Friday, April 18, 2008

Book 2 in the Change and Cherish Historical Series - Jane Kirkpatrick

“A hinge is so much more. It divides two sides of a story. It is what separates mourning from joy, belief from aimlessness, surrender from independence. It’s what holds those halves together. A hinge is a circumstance upon which later events depend.” (p.11)

The second book in Jane Kirkpatrik’s Change and Cherish series acts as the hinge in Emma Wagner Giesy’s story that began in the first book A Clearing In the Wild. Even though she and Christian have remained behind the Keil colony members who have moved on to Oregon, Emma can’t seem to let go of the hurt and resentment toward everything the colony represents. Her struggle to be independent and free from communal living and the care of others seems to stem from a deep sense of pride and her struggle to be everything her family needs in every circumstance. Christian tries very hard to teach Emma the danger in resisting everyone’s help by pouring himself out for others and trying to live the “Diamond Rule” of the colony and make other’s lives better than his own. It is this selflessness that takes him from Emma and leaves her alone to raise her three children.

Jane Kirkpatrick alters the points of view in this story differently than in the first book, and she uses Brother Keil’s wife Louisa as counterpoint to Emma’s willfulness. The reader is able to see both sides of the woman’s roll within and without the structure of the colony. Louisa is learning that she too longs for more of a voice in her husband’s world, and the grief over her son’s death winds up changing her own blind submission into a helpmete’s voice in her husband’s dictatorial leadership style. She has wisdom enough to know that she can’t survive outside the safety of the colony’s structure, but the reader learns’ that she too longs to be loved and accepted for who she is independent of the other women that surround her.

Meanwhile, Emma’s solitude in Wilapa Bay seems to cause her to sway from extreme contentment to abysmal despair. She wants to be the sole provider in an area whose harsh weather and wet winters threaten to take even her children from her. Rather than accept other’s selfless giving of their time and resources, Emma begins to make a series of very selfish and dangerous decisions. Blinded by grief and bitterness, she winds up in a relationship that becomes harmful to both she and her children, and one that forces her to make the hardest decisions of all. Emma Giesy’s desire to protect her children proves to be the one thing that teaches her that she can lean on others without losing herself in the process.

You don’t want to miss this dramatic and soulful hinge in this beautiful trilogy! Pick up your copy today!!

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