Eliza Spalding Warren was just a child when she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre in 1847. Now the young mother of two children, Eliza faces a different kind of dislocation; her impulsive husband wants them to make a new start in another territory, which will mean leaving her beloved home and her departed mother's graveand returning to the land of her captivity. Eliza longs to know how her mother, an early missionary to the Nez Perce Indians, dealt with the challenges of life with a sometimes difficult husband and with her daughter's captivity.
When Eliza is finally given her mother's diary, she is stunned to find that her own memories are not necessarily the whole story of what happened. Can she lay the dark past to rest and move on? Or will her childhood memories always hold her hostage?
Based on true events, The Memory Weaver is New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick's latest literary journey into the past, where threads of western landscapes, family, and faith weave a tapestry of hope inside every pioneering woman's heart. Readers will find themselves swept up in this emotional story of the memories that entangle us and the healing that awaits us when we bravely unravel the threads of the past.
|Publisher:||Baker Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including A Light in the Wilderness and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the coveted Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have been finalists for the Christy Award, Spur Award, Oregon Book Award, and Reader's Choice awards, and have won the WILLA Literary Award and Carol Award for Historical Fiction. Many of her titles have been Book of the Month and Literary Guild selections. You can also read her work in more than fifty publications, including Decision, Private Pilot, and Daily Guideposts. Jane lives in Central Oregon with her husband, Jerry. Learn more at www.jkbooks.com.
Read an Excerpt
The Memory Weaver
By Jane Kirkpatrick
Baker Publishing GroupCopyright © 2015 Jane Kirkpatrick, Inc.
All rights reserved.
In the Beginning
My earliest memory is of laughter inside a waterfall of words. I'm in a half-barrel that once held flour. Tree rounds act as wheels. My bare feet tease the knots of rope bored through the barrel's end; my dress covers my legs stuck straight out. My hands grip the smooth sides of the half-barrel. A Nez Perce boy, with shiny hair as black as a moonless night, tows the rope over his shoulder, pulling me in my makeshift wagon across the rubbled ground in front of our cabin-school-church. I lay my head back, close my eyes, feel the sun on my face, let my child belly jiggle over the rutted earth, laughter joined to theirs. Ecstasy.
A sudden jolt. The wagon stops. Eyes pop open. Before us stands my father, hands on hips, elbows out, eyes black as turned earth. Absent our laughter I can hear my mother's distant voice speaking to her Nez Perce students inside the school, then Nez Perce voices repeating as a song: English. Nez Perce. English. Nez Perce. I let the words wash over me, as comforting as a quilt.
I found no such comfort many years later at the grave-digging of my mother. I was thirteen. I didn't know then that the healing of old wounds comes not from pushing tragic memories away but from remembering them, filtering them through love, to transform their distinctive brand of pain. That frigid January day in 1851 I wanted to forget my mother's dying and so much more. Then laughter interrupted my sorrow as the chink, chink of the shovel hit dirt. Laughter — that made me wonder about my first memory. Perhaps it wasn't true that I was comforted by Nez Perce words mixed in with my mother's those years before. Maybe I didn't even hear what I thought I did. Emotions wrap around memory. We don't recall the detail in our stories; we remember the experience.
Deep in the pit, pieces of ice floated in shadowed puddles. I had slipped out of a grieving house in Brownsville, Oregon Territory, leaving my brother and two sisters behind, with my father holding his head in his hands. I ought to have stayed at our cabin for my sisters and brother, comforted as an older sister should, been a shoulder to let them cry on. We all ached from the loss. But I'd had enough of tears.
The laughter came from one of the grave diggers. He stopped when I approached. A light rain pattered against his felt hat, dotting the brim. I took his sudden silence when he saw me as respect while Mr. Osborne, the father of my one and only friend Nancy, continued to dig. I hadn't minded the sound of laughter.
Mr. Osborne looked up in the silence. He introduced us. "Andrew Warren, meet Eliza Spalding."
Mr. Warren's eyebrows lifted. "But I thought —"
"Same name as her mama, Eliza Spalding, who we're working for here." Mr. Osborne nodded at the grave hole they dug for my mother.
Mr. Warren's smile when he gazed at me from the pit was a clear drink of refreshing water that, when I swallowed, soothed a throat parched from tears. I noticed his shirt had a scorch mark against the white of his collar and wondered if his mama ironed it for him or if he did it himself.
"Wishing it wasn't so, Miss Spalding. A mother's love can't be replaced, only remembered."
"Thank you, sir."
"No need to call him sir. Not much older than you, he is." Mr. Osborne winked.
Andrew Warren seemed much older and wiser, his observation of my loss and memory wrapped together a profundity to me at such a vulnerable time. His brown eyes looked through me, and when he removed his hat to wipe his brow of sweat, a shock of dark hair covered his left eye. He had a clear complexion, his face free of whiskers, revealing a young man who chewed on his lip. I'd learn later he was nineteen.
