Title: Emma of Aurora (The Complete Change & Cherish Trilogy)
Author: Jane Kirkpatrick (www.jkbooks.com)
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Let me start by saying that discovering this author was one of the greatest finds in recent memory for me. Jane writes historical fiction with heart, adventure and gripping action. Along with those qualities, the characters also reflect what a life of faith might have looked like for a small community of Bethelites who desire to be separate from the world. In this particular trilogy, beginning with the first novel, A Clearing in the Wild, a young woman named Emma wants to strike outside the bounds of communal living in order to go with her new husband and other scouts as they seek new land that is father away from the “world”. During her adventures she learns a lot about herself, marriage and traveling in uncharted territories.
The second book is titled, A Tendering in the Storm, continuing Emma’s story to the delight of those who love historical fiction. Emma is now parenting alone, which is hard enough, but what makes it more difficult is that she longs to raise her children her way. Again, Emma is striking out to live beyond the boundaries or to put it another way to stretch her wings. Emma is a strong-willed woman, having discovered who she is and how to live without the support of her husband.
In the final installment of the trilogy, A Mending at the Edge, Emma has decisions to make in order to be able to live life that is not always at odds with her new husband or community. As discomfort closes in, Emma seeks to locate others who find themselves in the same place of life, which opens up for her a purpose that she hadn’t perceived before.
Jane Kirkpatrick paints a story of a real live person in a historical setting who isn’t perfect, but as flawed as all other humans. Emma was a flesh and blood woman who loved God and longed to live her life in a way that pleased God while discovering what her purpose in life was among other believers. I think readers will appreciate the rich history of Emma and other characters, along with discovering a period of history. Emma was just like all women who long to be available and of use to God, living her life serving others. The other plus of this volume is being able to continue reading without waiting to locate the sequels as well as the author sharing with the audience from the start which characters were real and those who truly were fictitious.
My rating is 5 stars.
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