours of repose, enjoyment and pleasure in getting to know your characters. A heartfelt Thank You! L.A. Dunnam
tillyd1 More than 1 year ago
In EVERYTHING SHE DIDN'T SAY, Jane Kirkpatrick uses the writings and history of Carrie Strahorn and creates a wonderful glimpse into Carrie's life as she follows her wanderlust husband through the great American West. There is a "sticky note" at the beginning of each chapter, that gives Carrie's thoughts on the changes in her life. She doesn't always agree with her husband's traveling, investing and setting up towns. Robert Strahorn, Carrie's husband, only married Carrie Adele Green Strahorn, after his darling Carrie (Carrie Adele's college roommate) succumbed to a sickness, when he and the first Carrie were engaged. He claims that he can't bear to call Carrie Adele, by her first name, so he calls her "Dell" a shortened version of Carrie's first name. Thus, starts off their long marriage. Robert is an author of books for railroads, exciting travel brochures to entice more people from the East to purchase more train tickets to settle the West. Carrie tells all about her life, babies they didn't have, couldn't take or wouldn't take. It is an interesting and at times exciting book. I received a complimentary copy from LibraryThing. I was under no obligation to write a review.
Christianfictionandmore More than 1 year ago
Jane Kirkpatrick never disappoints. Her research is meticulous. Many of her books tell the story of real life pioneer women, women who had a lasting impact. Everything She Didn't Say tells the story of Cassie (Dell) Strahorn, the wife of writer, railroad investor, and town-builder, Robert Strahorn. While Cassie never had the children she longed for, she managed to keep a positive outlook on life, and eventually found avenues for her creative and nurturing instincts. Her life reached physical, emotional and spiritual mountain tops as well as plunged into deep valleys and caverns. With the help of her faith she lived beyond both the heights and depths. Like Paul, she eventually learned to be content in all circumstances. I highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction. They will appreciate how diligently Kirkpatrick works to give an honest interpretation of the life and times of her characters. The author's note contains interesting information and she clarifies fact from fiction. Kirkpatrick's writing style encourages the reader to slow down and take time with the story; it is something to be savored. I thank NetGally and Revell for providing me with a copy of Everything She Didn't Say in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.
Ellen-oceanside More than 1 year ago
EVERYTHING SHE DIDN ‘T SAY. Jane Kirkpatrick Carrie’s friend, was also her fiancé first engagement, when she died, there forth her name Carrie also, he will call me Dell. I was twenty three, educated, not many now to marry, the year of 1911. Feeling marriage was of little sacrifices. Robert was a writer, of books and pamphlets, seeing the potential in the places, and of train travel, bringing them out west. The traveling was a part of him, my mention of home and family surprised him. With pen comes her writings of 25 years of traveling, in the west, her thoughts and feelings, the facts, are given. A life of sacrifices.of many to a strong willed man. Reclaiming herself, in part by putting down to paper those years. History in the making ,a story of truth given to us to read. Given ARC by Net Galley and Revell for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
connywithay More than 1 year ago
“There is more than one way to tell a story …,” the back jacket declares in Jane Kirkpatrick’s novel, Everything She Didn’t Say. ~ What ~ Based on an actual person, this three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those interested in a pioneering woman’s viewpoint of the American West in the early 1900s. With no profanity, topics of illness and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. At the beginning are a map and character list while the ending includes author’s notes, acknowledgments, reader’s guide, author’s interview, biography, and advertisements. In this story written in first person that spans almost fifty years, Carrie Strahorn documents her life of getting married to Robert, a writer and railroad promoter, and traveling the American West as partners to hopelessly wanting to own a home and have children. Being one of the first pioneering women, she has fierce determination to be a lady of dignity and class as she sleeps under the same roof with twenty-six men, rides a cowcatcher, scales down a gold mine, avoids black bears, and often spends time alone, without her man. As Carrie portrays the wilderness, mountain ranges, train trips, town start-ups, and travelers she befriends, she shares her experiences and memories in a tainted sweet light while hiding the turmoil inside of wanting to settle down and become a mother. Always putting her husband first, she commits to being with him wherever he goes, even if it means giving up her dreams. ~ Why ~ With each chapter beginning with the author’s depiction of the heroine’s thoughts, it ends with actual excerpts from Strahorn’s memoir that are interesting. I like the descriptions of the towns the couple started as most are well-established and thriving today. The explanations of what a woman had to endure societally, physically, and with her husband to survive in the West were succinct and to the point. ~ Why Not ~ Those who do not like stories of a woman’s trek back and forth America to follow her husband when horses, wagons, and trains were the only forms of transportation will avoid this book. Some may think the marriage of the protagonists is stifled, showing little trust in each other as they each went about their own business, rarely sharing or divulging their wishes. With a vague plot, the ending drops abruptly, so one must read the notes to find out the real story of Robert and Carrie Strahorn. Although references of God are mentioned occasionally throughout the read, there is no plan of eternal salvation. ~ Wish There may be more than one way to tell a story, but I did not care for this book’s way of writing a memoir of another’s memoir. I found it frustrating as the author may not know the true emotions or feelings that may never have happened as she read between the main character’s original words. I was easily irritated with the rendition of Robert as an often insensitive, selfish scoundrel while Carrie was superficial, always trying to be in her “happy lanes” by condescending to her husband’s demands. I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. ~ Want ~ If you like historical fiction about a pioneering woman’s memoir that is rewritten with fictionalized personal inflection, this may be for you, but I struggled through it, often wondering what was real and what was not. Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.