He did not attend the burial or at least I didn't see him. My eyes and heart were focused elsewhere, and my hands were occupied with my siblings — Martha, four, but a year older than Baby Amelia, and Henry, named for my father, eleven — as we listened to one of my father's preacher colleagues read the Scriptures. It was his intent to give us comfort and to try to capture my mother's story at the grave site. Her amazing story. He failed, in my opinion. But who could capture the fleeting life of a woman who gave her all to the Nez Perce people, Indians who later sent us away.
I saw Mr. Warren next that same spring. Muck still marked the Territorial Road, but rhododendron with their red and yellow hues edged the dark fir forests. My mother never lived to see spring in this new town my father had moved us to.
That May morning I walked to Kirk's Ferry with Nancy Osborne to pick up needles and thread at Brown and Blakely's store. I could have asked my father to bring needles home since that's where he worked as a postmaster, but in truth, I loved the walk with my friend. Nancy understood my quirky ways, my wanting to stop and inhale blossom fragrance or seeking tiny trillium that peeked through the dense forest shade. I had to point out deer hooves that had crossed our path and sent her eyes upward at an owl gazing down at us from a fir. It took forever to walk to the store, I stopped us so often.
Out of nowhere, Mr. Warren appeared, sitting astride a horse, wearing brogans, heavy duck pants with shiny pocket brads, a white collarless shirt, a sweat-stained hat. His hands rested on the pommel, reins loose, as though he waited for me and had not a care in the world.
"Like a ride into town, little lady?" Andrew's soft drawl warmed like honey on a johnnycake. I couldn't let him know of such thoughts, though. But neither was I one to be coy nor play those games I'd seen other girls tease at with boys.
"I prefer my own two feet." I looked up at his sable eyes shaded by his hat. "And I already have a companion. Miss Osborne, meet Mr. Andrew Warren."
"So you remember me?" He sat a little straighter on his horse. "Well, I am memorable."
"For such things as you may not wish to be remembered for. Free-speaking to young girls could be a caddish act." I stifled back a grin of my own.
"Hmmm. Well, my horse could use a rest. Any objection to my walkin' beside you precious ladies?"
"The road belongs to everyone."
Nancy giggled as the May warmth gathered around us, puffy white clouds like cottonwood fluffs drifted across the sky. The pleasant weather gave me strength enough to deal with my father should he learn of my walking down the road with any young man. My mother could have tempered him. But she wasn't there.
His horse clomped along the dirt path and stopped us once or twice to tear at grass. Mr. Warren — I thought of him then and later, too, in that formal way — talked to us about a model of a revolver he hoped to buy one day, "a cap and ball firearm Samuel Colt called a Ranger, but they changed the name, call it Navy."
"You like guns, then, Mr. Warren?" Nancy asked the question. She'd turned eleven but was wise beyond her years. Tragedy does that to us.
"I like the feel of them, their smooth barrels and the weight in my hands. I'm partial to the smell of gunpowder too. I plan to defend as needed against any old Indian uprisin's that might come my way."
"There's a certain alacrity in your voice, Mr. Warren."
"Don't know the meaning of that word, Miss Spalding." He frowned. I admired his ability to express his lack of knowledge.
"Eagerness," I said. "Or maybe enthusiasm might be a better word."
"Ah, that alacrity — that's how you spoke it?"
"That alacrity would arrive on the horse named coincidence, my coming upon you girls walking and letting me join your path."
"I don't believe in coincidences." Then I sermonized as though I knew all there was to know. "I believe the Lord sets our path and whatever befalls us has some meaning and purpose." My mother believed that, and at that moment I was certain of it as well, even if I couldn't explain what happened, what sort of purpose the Lord could have for all those grievous deaths at the Whitmans'; all the pain and suffering that hollowed us still.
"Then I thank the Lord." Andrew didn't seem the least fazed to have been "taught" twice in the same number of minutes nor did he seem to mind the certainty with which I spoke about God and life.
I told him we were digging bulbs and he offered to help, holding the gritty tubers in his wide hands. He had stubby fingers, not long like my father's. Nancy and I pressed a deer antler into the ground beside the blooms to loosen and pull them up, just as we'd seen the Nez Perce and Cayuse women do in spring. We were a little late for gathering the camas or other eating roots, but the iris was what I wanted to plant at the grave. My hands in the warm earth brought my mother to mind. But then, everything reminded me of her.
Mr. Warren's horse trailed behind, didn't seem to need to have a rein held. I commented.
"A well-schooled horse is one of man's finest accomplishments. Do you like horses, Miss Spalding?"
"I do. I miss Tashe, the mare I had at Lapwai."
"An Indian pony, was it?"
"Nez Perce. Spotted hindquarters like freckles on a pale white face. She, too, followed behind without reins held when I walked."
We had that in common then, the value of a well-trained horse. Relationships have been built on smaller foundations.
We chatted about the early feel of summer. I wiped sweat where my bonnet met my forehead, finished our digging.
"I can lend a hand planting these."
"They're for my mother's grave."
"I've been watching you since that sad time." His volunteering this made my skin tingle.
