A Clearing in the Wild, by Jane Kirkpatrick, is the first book in the Change and Cherish Historical Series. It begins the story of the people of Bethel, Missouri, taking place in the 1850s. The people there, followers of Wilhelm Keil, obey their leader’s wishes without question, believing that he follows the Bible and the Lord.
Emma Wagner, however, is forever challenging Keil and his decisions. She and Christian Giesy marry against their leader’s wishes, so he agrees to send her with her husband and eight other men in search of a new place for the colony in Oregon. The ten of them endure many hardships, including Emma giving birth twice, and building homes for the 250 people they expect to join them. Then, when their leader and others finally arrive, he does not approve of their choice for a site, leading to difficult times for them all.
I enjoyed reading this story. It was more intense reading than your average fiction book, but that is probably due to the fact that it is a true story. Thus I recommend it for people who truly love history as well as a good story. I look forward to reading the other two books in this series soon.
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.