FayJac More than 1 year ago
This is an interesting book about a true historical figure who lived in the 1800's. Carrie was the first (white) woman to pioneer and visit in many areas of the west. She traveled with her husband who worked for the railroad. Carrie wrote her memoirs and this author took them and embellished them and said “everything she didn't say” in her memoir. Jane Kirkpatrick does a great job of researching and making her characters come alive as you read. It is a very good book. It portrays how often women give up their own dreams and desires to fulfill and support their husband's vision. Carrie learned ways to adapt and fulfill some of her own dreams. It shows the true pioneering spirit and the struggles and disappointments of such a life. I think the only thing disappointing about the book was that there was not a strong Christian bent to the book. My husband asked me, “How do you know it's a Christian book?” and I was kind of stumped to answer him. It is a good book and she goes to church when there was one, but her spiritual life was not that important to her. Often Christian fiction deals with unanswered questions of dealing with loss, forgiveness or something similar. This one does not. I like books that make you think about spiritual things. This is still a good book and I highly recommend it as good historical fiction. (Please Note: While this book was provided to me by Revell Publishing to review, the opinions expressed are my own.)
TrixiO More than 1 year ago
“This book is lovingly dedicated to my dear husband Robert E. Strahorn whose constant chum and companion it has been my greatest joy to be for more than thirty years in the conquering of the wilderness. ~ Carrie Adell Strahorn (dedication page from Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage, volume 1.)” “A memoir is no place to whine but rather give us wisdom we can all share without having to go through the pain ourselves.” While this is a true account of Robert and Carrie “Dell” Strahorns' life, it is also written with the literary license to bring these two people to life. Following along their many years of traveling to birth towns and rail lines from 1877 to 1925. Kirkpatrick has the wondrous ability to spotlight figures in history that you would not otherwise read about. From various research sources she gleans fact and turns it into fiction. It's mostly from Dell's point of view and her inner musings as she travels along with her husband. There are things she would never speak aloud to him and the title of the book is a perfect fit. You'll glimpse her disappointment, heartache, broken dreams, and most inner desires of her heart. But you'll also see her courageous and adventurous spirit and the unconditional support of her husband. Their love is strong and can cushion anything life throws at them. I loved following along with them and learning how their vast influence formed the various railroads around the country. Making history in our own modern world! I also loved how the author incorporated snippets from Dell's memoir before each chapter. You got a feel for what she was like and how she felt. This makes me want to search it out to read myself! In short, Kirkpatrick is one of my top favorite historical writers and I've never read a book I didn't like by her. She always breathes life into dusty books, diaries or memoirs for me! *I received a copy of this book from Revell and Netgalley and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *
RobinWillson 8 months ago
A very public physical journey at the time (1870's), a very private emotional journey for Carrie. Maybe because we were full time rvers for four years, I think this is of particular interest to that group of travelers. This is another story where Jane Kirkpatrick does what she does best, teaching about women, life lessons, pondering our lives and living with others. I'm grateful that we were able to go to Colorado and see Colorado Springs and the Garden Of The Gods, having personally seen some of the areas that she wrote of in this book. A regret we have is that we hadn't gotten to see Yellowstone. It must have been awesome to see these areas before they were populated as they are now. The very real dangers of weather and wildlife were more of an issue then with the mode of travel, often on foot, with miles of wilderness surrounding them. Still people wanted to travel to a better life, and looked where they could for accurate information. Carrie Strahan's husband wrote books and pamphlets designed to lure pioneers into the West. He worked for the UP Railroad, who wanted "settled" towns before bringing their trains through. This was still a time when women were frowned on for travelling to outlying areas and having occupations other than making a home for family and children. Carrie insisted that she travel with her husband on his necessary forays into the frontier, gaining experience she never would have had, but also giving up a life that other women had. As time goes by she wonders about her contribution to the immigrant movement across America, and is constantly berated for doing it. We are all shaped by the paths that we cross. I highly recommend this book, especially to women of all ages. There's no doubt that you'll find something you can learn, and gain an insight and perspective of your own life as well as Carrie's. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