"I'm not sure I like the idea of a man watching a mere girl." I kept my eyes forward, caught Nancy's look, her eyebrows raised in question.
"You aren't no girl. You're an old soul. I saw that from the beginning. You weren't no whimpering mess like some girls hit with harsh living."
"You seem certain of your insights, Mr. Warren."
"Ain't sure of much, but I see courage when it walks beside me."
That day his claiming he saw courage in me proved a comfort and comfort was what I needed more than truth.
* * *
It became a habit, his meeting me weekly, closer to the school-house than might have been wise. I knew my father would object. My father objected to everything after my mother's death. Yet there was a thrill to wondering what my father would do if he caught us. How strange to think I wanted the tingling of danger but I remember that I did — until a day when my father met me at the door, my brother standing behind him. I could tell by his set jaw and narrowed eyes that he was angry.
"You will not cavort with that man!" "Who —"
"Don't play naïve with me. That Warren."
"I merely walk to town and he walks beside me, Father. We're rarely alone. Nancy joins us. And Henry watches too, as you know by his ... tattling."
"Don't blame others for your transgressions." He raised his hand but did not strike me. He never did strike his own children, though he had been severe in punishment of the Nez Perce children. He used harsh measures with my brother too, more so since my mother's death. He once put a wooden laundry pin on Henry's nose, forcing him to wear it all day at school in humiliation for some perceived lack in my brother's character that day. Had my mother been alive she would have stopped him. She did not believe in shame. And speaking of shame, I did not act to protect my brother either.
My father continued his diatribe, ending with, "The man is too old, too loose in his direction, Eliza. Your mother had high hopes for you, as do I. You'll continue your education. And we have work to do together, you and me. Work interrupted by, well ... you know." His voice had softened. "You must stay away from Mr. Warren. Or any young man. You are too young and I can't afford to lose you too."
He stomped outside, leaving me and my brother staring at each other. I'd gotten off with a switch of my father's tongue instead of a willow stick. Yet his words haunted. Or any young man? What future had my father planned for me?
We'd left the mission at Lapwai in a hurry. Forest Grove, where most of the missionaries landed in the Willamette Valley, was a settled place. My father helped start a school there and my mother taught in it. It was a good place for recovering from all that had happened. Then the trial happened and Mother became ill and not long after we moved to Brownsville. I had traveled with my father, making sure he ate before his hours of preaching as he started new churches in Albany and beyond. I saddled the horses we rode, listening to the stories of hardships told by new immigrants and older settlers alike. If my mother was up to a journey, then we all went and I tended my siblings and took on the task of making certain my mother ate as well. After her death, I became my father's sole preaching companion. I wondered if that's how he saw my future.
I glared at Henry Hart for tattling about Mr. Warren, surprised at the intensity of my upset. I slammed my purchased lye on the table with a bit more force than necessary. Soap had to be made. My father earned little money being the postmaster, teaching, and preaching, so I made soap, did the laundry, stitched patches on my father's and Henry's pants, let out the hems on Martha's and Amelia's little dresses.
"I only want to protect you. Father says Mr. Warren is not a nice man."
"I can take care of myself. I've done it often enough."
His mouth turned downward in a frown. "I only said you had man company going to town. I didn't think Father would mind, not really."
"Anything that isn't his idea he objects to." Henry nodded, stared at the floor. "It doesn't matter, Henry. Mr. Warren merely likes to give his horse a rest and so he walks. Father will get used to it, if it continues."
"I could walk with you." He rubbed at a cut on his finger.
"You could." I lifted his chin. "But if Papa thinks Mr. Warren is a poor influence, then he'd punish you as well for associating with him. I need to look out for you too. You and Martha and Amelia."
"We look out for each other."
I smiled then, and later when Henry Hart came to me with apology wildflowers in his eleven-year-old hand, I accepted them and hugged him. It's what my mother would have done.
He lingered for a time, but as he saw I held no grudge against him, he left to chop the wood we'd fire and turn to ash for making soap.
As I worked preparing supper for the five of us, my mind did wander onto Mr. Warren. His hair was the color of good earth, eyes the same as otter fur. Charming is the word that came to mind, beguiling, with just the slightest hint that what he presented might not be all there was to see. Was I drawn to the mystery of him? Or was testing destiny with Andrew Warren the distraction I longed for, pushing out the losses that had moved into my thirteen-year-old heart and threatened to stay?
