Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I interviewed author Jane Kirkpatrick

One of the great perks of my job is that I often get books sent to me without even asking for them. Several years ago, I was sent a wonderful book called "A Sweetness to the Soul." Not long after that, I was able to read its sequel, "Love to Water My Soul."

That began my love affair with the writings of Jane Kirkpatrick. It's hard to pigeon-hole Jane's books into a strictly Christian fiction slot, although they definitely come from a Christian world-view and are faith-affirming.

But it's my belief that Jane Kirkpatrick's books could be put on any shelf and stand out for their excellence. I've read just about everything Jane has written since I read "A Sweetness to the Soul," and I'm delighted that she has begun another series, the Change and Cherish series.

The first book in that series is A Clearing in the Wild. The story--based on actual people and events--centers around Emma Wagner, a young woman who is part of the Bethel colony, a close-knit religious community ruled by a charismatic and autocratic leader, Dr. Wilhelm Kiel.

Spirited, outgoing and opinionated, Emma has trouble buckling under in a community that scarcely allows women to speak, much less contribute an opinion. When one of the main men in the colony falls in love with her, conflict inevitably arises between Emma and Kiel, the leader. And then, Kiel decides to send Emma's husband on a trip to Oregon.

As always, Jane Kirkpatrick breathes life into a small portion of history, through meticulous research and beautiful writing. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

More on my interview with Jane Kirkpatrick tomorrow.

Go here to read my review of Jane Kirkpatrick's "A Name of her Own" and "Every Fixed Star.

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