Jane Kirkpatrick knows how to spin a yarn!
Her leading ladies are strong and courageous, they make sacrifices and are confronted by hard choices in troubled times. Often the heroine deals with personal pain as well as larger conflicts in her world, and over the course of the novel she is refined by the fires.
In A Light in the Wilderness, we have the chance to befriend Letitia. This woman's keen mind is ignored due to the shade of her skin, and her opinion does not matter, yet Letitia knows what is most important about her identity- she is free. She has the papers that prove it.
People may still walk around her as if she's garbage and talk over her as if she is a fence post, but she is not a slave.
When Letitia serves somebody now, she does it because she has a kind and giving heart, not because she is property.
And she even has a few dreams that her freedom should allow her to reach. She wants her own bit of land, some seeds to grow her own vegetables. She wants her own cow, and her own sewing things to make her clothes. It will be a quiet, industrious life, and it will be a free life.
Letitia never imagined the battles she would have to fight, the trouble she would face, and the inner reserve of faith and hope that she would gain.
Once you begin this book, it will absorb you. Letitia's story combines with several other women's stories, including an aged Indian grandmother and a white woman who accepts Letitia as a human being and a friend.
The basic striving for dignity, the gain of love and the experience of loss, the birth of a child and the death of a child, all these come into the stories.
There is harshness that makes you wonder how these women kept their head up, and then there are spots of tenderness and you think "Yes, we still feel this way today."
In pioneer times and in our times, the real stuff lasts: our grit, our persistence, our ability to take a stand for goodness and human rights.
Thank you Revell for my review copy.