Excerpted from The Memory Weaver by Jane Kirkpatrick. Copyright © 2015 Jane Kirkpatrick, Inc.. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am always on the look out for novels based on true stories. With it's stunning cover, this novel was an enjoyable novel that was easy to read. It is the story of Eliza Spalding Warren who was considered a heroine of the Whitman Massacre where a band of disgruntled Cayuse Indians attacked and massacred those who lived at the Whitman Mission. She witnessed the massacre and was one of forty-six captives taken. The details of all that she endured are presented as her own reflections and through her mother's diary, which tends to mellow the drama a bit. Rather, the book focuses on her journey to overcome her tragic past and forge a path for her future. Through the help of her mother's diary, the reader moves from past to present as Eliza discovers an alternate interpretation and compares it to her own thoughts and life. The book was very enjoyable, although I wish the story focused more on Eliza's first hand experiences. Despite this, it is a very good, accurate accounting of the Whitman Massacre and the hardships of life on the American frontier. I recommend this to fans of historical fiction based on true stories. A lovely, entertaining, and moving read. Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Jane Kirkpatrick is by far one of my all time favorite authors. She just has this way about writing that draws you in and makes you want to keep reading. My first book (series) from her was Emma of Aurora and I read the entire series in such a ridiculous short amount of time. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to read Memory Weaver. I didn't get quite as drawn in to this book as I did Emma of Aurora but not because of her writing! For me the story was not really my cup of tea but Jane Kirkpatrick's writing still kept my attention (that's how you know you have a good writer!) So even though this book was not my cup of tea perhaps others of you out there will enjoy it and be captivated by it. I say give it try! I received this book for free from the publisher’s in exchange for this honest and unbiased review as part of Revell Review program.
Mrs. Kirkpatrick has become one of my favorite authors. Her historical fiction is earnest and heart-wrenching, depicting human triumph in the face of hardship and tragedy, tackling issues of gender and racial inequality, and imagining how women and minorities coped with their status, what they thought about life and how they thrived and survived despite their circumstances. Like Mrs. Kirkpatricks’ other novels, The Memory Weaver does not disappoint, bringing history to life with an engaging story based on true events.
This is the first book I've read in a long time. I was in a little bit of a reading slump, and then I had a lot going on in my personal life. I just didn't have time to read. I think this book is going to be the gateway for me to get back into reading. I really enjoyed the story. It's written like the pages of a diary from Eliza's point of view. At times, I was a little confused as to what was going on, but I think it's because the first half of the story was read in little bits and pieces at a time by me. To fully enjoy the beauty of this narrative, I think I would have had to read bigger chunks at a time. The descriptions of the trials, tribulations, and memories Eliza has to deal with and the land, homes, and settings were phenomenal. I could empathize greatly with the women in this story. I really didn't care for the men. I thought Eliza could have done better in her choice of husband, but he gained my respect by the end. The story mainly focuses on Eliza and her growth as a Christ follower. I really enjoyed following her journey from the trials she faced at a young age to womanhood. It was inspiring! Overall, I really enjoyed this story. Jane Kirkpatrick weaves a story of overcoming past trials to face present times in an amazing way, with God at the center. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Revell Reads blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*
Jane Kirkpatrick has a gift for writing books in this time period and about difficult subjects. Eliza is the daughter of American Indian missionaries. When she was 10 she was taken hostage by the Cayuse which took place over 39 days before the ransom was paid. This book is about her life after this time and as she marries and has children. The story was so touching as it includes excerpts from her mother's diary and her memories, which did not always mesh. I loved this touching book. Thank you. I was given this book by Revell Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
Jane Kirkpatrick is one of my favorite authors and I've been following her book trail for a long time. This book was anticipated for a while and when I received it, I dove in impatiently, looking for the "Jane" thing she does so well. Soon the story line wound me in and I read Eliza's story. It seemed to be so tragic. Eliza was scarred by events in her childhood. The memories held her life in a stranglehold, it seemed. And where was the "Jane" thing I search for? Be heartened, fellow and future readers!!! What develops as Jane crafts this magnificent story is so moving and so important! Memories hold a certain truth but it seems that they can be fickle and withhold certain elements that would strengthen ones' understanding of the events as they happened. What emerges as Jane retells this story of this real person from history is a song of strength, love,bravery and the beautiful fragrance of forgiveness. I wish I could sit down with the elderly Eliza and hear her story and physically touch her strength. There it is! That's what Jane does.
What really interested me in this book was the beautiful cover! Yes, I know, “don’t judge a book by its cover” but we all do it. I had a rough start with this book. It was interesting at times, then it got boring. I almost put it down but made my self stick it out till the end. & grateful I am that I did. I couldn’t really connect with the character, Eliza the daughter. Nor Eliza the mother. But the writing was very good & that kept me intrigued. By the end of the book, I could see huge character development in Eliza the daughter. However, I don’t see this as a book I will read again. Historical fiction is my thing, but I just sadly didn’t enjoy this book.
Netgalley gave me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Jane Kirkpatrick delivers an in-depth story about the life of Eliza Spalding Warren. Very intriguing. Makes you want to learn more about this time in American History. In 1847 she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre. This is where the story began. This is where Eliza’s nightmares began. Full of history and faith, this book will ignite feelings inside of yourself. It is a beautifully told story. I love Historical Fiction novels, but this one was a step above the others. I loved how Eliza read her mother’s journals and tried to fill in the missing pieces. Reading her mother’s journals was the most enjoyable part of the book for me. I love learning the history behind this story that way. Jane Kirkpatrick can really tell a great story. I was taken back to that time and really got to understand the lives of Christian missionaries back in those times. The choices that Eliza has to take will surprise you. “The Memory Weaver” will be enjoyed by lovers of historical fiction all over the world. I put down this book, knowing this story would not leave my heart too soon.
