06 September 2014

A Light In The Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick, Book review

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 2, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722319
  • Also available in KINDLE format


Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read--as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.

Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband that she knows she will follow him anywhere--even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.

Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.

As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill. This multilayered story from bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick will grip readers' hearts and minds as they travel with Letitia on the dusty and dangerous Oregon trail into the boundless American West.

My thoughts:

Based on a true story, Jane Kirkpatrick's novel A Light In The Wilderness follows three very different women, each on a journey filled with hope but riddled with pitfalls. As the story unravels we are quickly reminded what a hard life pioneer women lived in the 19th Century as this country developed into the nation we know it to be today.

Jane Kirkpatrick's prose brings all the little details any history buff look for into a good novel but what I found most enticing was the different emotions she endowed each of the three women who make up this story. African American Letitia is a freed slave and the survivor, Nancy is the kindred spirit who does not care if her friend is dark and Native American Betsy is the constant in this new state of Oregon, a land of dreams for so many in that time.

With in depth suggested readings, book discussion questions and an interview with the author, you will find this a surprisingly entertaining novel as you follow these three women in their quest to secure their place in this new West. 

4 Stars!

Meet the Author:

Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including 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 DecisionPrivate Pilot, and Daily Guideposts.

Visit her website (HERE)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from BAKER PUBLISHING. as part of the it's promotion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 


  1. Small world. That Fur Trapper Encampment I talked about on my blog took place in the traditional home of the Tualatin Kalapuya. Sounds like a good book:)

    1. I am constantly reminded that we are all tied in some infinitesimal
      way Aimee by the Creator.
      I enjoyed the book and I hope you will too!
      Blessings to you and yours,


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