Monday, 1 December 2014

A Light in the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick

Back Cover: Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause most 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 and she knows she will follow him anywhere - even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.

Bets 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 here 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, these spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill. This multilayered story from best selling author Jane Kirkpatrick will grip your heart and mind as you trail on the dusty and dangerous Oregon Trail into the boundless American West. Based on a true story.

Review: I was asked last week to recommend the next book for a book club. Without hesitation, I answered, "A Light in the Wilderness…" The person who asked me, I'm sure, wasn't prepared for my overly-excited book-push (You would think I was the author for how eager I was to get them to read this book). The book-reviewer in me totally took over, "….this book would be perfect. It's about this young African-American girl who is freed by the family who owns her. She ends up going across America to Oregon on a wagon train, secretly married to a white man, pregnant with a child, and chased by angry prejudice from white people disgusted by her free status. Her story is incredible. While one of the white ladies on the train accepts her as a friend, most of them treat her like dirt. The prejudice is awful. The girl, Letitia, is so strong…and the circumstances she pushes through really taught me a lot. This book is based on a true story. It incorporates a lot of historical figures and events that actually happen - including Oregon's exclusion law where it becomes illegal to live in Oregon if you were black. Mortifying. There was even a lash law in Oregon…twice yearly lashings if you were cause in the territory simply because you were black. Unbelievable. Awful. I learnt a lot from this book, it was a great read, and the story is totally worth reading by your group."

Anyways…I said it something like that. I'm kinda raving about this book right now. Reading it really is time well spent.

So, just like I told the book club they HAD to read this book…so do you!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, and Graf-Martin Communications, INC. It is available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Publishing Group."

(Although a free copy of the book was provided, this is my honest opinion of the book)

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