This is a wonderful historical novel based on a true story. I loved Eliza Spalding Warren. She is a very brave girl and grows up to be very brave. She survives a massacre as a child and learns to be her own person. She does not let anyone push her around. It does take her a while to learn to face what happened to her as a child but she is strong and keeps going. I had a hard time putting this book down. I received this book from Revell reads for a fair and honest opinion.
Jane Kirkpatrick in her new book “The Memory Weaver” published by Revell Books brings us into the life of Eliza Spalding Warren. From the Back Cover: Eliza Spalding Warren was just a child when she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre in 1847. Now a mother of two, Eliza faces a new kind of dislocation; her impulsive husband wants to make a new start in another territory, which will mean leaving her beloved home and her mother’s grave–and returning to the land of her captivity. Haunted by memories and hounded by struggle, Eliza longs to know how her mother dealt with the trauma of their ordeal. As she searches the pages of her mother’s diary, Eliza is stunned to find that her own recollections tell only part of the story. Based on true events, The Memory Weaver is New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick’s latest literary journey into the past, where threads of western landscapes, family, and faith weave a tapestry of hope inside every pioneering woman’s heart. Get swept up in this emotional story of the memories that entangle us and the healing that awaits us when we bravely unravel the threads of the past. A historical novel is one thing, a historical novel based on a true story is something else all together. Eliza was held hostage by the Cayuse Indians during the massacre in 1847 in the Oregon Territory. Now she is married and her husband wants to leave where they are and travel to Oregon, now a state, for a new start. The problem is that is where all her memories are. Pain and loss, tragedy and triumph play our magnificently as we read the story of Eliza. And then there is the overall theme of faith. Ms. Kirkpatrick has done an incredible job of not only giving us details of life in the 1800’s she has given substantial life to one incredible woman. Yes, this is a wonderful story which is well worth reading, but it is the people who inhabit this book that make it really worth the read. Another winner really well done! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. 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.”
Life and love are not always easy... I have to admit that in the past I've had a hard time getting into this author's stories. But The Memory Weaver was entirely different. I only had it a few days and the cover kept calling, calling to me. I started to read it and could hardly put it down until I was done. I first picked out The Memory Weaver because of the storyline. Having lived in Idaho for awhile I knew about the Lapwai Mission so I jumped at the chance to read a book about the people who lived there for a time. I was totally impressed, this book isn't just a shallow historical romance but is rather a deep look into the lives of two very real and quite extraordinary women. I was captivated by the stories of the two Eliza Spaldings. The one who loved her work as a missionary teacher, frustrated with the whims of a missionary board thousands of miles away, who simply wants her traumatized daughter to find peace and happiness again. The other a girl, traumatized by what she experienced as a child, trying to control those around her, and trapped in unhappiness by memories that may not be completely accurate. Jane Kirkpatrick has woven an emotional and thought-provoking story that will linger long in the reader's mind. A story that is steeped in history but every woman, no matter their age, can relate to. The Memory Weaver is a truly moving book that all lovers of historical fiction should read. (I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.)
This historical fiction is based on the life of Eliza Spalding Warren, a real person who witnessed an Indian massacre in 1847 at the tender age of ten. She and her family were missionaries among the Nez Perce Indians where they were welcomed and had many friends among the Nez Perce until everything changed when the Cayuse Indians attacked their home and mission. These memories that Eliza carries with her effect everything she does. When she is thirteen, she meets a man that offers her a chance at love and the opportunity to escape the authoritative hand of her father. She eventually marries Andrew Warren and starts a family. Although kind to Eliza, her husband is restless and a bit neglectful. This book chronicles their life together in the Oregon Territory and Eliza’s quest to forgive and understand her past. I thought the author had a unique way of telling a story. One aspect of her style that stood out to me was her descriptions. Not only were they creative but she also used imaginary that I thought fit the time period fort his story. For example, “Rain falls like sheets of pewter, so hard sometimes I cannot see the oak trees across the yard.” Here is another example; "I'd treat my marriage like Rachel's woodstove, working hard to keep the fire going, not too hot and not too cold, making sure the damper was closed so no outside winds could buffet or send a flame across the floor to burn things up." The author also used Eliza’s mother’s journal entries, dispersed throughout the story, to add another perspective to Eliza’s memories and to illustrate the parallels between the two women’s lives. There was a somber tone to the narrative, which I understood considering the events, but I had to be in a certain mood to read it because of that. I thought the last third of the book seemed slightly disjointed in parts, making me wonder if I missed part of the story. Overall it was a fascinating book because it gave such an accurate picture of life in the 1850’s and 1860’s in America. The author’s extensive research into Eliza’s life is evident in this consistent and precise fictional recounting. I would recommend reading this book if you like realistic accounts of America in the mid 1800’s. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review.
