Young Emma Wagner chafes at the constraints of Bethel colony, an 1850s religious community in Missouri that is determined to remain untainted by the concerns of the world. A passionate and independent thinker, she resents the limitations placed on women, who are expected to serve in quiet submission. In a community where dissent of any form is discouraged, Emma finds it difficult to rein in her tongue--and often doesn't even try to do so, fueling the animosity between her and the colony's charismatic and increasingly autocratic leader, Wilhelm Keil. Eventually Emma and her husband, Christian, are sent along with eight other men to scout out a new location in the northwest where the Bethelites can prepare to await "the last days." Christian believes they've found the ideal situation in Washington territory, but when Keil arrives with the rest of the community, he rejects Christian's choice in favor of moving to Oregon. Emma pushes her husband to take this opportunity to break away from the group, but her longed-for influence brings unexpected consequences. As she seeks refuge for her wounded faith, she learns that her passionate
nature can be her greatest strength--if she can harness it effectively.
- Sweet Story
I randomly picked up this book as I am a fan of historical fiction, only to find it was set in my backyard. I was born and raised in the Willamette Valley, just a half hour from Aurora, Oregon and I enjoyed the brief history that I picked up while reading this book. My only problem is that the pronunciations of many of the locations is incorrect; The Dalles, Willamette, Chehalis, and Puyallup to name a few. I wish I didn't let it distract me, but I did-slightly. I am thankful that I was able to hear the book, as I probably wouldn't have found the time to sit down and read it.
- Good story, bad pronunciations
This story is full of hope and promise. I have enjoyed several of Jane Kirkpatrick's novel, both for their historical content and for the strong female characters. While I liked the narrator's voice, her mispronunciation of many words was incredibly distracting. Chastened and chignon were mangled as were so many of the place names. I'm from the Pacific Northwest and know how these are supposed to be verbalized, as will any of your other Northwest listeners. I just wish those who record audiobooks would make sure of pronunciations before recording. The Dalles is pronounced with a short a sound, not Dales, Puyallup is pronounced Poo-ya-lup, not pully-up and Willamette rhymes with dammit. I've also heard Willapa pronounced with the accent on the second syllable. It's these types of things that distract from an otherwise good story.
- This is a delightful book. As...
This is a delightful book. As I listened often times I was able to see my relationships brought to life with the insightful approach the author often takes. God doesn't always do what we think He should. Our actions may not seem divinely inspired but God often reveals His plan in the process. Just some thoughts the book may stir for you as they did for me.