A Mending at the Edge is the final book in the Change and Cherish Historical Series by Jane Kirkpatrick. You may wish to read my reviews of the first two books, A Clearing in the Wild and A Tendering in the Storm.
The series is based on the historic account of the Aurora Colony in Oregon, which came out of the Bethel-ites originating in Missouri in the 1850s, who sought to live apart from the world and its lures.
There is much more I could write about this series, and this book in particular, but for now I am simply sharing my review on Goodreads. Along with my decision to refrain from reading any more of this author’s books. I think you’ll understand why when you read the review that follows. For a synopsis of the book, click on the title below.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Public library copy. Last in the Emma Wagner series.
There’s not much one can say about Jane’s books. You either like them or you don’t. They are very historical and very well written. I am in awe of the work that goes into a series like this. It is amazing and, from my amateur point of view, flawless.
I like that the author tells (in the back of the book) which parts are historical and which are fictional. The fictional parts are so in character with the story that I’d never know the difference. Could you?
So why did I give the book less than a five-star rating? It has to do with my preference in what I read, which undoubtedly differs from yours.
I love Jane Kirkpatrick’s writing style. I love the way she paints ideas with words and turns phrases and concepts and quilts and food and physical surroundings and characters and whatever else, and weaves them all together to show the reader what the character is feeling or doing or thinking or learning. Every bit of her writing is showing, and very real to the reader. Maybe I love it too much… I feel sidetracked about halfway through the book. From real life.
This particular series, being about a religious colony’s communal living, is the thing I most dislike, the subject. (I feel the same way about other religious colony/communities.) That part of the story is so dark to me. Hopeless. It is difficult to focus on Emma, when the reader would like to avenge her by giving the colony leader his just dessert! Good writing, of course, to make the reader want to jump into the story.
I found it trying, though I know it is based on a real person, to follow the faith of a group of people, most of whom showed no evidence of a personal relationship with God. That’s my preference, to read about people who know God personally and grow in relationship with Him by faith. I don’t expect an author to insert that into a story where it doesn’t fit. I just prefer reading that kind of story, and that’s why it’s less than five-stars.