A Clearing in the Wild by Jane Kirkpatrick is an extremely well-written novel. It took me a little while to get into it, but once I began to see where Kirkpatrick was going, I became engrossed. Then, in my opinion, the story ended perfectly. I was glad I’d kept reading!
Based on a true story, A Clearing in the Wild is the story of a young woman finding her grown-up place in the religious community of Bethel, Missouri. Wilhelm Keil, the leader of this community, makes all decisions for the community and holds all property in his name. When Keil announces that he is sending Emma’s husband and eight other men west on a one to two year journey to find new land for the community, newly wed Emma finagles her way along. Readers get to watch Emma, her marriage, and her Christian life mature.
Discussion questions at the end of the book help readers process its themes. An interview with the author reveals the history and fiction of the story with a promise of a second book to come in this series.
I thank Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. I recommend it to fans of historical fiction and to those concerned with women’s issues.