D-does-reviews More than 1 year ago
Up until now all of my knowledge about the rail road industry came from a lifetime fascination on the subject as well as one particular television drama that I couldn’t get enough of. This book is the perfect compliment to my former education because it’s told from Carrie Adell Greene Strahorn’s point of view and while I really wish Dell had been less of a doormat for her husband’s ambition, I had to adjust my thinking to the societal norms that governed woman in the late 1870’s. Dell chronicles her years of marriage to Robert Strahorn while he was both writer and committed rail road man, which beautifully illustrates her faith, her wisdom and the thrill of adventure she feels as she stubbornly fights to stay by his side as an equal partner in their marriage through conditions that any other woman of the era would shrink from clutching her smelling salts. This is a mesmerizing and beautifully written chronicle of the life and times of this unlikely couple that every historical fiction fan will enjoy just as much as I did. I read a complimentary copy of this book provided by Revell Christian through NetGalley and all opinions expressed in my voluntary review are completely my own
Marea More than 1 year ago
Glimpse into the settlment of the West through the eyes of stagecoach riding Carrie Strahorn. Jane Kirkpatrick does amazing research and brings Carrie’s travels with her railroad developing husband to life, Carrie’s own memoirs did not fully express her longing for a family and a settled life. Or her concerns for the settlers who came after them, influnced by inticing stories her husband wrote describing glorious land that often didn’t meet their expectations. But, Jane is able to brings those comcerns and emotions to the forefront as Carrie has to live her life on the move. The title, Everything She Didn’t Say, is perfect. Are you curious about what life was like in those early days of settlement? Do you ever wonder how you would handle yourself when placed in difficult situations? This is a book that brings you into that era and allows you to live it through Carrie’s eyes. This book is an amazing historical fiction.
ConR More than 1 year ago
As I started this book and was a couple of chapters in, I wondered if it would be the first book Jane wrote that I couldn't give a five star rating to. I can't even say exactly what was bothering me. But I kept with it, and somewhere in the midst of reading about Carrie's travels, I fell in love again. Referring to Virginia Woolf in the Q&A section in the back of the book, Jane says that she "uncovers and makes up" in her crafting of each novel. One of my favorite activities after finishing the main content of the story is to read her account of what she uncovers in her research. One thing I loved about this story is Carrie's stated effort throughout her life and her writing to "stay in the happy lane." I was glad that Jane dug into that a little more and showed that it was sometimes a conscious effort to ignore both slights and real pain to maintain her own peace of mind. I feel that most of us women do that, and most likely men too, though I've not met many men who would speak about that or even acknowledge that they did it. But I relate to those kind of choices in many of my own relationships, however imperfect I am. All this to say, well done, Jane! Once again, five stars and more!
jebsweetpea More than 1 year ago
Nutshell: It's 1877 and Carrie Strahorn is about to begin the biggest adventure of her adult life. Getting married and starting a cross-country journey to settle in the rugged west. Sharing her struggles on written paper, Strahorn documents her journey across the country. What I thought: This was a very poignant and thoughtful read, heart-wrenching at times as the main character shared her deepest thoughts and bared her soul. Her high lights and disappointments. Her joys and her trials. Her struggles in her marriage and her journey of growing of who she was and how she grew up as a woman during this time. The most amazing piece about this book is that it is based on a true story. Knowing a woman went through all Strahorn did is pretty extraordinary. Would you read this? If you enjoy a memoir type book, you will enjoy this book. The ebb and flow of Strahorn's words and journey will open your eyes to a totally new way of life that a lot of people don't know a lot about. Revell Reads sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. All opinions expressed are my own.