This is an interesting historical novel. This is the first book I have ever read by Jan Kirkpatrick. I really liked the character development in this book. I also enjoyed the fact that as the story progressed many of the characters matured in how they handled things that came up. It was a great look at how childhood trauma can affect a person for years to come. It was a little bit of a revelation to see how simple things were able to cause flashbacks. I had a little bit of trouble with how short segments of Eliza Spalding’s (the mother) diary were inserted. I didn’t see any reference as to someone reading the diary to explain their presence in the story. Each time that I came to one of them I had to stop and remind myself of the connection before I could read it. This was the only real disadvantage for me but it is the reason that I have chosen to give this book only 4 stars. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
The Memory Weaver is Jane Kirkpatrick’s latest novel and once again she builds a story based on true people and events. This is the story of Eliza Spalding, the daughter of prominent Presbyterian missionaries with the Nez Perce in the Pacific Northwest. Her parents worked closely with Dr. Marcus & Narcissa Whitman in the Washington territory, and 10-year old Eliza was there at the mission when they and 12 others are murdered by the Cayuse. Eliza acts as translator for a month for the 45 women and children who are held hostage and the Indians. Big task for a little girl. The book starts Eliza when is 13 years old, her mother (also named Eliza) has died, and she is living in Oregon territory with her difficult father and younger siblings. While she continues to deal with flashbacks and memories, she meets and marries Andrew Warren and they have children. The story asks the question, how does trauma affect a marriage, a mother, a life…? Like many women, she longs to know her mother and her thoughts. When Eliza is finally given her mother’s diary, she is stunned to find that “what we remember isn’t always what happened.” Her mother’s diary corrects many of the things she thought she remembered and provides some context to other things. This wasn’t a light-hearted or easy read. It’s a little somber and sad, but there are threads of joy, forgiveness, love, and hope. Once I got into the book, I had a difficult time putting it down. Watching Eliza work through the memories – good and bad – was like watching a butterfly come free of its cocoon, or a flower slowly beginning to bloom. And it was worth it. Disclosure: I received a free book from Revell Books in exchange for an unbiased review.
“Emotions wrap around memory. We don’t recall the detail in our stories; we remember the experience.” The Memory Weaver is a compelling literary journey! Based on actual events, Jane Kirkpatrick seamlessly weaves fact and fiction and creates a world of intrigue, drama, and romance. The characters and their emotions are vivid, as are the historical details of the narrative. I was captivated by this story of transformation through tragedy and recommend The Memory Weaver to fans of historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
Jane Kirkpatrick, an author known for bringing history to life, has skillfully told the story of another strong woman, unknown to many, who helped pioneer our country. Eliza Spalding Warren was the first surviving white child born west of the Rocky Mountains. Her earliest memories were formed among the Nimíipuu, who were called Nez Perce by the white settlers, her parents being sent to Lapwai, Idaho by the Presbytery Mission Board at the request of the Nimíipuu. Having formed only happy memories, things changed drastically for ten-year old Eliza. Spending time away from her family while being educated at another nearby mission, Eliza was taken hostage during an Indian massacre by those who were angry about the mission’s being built on sacred land and the mission doctor’s inability to save the natives from the pox. This became a defining moment in Eliza’s life, the memories of which encroached on her daily living for many years, well into her adulthood. Kirkpatrick’s telling of Eliza Spalding Warren’s story helps the reader to realize that our memories often become tangled as they are being woven, tangled by misconceptions, tales of others’ memories, extreme emotions, and knots caused by the passage of time. Our own memories are woven into our lives, but it is up to us to decide whether or not they will define us as we continue to weave in new memories. For fans of Kirkpatrick, The Memory Weaver won’t disappoint. For readers whom Kirkpatrick will be a new-to-you author, The Memory Weaver will have you reaching for another book by this author. May I recommend for you two of my favorites: A Light in the Wilderness and Mystic Sweet Communion (the book that led me to reach for another).
I really thought I was going to love this book. One of my absolute favorite genres is historical fiction so when I saw this I was super excited- of course I had to request it! When I started reading it though, I really struggled. It really captured my attention but there was just something about it that didn't sit right with me. I don't know if its simply because I don't read many adult books or if its something else but I just couldn't really get into it. For this reason I could not finish it. I may come back to it later but I'm not going to lose sleep over it.
