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December 13, 2012

A CLEARING IN THE WILD by Jane Kirkpatrick

Based on a true story, 'A Clearing in the Wild' is by author, Jane Kirkpatrick. This is a story of actual people and events. The main character is Emma Wagner, part of the Bethel Colony. The people of Bethel, Missouri want to exist in a life of simplicity and generosity. Vanity was not to even be thought of.

A good feeling comes over you when Emma was so happy about being Frau Giesy. I did feel bad when Emma And Christian would be living apart. She was so lonely and needed the warmth of her husband lying beside her.

The way the German words 'Ja', 'Liebchem' and 'Ach' were part of the dialogue made the conversations more real. It was so sad when she felt "like a beaten egg" when leaving the church. Being in a church should make a person feel good, and renewed. Women weren't supposed to be independent or have any thoughts of their own.

On Christmas Eve, she was swung into the arms of her husband who nearly smothered her with kisses. This makes you just want to cry. Tears of happiness, of course.

Emma found life to be binding instead of peaceful in this supposed to be Eden. When Emma got an opportunity to fulfill her desire to belong to a comunity, she did everything she could to get to go with her husband.

Emma definitely had a mind of her own, she tried very hard to speak her own mind and often did. She is the only woman to head west with the other scouts. She has a secret that no one, not even Christian knows.
This was unbelievable for me, "scouts will spy", didn't seem very God fearing to me.

Father Kiel seemed to be the bearer of evil, unhappiness and restlessness, instead of goodness. God's gift of grace? I think not.

When the baby died, Herr Keil's words were that the baby died because of the parent's sin. The words were not from the Bible, not comforting to a mother, after months of carrying the child and then she lost it. They were words of evil.

Women were treated badly. They could work the wagons and serve, but they couldn't discuss anything. The women would remind you of clusters of grapes waiting to be picked. They wore gray to get married in to appear not too worldly. Color doesn't make you worldly.

Emma Wagner Giesy is brought to reality in 'A Clearing in the Wild'. The author makes us stop and think about the emotions that Emma feels. Such as being left behind when her husband goes off with the other scouts more than once. They needed to start their married life, but it had to wait.

The author did a lot of research of which you can tell by the well written and authentic book. It's almost as though you can step into the character's shoes.

 It's hard to believe that so many people would do what one man said and follow him like he was God. Did they not have minds of their own? One person should not have that much control.

Emma had sewn a ruffle on her petticoat and that was a sin but the colony made and sold whiskey. Simplicity in the home was required but the colony had a brass band and held dances complete with beer drinking. A little like 'double standards'.

This book is more of a laid back book, slow paced. It's definitely a page turner only slower. You'll definitely want to read the second and third books in this series.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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