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
Jane Kirkpatrick has once again found a little known female pioneer and brought her story to us. We've come to expect interesting stories about women that in their own unique ways helped to shape our nation. In Everything She Didn't Say, Ms. Kirkpatrick uses Carrie Strahorn's actual account as the building blocks of the novel then fills in the nuances from her own imagination and historical facts. The result is a fasinating story of one ordinary woman doing extraordinary things. Carrie Strahorn isn't someone that you would be familiar with unless you happen to be from one of the towns that she helped establish. She grew up in a Chicago suburb as the daughter of a prominent physician. She lived a privileged life that led to her meeting Robert Strahorn. She fell in love and they soon married. Like most women of that time Carrie imagined settling down and raising a family. She quickly learned that settling down with Robert was not in the cards. Robert was an aspiring railroad promoter and writer. That meant travel, lots of travel. Again the story is fascinating yet heartbreaking at the same time. Carrie's story is a wonderful example of what dying to self means. Time after time she had to make the decision to put aside her wishes and dreams because of a covenant she made. As a wife and mother I can relate. It's a daily struggle to put aside personal ambitions in order to fulfill someone else's dreams. The following quote is my favorite from the novel. I think it captures the essence of the story. "What I hadn't realized then--and that Caldwell helped teach me--is that it's how we respond to the broken tracks that matters, because there will always be brokenness. It's what we do with the punches we take, the heart-stopping moments, those are the knives that carve out who we are. I came to believe that people born with silver spoons in their mouths never get the real nourishment they need to grow to their full height unless the spoon tarnishes or the food drops off now and then and they have to find a way to pick it up themselves. They're really deprived, which may be why we call them "spoiled," like meat left out in the son." I highly recommend this book to all women. Carrie leads a different life than most of us, but her experiences are riddled with lessons for each of us. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have bought most of Jane Kirkpatrick's books, and I'm about 1/4 of the way thru this one. It promises to be just as good as the others, and I'm glad I bought it.
Lilosmom More than 1 year ago
I have always enjoyed Jane Kirkpatrick's books. They are 'true' historical novels, often based on real people who left amazing legacies. She does intense research to find as many events as possible in their lives and then fills in the blanks with imaginative yet realistic thoughts, words, and actions. In Everything She Didn't Say, Kirkpatrick transports the reader right back into the dusty or mud-filled streets of the early west. There is no glorifying the difficult lives our early pioneers had, and no 'everything will turn out ok' romance that isn't consistent with their lives. I really appreciated the difficulties Carrie Strahorn went through and I enjoyed learning a lot of new things about those early days of the railroad. Carrie was the first woman (non-native) to visit Yellowstone Park, and perhaps the first woman to ride a real 'rollercoaster' (you'll have to read the book to learn more about that). Jane Kirkpatrick really brought life to a somewhat dry and limited report of the days when railroads were trying to establish effective routes. She brought heart to the struggles of the west and made me really appreciate our current amenities! It is hard to imagine a love strong enough to overcome hard stagecoach seats, years of not having a place to call home, and the rough and tumble environment of mining camps!
millstreetreader More than 1 year ago
Jane Kirkpatrick has committed her writing career to revealing the true stories of real pioneer women, who played pivotal roles in settling the west coast, despite remaining unknown to most Americans. Many of the women she has written about helped establish towns, made non-traditional career choices, and found ways to help those in need. Weather and the land itself often stood in their way. Sometimes they faced danger from warring natives, but they also faced barriers from their spouses, neighbors and society's mores. I have learned so much about the settling of Oregon and Washington from the special women she written about (and personally believe that every US History student should be required to read one of her books). In her latest book, EVERYTHING SHE DIDN'T SAY, Kirkpatrick tells about Carrie Adell Green Strahorn and her husband Robert Strahorn. In the 1870's, as the railroads began to expand across the country, Robert Strahorn was hired by the Union Pacific Railroad to travel the west and then write about what he saw. His sole purpose - to encourage settlement of the west, especially in those areas that the railroad had land for sale. At the time Robert, 25, had just married the intelligent, college educated Carrie Green, whom he nicknamed Dell. While Dell longed to settle into a newlywed home, she agreed to travel the rails for a few months with Robert. Instead of a first home, the couple moved from hotel room to hotel room and traveled thousands of miles by stage and rail. To meet his writing deadlines, Robert relied on Dell's shape editing eye, sometimes even using her descriptive language as his own. The promise of accompanying him for a few months grew into years on the road. As they traveled from unknown town to another possible railroad hub, Dell kept a diary, thinking someday she would write a memoir. She also wrote long descriptive letters to her mother back in Illinois. Eventually she began to write articles