Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Light in the Darkness... a book review


A Light in the Darkness

By Jane Kirkpatrick
ISBN: 9780800722319
Historical Fiction / Christian
Publish Date: September 2, 2014
Revell Publishing

Publisher’s Description –

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.

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Historical Fiction is a genre that weaves a story within a particular time and place.  As a home educator, my children read historical fiction to gain a better understanding of the life and times of different cultures and eras.

A Light in the Darkness is a wonderful story of the hardships of a freed slave, Leticia, in the states (Kentucky and Missouri) and in the unknown Oregon Territory.  History books give a one-sided view - facts only.  YET, Jane Kirkpatrick weaves this story from the perspective of a freed woman who is not seen as a full person anywhere.  We meet Leticia in 1842 when she received her freedom papers and follow her life through 1856 and beyond.

The book is slow to grab your attention; but as the reader gains a fuller understanding of Leticia’s situation, you are pulled into the story and begin speculating how her life story ends.  I enjoyed learning more details about how women, especially freed slaves, were treated not only during the long trail ride but also after they reached a supposed “free” territory. 

Jane Kirkpatrick shares her research and information at the end of the book.  She put great thought and research into her writing to portray Leticia’s life as truthfully as possible.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars      A-

I receive a complimentary e-copy of A Light in the Darkness from Revell Publishing and NetGalley for my honest review.



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