Jane Kirkpatrick’s Emma of Aurora is a trilogy that includes the following books: A Clearing in the Wild, A tendering in the Storm, and A Mending at the Edge. This is the Change Cherish Trilogy that is based on the true story of Emma Wagner Giesy. It is Emma’s journey from the colony in Bethel, Missouri to the colony of Aurora in the Washington Territory in the middle 1800s. Emma was an outspoken woman who yearned for independence but also inclusion into the Bethelite Colony. She faced many trials throughout her journey and a lot of times her outspoken ways caused her trouble. I believe she was probably an early version of a women rights activist and was probably ahead of her time. She struggled with her spiritual beliefs and her wants.
First, I would like to say I enjoyed this book but be aware this is 3 books in one and is over 1100 pages. It’s a BIG book and will take some time to read. You can purchase each book individually if the size seems to daunting.
As I was reading I didn’t realize the book was based on a real person. I wish I had known this it may have made the book even more enjoyable. Ms Kirkpatrick seems to have really researched the colony and its residents. She has included an excerpt at the end of the book about her research. (This is when I realized it was based on reality, haha). I guess I should have read the back of the book better.
At times I felt frustrated at the colony and at Emma then I had to realize the 1800’s were vastly different than that of today’s world. I can’t say too much without spoiling so I will just say there were things that I assumed were going to happen and then they didn’t. I will leave it at that. You will just have to read the books to see what I mean. I think I would’ve liked to have seen one more book in this series in order to give me some more closure. Emma constantly struggled with her personality challenges that were not totally in line with the beliefs of the colony. She struggled with her spiritual life and wanted to desperately do what God wanted her to do. At times I felt she used the “spiritual” beliefs to justify her “wants” and it wasn’t always spiritual at all it was just a means to an end for her. Emma was at a constant war with herself and at times would seem selfish but I can’t say that I would be much different. Again I had to remind myself that this was a different era and the expectations of women were very different than they are now. She wanted equality and I found myself wanting equality for her much like what we have today.
At times the scripture seemed to be used incorrectly but again it seemed as though the characters were trying to us it to meet their “wants” or to make them “right” to another person. The three books flowed easily together and if you were reading them separately you definitely would want to read them in order. I’m not sure they could be stand alone books.
I would recommend this book if you like historical books and if you have the time to sit down and read. It’s not a book that you will finish quickly and it’s not really a romantic type book. It is more of a religious journey with life and hardships that one would face in the 1800s.
I was given this book at no charge by Waterbrook in exchange for an honest review. A favorable review was not expected.
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