for newspapers back east under a pseudonym. At one point, Dell accompanied her husband into Yellowstone, possibly being the first non-native woman to see its beauty. As the years went on, it appeared that the Strahorns were accumulating wealth, but none of that mattered to Dell. As the title states (EVERYTHING SHE DIDN'T SAY), Dell held back her real desires of a home and family and true friends. Although she tried, she could not voice the great void she felt each time Robert left her for a railroad need. When she learns the true state of their finances, she again stands silent by Robert, but would have gladly given up any desire for wealth in exchange for stability and a child to hold. Eventually Carrie Adell Green Strahorn does write her memoir FIFTEEN THOUSAND MILES BY STAGE 1887-1890 and becomes known as the Mother of the West. While others eagerly read her words to learn the truth of the west, Dell alone knew that what she told was the truth told "slant." Readers of Emily Dickinson's poetry will understand this meaning. This novel covers decades of time and obviously thousands of miles. Still, it is really the story of a marriage and the need to be valued and loved. As always, I learned something new about the Manifest Destiny of our country. In this novel, it was how the railroad used the media of the day (books and newspapers) for their gain. I am a fast reader, but when I read a Kirkpatrick novel, I slow down to grasp the authentic historical setting. Whether it's Dell planting tree
parmilespages More than 1 year ago
This novel is based on the memoir of Carrie (Dell) Strahorn and her life with her husband, Robert, a writer and railroad promoter. It tells of their adventures traveling the western part of the United States while Robert wrote and researched for his books, enticing settlers to move west and to populate and create new towns. I thought the book read more like a nonfiction story rather than fiction. It didn’t have the normal cadence of a fiction story where there was a build up to a climax and then the resolution. It read more like a diary, noting day-to-day events and progressing at a slower pace. It was a straightforward and honest story about the realities of a life of travel and pioneering in the late 1800’s. And although Dell was known for her “good cheer in unfavorable circumstances” the author still wrote hints about Dell’s true emotions and thoughts. To me, that was what endeared me to Dell, she was resilient and didn’t let disappointments drag her down. I also admired Dell’s courage to try new things and her determination. I suspected the narrative was based on actual people and events but after reading the author’s notes I valued the story even more. If you like factual and authentic historical books, I would highly recommend this novel.
vics49548 More than 1 year ago
Carefully researched with great detail, author Jane Kirkpatrick gives us a book based on the true story of Carrie Strahorn. That alone makes it more intriguing to me. Reading much like a memoir, journal entries at the beginning of each chapter add interest. Stories of travel and places they went, both together and separate, were well described. The time frame this took place in was not an easy one for women who wanted to travel with their husbands. Nor was the marriage between Robert and Carrie easy. I found at times that I wanted to shake one or the other of them. At times the story was a bit slow but hang in there. If you enjoy historical fiction written from the basis of a true story then I recommend Everything She Didn’t Say. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Everything She Didn’t Say was a story about a pioneer woman, who really did not want to be a pioneer woman. This was a different and intriguing story, based on a true life woman, Carrie Adelle Strahorn, a woman who travelled with her husband, Robert Strahorn a man who was an adventurer. Robert was a writer who worked for the railroad and produced pamphlets to bring folks out west. Carrie also wrote her memoirs concerning her travels with her husband. Author Kirkpatrick does a good job of bringing Carrie’s character to life, and we as a reader get a front row seat as she reveals her deepest thoughts and feelings, some of which she does not even share with her husband. I really liked Carrie and felt she could be any modern day woman- with hopes and dreams of a life she would like to live. But then, we fall in love with a man who has his own dreams and a different idea of the life he would like to live. Carrie wanted a home, which Robert was very willing to provide for her, but she was not willing to live with him gone most of the time for his work. So she trail blazed right along with him, hoping that she could be the helpmate and true partner that he always needed. Like all of us, Carrie had insecurities. One of them was that she was the second choice of wife for Robert. His first love, also named Carrie (and Carrie or “Dell” (as Robert called her from the beginning of their marriage) - was her best friend) died. So he married Carrie, choosing to call her Dell from her middle name. Carrie was somewhat uncomfortable with this, but decided to make the best of it and called Robert a nickname as well. There were many sayings in the book that just really stood out and inspired me. If I was a person who wrote in my books, it would be heavily underlined. All in all, this was an interesting read on a true woman pioneer who decided to take what life had offered, her marriage and her work, and make the best of it and make it an adventure it truly was. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
LisetteRue More than 1 year ago