Jane Kirkpatrick tells the story of the lives of missionaries Eliza and Henry Spalding from the viewpoint of their daughter, Eliza Spalding Warren, interspersed with diary entries of mother Eliza Spalding. The name factor could have been confusing, but Kirkpatrick did a good job of preventing confusion. The Oregon Trail and early 1800's are my favorite time period and place in history. The thorough research done by Kirkpatrick is apparent. I learned that spider webs were used to treat wounds, green wood combined with dry wood is necessary to create the most effective woodstove coals, and some women rode sidesaddle for the entire trip across the country, which to me says a lot about women's station in society and obedience to culturally acceptable rules of the time. This is the first book by Jane Kirkpatrick that I've read. I chose it because of the time period, setting, and the author's reputation. The story is written in first-person from daughter Eliza's point of view. The title describes the storyline: the majority of Eliza's life and trauma is told, not shown, through memories of hers, her mother's, father's, and friends'. I would have preferred to have become part of the action that created the memories. This was not my favorite type of writing style, but because of the many positive reviews of all of Kirkpatrick's books, I intend to read another one. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
When I was first offered the chance to review The Memory Weaver, I jumped at the chance. I was gruesomely fascinated with Indian attacks, the kind we all heard about over and over in the Little House series, but never saw much evidence of. However, when I started reading the book, it was definitely something different. At first, I was somewhat confused by Eliza’s mother’s diary entries. I wasn’t sure what had happened, wasn’t sure where the family lived when they were written, and didn’t find them all that interesting. I skimmed many of the first ones but then at one point, they tell more of Eliza’s life as a survivor of a massacre and hostage situation. I suppose we are meant to see how Eliza’s memories as a little girl in a horribly traumatic incident are flawed, but I really didn’t get that from the diary entries. Also, I finished the book to find the author’s note at the end. I think much of this information from Ms. Kirkpatrick would have helped me read the book with a far more lenient mindset. I understand why she may have kept it at the end, perhaps due to some “spoilers” but I would advise readers to flip to the back first and read her notes, even if just the first few pages, to see what kind of story you’re really diving into. I did enjoy this book. I think it was fun to read a less fictionalized account than Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series. I still am amazed at how women would have been in this time of pioneering, with understanding why a husband would need to be constantly on the move with his cattle to feel fulfilled. And I felt that the description of Eliza and Andrew’s secret courtship was absolutely thrilling – Ms. Kirkpatrick was spot on with her prose here and brought back all of the emotions I had at Eliza’s age. As I’ve said before, I recommend The Memory Weaver to any fan of the Little House series. If you always wanted to read more about the Indian attacks on the frontier, pick this up. And if you’re just interested in the story of a mission family’s work with Native Americans, go ahead and read this book. I was sent this book to review as part of my involvement with Revell. All thoughts are my own.
Jane Kirkpatrick masterfully tells the tale of Eliza Spalding Warren, the first white child born in the young Oregon Territory to survive. Born to missionary parents, Eliza spends her earliest years living among the Nez Perce people where life is happy and the natives are friends. Everything changes in the Fall of 1847 when the Cayuse raid a mission settlement where young Eliza has been sent for schooling. Many of those living at the mission are killed in a bloody massacre. Others, like Eliza, are rounded up and held hostage. Because of her command of the Nez Perce language, Eliza is pressed into service as a go-between when the Cayuse want to communicate with the hostages. Following the release of the hostages, Eliza's parents find themselves relieved of duty by the Mission Board back in the East. Many were jealous or thought it wrong, no matter how many of the peaceful Nez Perce came to know the Lord, that the Spaldings taught in the native language and learned to live among the people rather than forcing them to become "civilized." Mrs. Spalding's health deteriorates in the next few years and as her life wanes, Eliza finds herself taking on more and more of her mother's duties as her father's ministry partner and also in keeping the home and caring for her younger siblings. The rest of the book deals with how those early events color everything Eliza thinks she knows and how she lives out her life. Eventually, she finds out that there is usually more than one perspective to any event and that her childhood memories are not always accurate. Before the book ends, she makes her peace and lives a contented life. The book moved at a somewhat slower pace that I usually like, but based on actual historical events, I found the history enough to keep me interested. I'd recommend The Memory Weaver as a good read for anyone.
The Memory Weaver was an okay read for me. Part of the story in the book would get a little slow and confusing and wished it was a little bit at a faster pace. I did enjoy reading the fictional account of Eliza Spalding Warren. 3 1/2 stars.