This story is a historical documentary in written form. It is enlightening and intriguing, as the author represents Dell as a woman who shares the rough and tumble times and not always as the ‘happy-lane’ wife she often comes across as. Dell is quite the actress, plastering on positivity for all outward appearances, but being constantly an adventurer and, initially, quieting her creativity is sapping her inner happiness. At least, that is the impression I got less than 150 pages in. I am struggling with this story. Clearly, I know 1877 was a way different time for women than 2018. I have skimmed some ahead and came across lines of Robert’s when he states, ‘We can’t have everything we want. Desires aren’t a right. And when they conflict, well … [o]ne has to give in.’ Expect Dell is always the one having to give in. It’s always Robert’s way, what Robert wants, what Robert says. And THAT is why I am struggling with this story; Robert frustrates me so, which means the author has done a very good job of characterizing him. -- Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions are expressly my own.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Through her experiences, Carrie has to deal with disappointments - want of a permanent home, children, and a husband who was not quite what she wished. But Carrie persevered handling what came her way each and every time. And she recorded her experiences in a journal which she hoped to one day share with the world in a memoir. Like all of Jane Kirkpatrick's books she once again draws on a person who helped shape our country and our way of thinking. Carrie Strahorn is a person of whom I had not been previously aware of and found her story to be a wonderful glimpse into the past. It is interesting how depending on the state/territory that they were visiting just what rights women had. I also found the attitudes of some of the men interesting when Carrie asserted her opinion and went along on excursions that they deemed too dangerous for a lady. I would highly recommend Everything She Didn't Say for a book club setting (in fact this will be one that I'll be using in my own book club next year). For teens looking for a historical fiction for a book report, this one is worth considering. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Revell with no expectation except that I give my honest opinion.
PinkGranny More than 1 year ago
Everything She Didn't Say by Jane Kirkpatrick is an amazing book. I just put the book down after spending the day between the covers. Carrie Adell Strahorn was called the "Queen of the Pioneers" or "Mother of the West" by many and once you read her compelling story you will agree. What a life this pioneering woman led. The book begins on the day she married Robert E Strahorn, and from that day on she literally embarked on a trip that would take her by stage, foot, train, steamer and foot on journeys white women never ventured. She rode in a cow catcher, scaled a mine, laid on her belly overlooking Yellowstone Falls in the snow. Her stay in a Wyoming hotel with electricity contrasted with harrowing stage rides amid war with the Bannocks. I can't imagine living up to those challenges but she was determined to be supportive of her husband in his endeavors as an author who wrote travel pamphlets for the Union Pacific Railroad. He was always one step ahead of settling down with what she longed for; a home and family. What really impressed me about Carrie Strahorn was the depth of her faith and perseverance. I loved that her travels intersected with my own travels and life in Spokane. It was in Spokane that Robert bought the Pines for Carrie and under the direction of famous architect Kirtland Cutter it was redesigned as she wished. She felt so at home in Spokane, a feeling she hadn't had since leaving her beloved Caldwell. As with all of her historical novels, author Jane Kirkpatrick engages the reader into historical events with wonderful story telling and impeccable research. I highly recommend this book to the reader who loves historical fiction, especially when it includes how this wonderful west was settled. Many thanks to Revell Books for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review of this book.
Debragg More than 1 year ago
Author Jane Kirkpatrick is one of my favorites. Her newest release "Everything She Didn't Say" is another great story. In this new novel she writes about the pioneers who shaped our new country. Carrie Strahorn is a young woman who goes with her new husband so that he can tell all about how great the railroad is going to be to them. You will find yourself laughing and crying right along with her as she comes to some realizations that everything might not as it seems. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves history and romance. I give this book a 5/5. I was given this book by Revell Publishing Company and all opinions are mine.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I love how Jane Kirkpatrick can take a diary or memoir and fill in to make a person seem so real. She does it so well here. I loved Carrie. I wasn’t always thrilled with her husband who seems a bit conceited. She has an interesting life. I don’t know if I would have done many of the things that she did. She was a very brave woman. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
The author made me feel like I was sitting in the same room with Carrie/Dell, and I was traveling and experiencing amazing new frontiers, traveling by stage and being in Indian War country. Carrie became a friend and loved that the whole book is mainly fact, wow, makes everything so very real, and I felt the pain that she was never really given her heart’s desire. While Carrie stayed by choice in her husband’s shadow, she sure accomplished a lot on her own, and helping build her church seemed to be one of her cherished achievements. A really compelling read, filled with history and strong pioneers who helped build the western part of this country. The author did a great job of telling Carrie Strahorn’s story! I received this book through Revell Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.