When a new book comes out by Jane Kirkpatrick, I am on pins and needles until I can get a copy and read it! This one is yet another 5 star book by her! She is the best at blending historical facts with fiction. With much detailed research on written accounts and records Jane brings to life Spaulding family; missionaries to the Nez Perce Indians and the rich history of the Oregon Territory where they served. Tirelessly and with their whole hearts, Eliza’s mother and father taught and ministered to the tribe. At age ten, the mission suffered a fierce attack by the Cayuse Indians. Several people were killed and Eliza, only 10 years old, was taken captive, and had a front row seat to all the horrors that took place. This event had a massive affect upon her the rest of her life. She suffered from what we now call PTS. Sounds or sights would trigger flashbacks and painful memories. This combined with experiencing the trauma at such a young age left Eliza confused about what actually happened. There were no counselors or medications as there is now so she developed her own ways of dealing with the problem. She leaned on her faith in God, and pure determination and grit. This haunted her even after she married and had children of her own. The chapters alternate between her mother’s diary from that time and Eliza’s life. Between the two I could see discrepancies of her mother’s description what happened and what Eliza remembered. She is forced to face her past and her present when her husband and children move back to the very place of the tragedy. Her journey is one of healing, especially in the area of finding the truth. She comes to understand that painful memories are not always accurate, especially filtered through the eyes of a child. This is a story of courage and suffering, from which for a time there was no escape. It is one woman’s search for peace of heart and mind. As always, through her characters, Ms. Kirkpatrick, strong messages of biblical and life wisdom. I found many I could apply to my life. This is a book you want to read! I received this book free from Revell publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
Saturday, September 12, 2015 The Memory Weaver by Jane Kirkpatrick, © 2015 The Memory Weaver asks the question...how does trauma affect a marriage and a mother and a life and how do we allow love to transform a memory to bring wisdom rather than despair? What role can friends and family play in helping another heal from a tragedy? How much are friends and family affected by disasters experienced by someone they loved? Set in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and the land where Eliza was once held captive, this is the story of memory and how what we remember isn't always what really happened. This story will remind us all that love is more powerful than the fiercest tragedy and that we often judge ourselves harshly over things we cannot change. Forgiveness is a journey we can make together. --author Jane Kirkpatrick I didn't know then that the healing of old wounds comes not from pushing tragic memories away but from remembering them, filtering them through love, to transform their distinctive brand of pain. ... Maybe I didn't even hear what I thought I did. Emotions wrap around memory. We don't recall the detail of our stories; we remember the experience. --The Memory Weaver, 18 Brownsville, Oregon Territory ~ 1851 Eliza Spalding, oldest daughter, age 13 when her mother dies; siblings Henry 11, Martha 4, and Amelia "Millie" then 3. Always drawn to wildflowers, Eliza noticed more than daily chores or happenings; the indent of deer hooves, the quiet watch of an owl in a fir tree. Awareness. "I don't believe in coincidences." Then I sermonized as though I knew all there was to know. "I believe the Lord sets our path and whatever befalls us has some meaning and purpose." --Eliza, Ibid., 21 Andrew Warren, age 19, gravedigger when needed, hopeful future cattle spread owner. He is to learn a lot from Eliza, and she from him. Her father warns her not to keep company with any young man. Andrew has dreams. They include her. Facts do little but annoy big dreamers, or make them more determined to show the naysayers wrong. --Eliza, Ibid., 32 And the story weaves of the past ~ remnants remaining in the future. “I really wanted to tell the story of how a tragic event affects not just the person in the middle of it but the people around it, the people who just stand and wait." --author Jane Kirkpatrick, blog The Diary of Eliza Spalding 1850 You will need to read The Memory Weaver as the story surrounds the happenings and events so vivid for such a time as this. To meld warmth and remembrance to harsh realities to follow the path set before each of us individually, meandering together as course proceeds. I enjoy Jane Kirkpatrick's chronicles of paths she has chosen to rediscover in lands she has known. ***Thank you to author Jane Kirkpatrick and to Revell Reads for sending me a review copy of The Memory Weaver. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
This novel tells of one young woman's journey dealing with a traumatic childhood event and the repercussions it has on her entire life. Kirkpatrick is a skilled author who brings history to life with complex characters. I loved how complex all of the characters were, from Eliza herself, to both of her parents, and her husband. Although this story is based on real-life characters, I was not familiar with them, or the horrible incident that changed Eliza's life forever. The author did a wonderful job bringing the history to life in a way that was both realistic and heartfelt. This book really deals with not just trauma, but family relationships, as Eliza stumbles through her interactions with her father, stepmother, husband, and sisters. The friendship between Eliza and Nancy is especially welcome, as two survivors who cope in different ways, and the close bond a shared history gives them. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historical fiction. As someone who loves the details, I was especially gratified that the author had a note at the end explaining what was fact and how she fictionalized a real account. Her attention to detail and compassion for the characters were evident throughout the story. I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of a review, but all opinions are my own.
Another wonderful Christian Historical by master story teller Jane Kirkpatrick, based on facts about American Indian missionaries Eliza and Henry Spalding, and their daughter Eliza. This is the story about the daughter - expanding on actual diaries and documents - mixed as Jane Kirkpatrick so skillfully does with faith and life wisdoms. At the age of 10 young Eliza was among the hostages taken by the Cayuse, a traumatic event (including massacres) that took place for 39 days before the British paid the ransom for their release. Eliza was forced to be an interpreter, since she was the only one who spoke all the languages of the captors and hostages. This explores her life as she lives on after this tragedy, expected to act as an adult, and goes on to marry and raise children of her own. The story of her relationship with her father, her husband and actual events in their lives is very interesting - growing up and still coping with memories of her early life. It's woven with excerpts from her mother's diary, sometimes showing that things were not always the way that she perceived them from her 10 year old vantage point. You can't help but be touched by the story of this strong woman of the 1800's and her story of survival. From Eliza's mother's diaries: "... suffering arrives when one longs for what is not and can never be again. " And during her life among the Indians: ". . . she aided me in understanding that the way I saw the world was not the only way to see it. " As stated by the author: "It's my hope that this story allows each of us shaped by tragic and painful events to see that we are not alone and that there is a way to weave new cloth." Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Baker Publishing Group, Revell Reads - 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”. http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html