Read A Light in the Wilderness Online

Authors: Jane Kirkpatrick

Tags: #Historical, #FIC042030, #FIC014000, #Freedmen—Fiction, #African American women—Fiction, #Oregon Territory—History—Fiction, #Christian Fiction

A Light in the Wilderness

BOOK: A Light in the Wilderness
4.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

© 2014 by Jane Kirkpatrick

Published by Revell

a division of Baker Publishing Group

P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287

Ebook edition created 2014

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—for example, electronic, photocopy, recording—without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

ISBN 978-1-4412-1956-5

Scripture used in this book, whether quoted or paraphrased by the characters, is taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

This book is a work of historical fiction based closely on real people and events. Details that cannot be historically verified are purely products of the author’s imagination.

Praise for
All Together in One

“Great characters and a strong story. Jane Kirkpatrick is an excellent writer.”

T. Davis Bunn
, bestselling and award-winning author

All Together in One Place
Jane Kirkpatrick has performed a literary miracle. She made me—a reader who seldom ventures into Western fiction by choice—struggle across dusty plains and ford swollen rivers right along with her eleven turnaround women. . . . She made me care for—no,
for—characters who rubbed me the wrong way until they polished clean my resistance and stole my heart. Finally, she made me marvel at the strength of these pioneer women of faith whose hard-learned lessons give me the courage to change what needs changing in my life, and whose collective trust in God fortifies my own. Read it and experience this miracle of kinship and courage for yourself.”

Liz Curtis Higgs
, bestselling author and Christy Award winner

“This beautiful novel speaks to the heart of human relationships—full in love. Jane Kirkpatrick’s book is a treasure, well worth reaching beyond our genre to experience.”

RT Book
, 4.5 stars

Praise for
No Eye Can See

“The author brings her heroines alive with full complements of both endearing and frustrating qualities, keeping them on even footing with each other and leaving the reader unsure what they might do next. Kirkpatrick is convincingly insightful about the conflicting emotions these women experience during dramatic life change, allowing them to struggle, change their minds, make mistakes and start over on different tracks. . . . [
No Eye Can See
] satisfies overall as entertainment, as historical fiction, and as a thoughtful exploration of human character and community.”

Publishers Weekly

Praise for
A Flickering

“Jane Kirkpatrick’s brilliance as a storyteller and her elegant artistry with the written word shine like a beacon in
A Flickering Light.
A master at weaving historical accounts with threads of story, Jane has that rare ability to take her reader on a journey through time. You nearly feel the ground move beneath your feet.”

Susan Meissner
, bestselling author of
The Shape of Mercy

Praise for
Daughter’s Walk

“Jane Kirkpatrick is a wonderful writer who creates a story full of strong, admirable characters with human flaws.”

Francine Rivers
, bestselling author

Praise for
One Glorious

“As always, Kirkpatrick’s writing is graceful and poignant. A master of historical fiction, Kirkpatrick has long been a favorite author among fans of the genre, and for good reason. She seamlessly weaves biographical and historical facts into her expert storytelling, both here and in her many previous novels.”

Book Reporter Review

“Jane Kirkpatrick’s ability to probe the human spirit makes
One Glorious Ambition
a soaring novel of love, compassion, and duty.”

Sandra Dallas
, award-winning and
New York Times
bestselling author of
True Sisters

Praise for
A Sweetness to the Soul

“Jane Kirkpatrick’s particular gift is for capturing the authentic feel and flavor of frontier life;
A Sweetness to the Soul
is absolutely true to the people and the land as they once were. This is a novel that calls up a period early in the history of Oregon marked not only by hardship, sudden death, spiritual fortitude, and physical endurance, but also by community—one person reaching out to help another so that they might all survive.”

Molly Gloss
, bestselling author of
The Hearts of Horses

“The best novels leave the reader changed in some significant way.
A Sweetness to the
does that literally from its opening pages. . . . It is a celebration of those things that connect us, that make us what we are, that give us joy and sorrow, and understanding.”

Salem Statesman Journal

Praise for
Love to Water
My Soul

“Rich with sensory imagery, well-developed characters, and peppered with native words, the novel brings alive the traditional and transitional lives of the native people of Oregon in the late nineteenth century. The details about the flora, fauna, and tribal traditions bear evidence of meticulous research.”

Library Journal

Praise for
Gathering of Finches

“Drawing upon extensive research, including interviews with descendants, Kirkpatrick weaves a tale of a beautiful and dynamic woman who left a mark on everyone who knew her. . . . To fully appreciate Kirkpatrick’s research and interest in the lives of her subjects, read her Acknowledgments and Author’s Note prior to beginning this entertaining and informative novel.”

Critics Corner
Presbyterian Magazine

Praise for
A Clearing in the Wild

A Clearing in the
is Jane Kirkpatrick at her finest. The story is quickly paced and engaging from the first to the last. One of the most difficult tasks for a writer—and Kirkpatrick’s specialty—is to contemplate the lives of real people and to re-create a believable episode in those lives that is accurate yet interesting, to both inform and entertain. The dialogue sings masterfully with perfect tone, building characters and pushing the story line in succinct phrasing that never overstates. Emma Wagner Giesy’s story feels as genuine as if she herself were telling it.”

Nancy E. Turner
, bestselling author

Praise for
A Land of Sheltered Promise

“Jane Kirkpatrick has an extraordinary talent for compelling us to explore our beliefs while telling a whopping good tale.”

Book Reporter



Title Page

Copyright Page


Cast of Characters

Orgeon Territory (Map)

Soap Creek Valley (Map)



Part One

Having an Opinion

The Choice

Property Claimed


Oregon Country

The Secrets of Butter and Cheese


Precious Promises

Seasonal Surprises

Stepping Up, Stepping Over

Ready for Beyond

Part Two

Oregon Country


Uncharted Sentiment


The Fundamentals

A Time to Weep, a Time to Laugh

Oregon Country

Carrying On

What Matters After All

Double Deception

Oregon Country

What Once We Loved

One More Crossing

The Separation

Oregon Country

Part Three

Settled In to Freedom

Where Safety Lies


Letting Go

Loose Ends That Never End

A Light in the Wilderness


Author’s Note


An Interview with the Author

Suggested Readings

Book Discussion Questions

About the Author

Back Ads

Back Cover

Cast of Characters
Letitia (Carson)
an African American woman
Martha & Adam Carson
Letitia and David’s children
David (Davey) Carson
Former mountain man/farmer/common-law husband of Letitia
Smith Carson
brother of David Carson
Junior Carson
David’s son from first marriage
Sarah Bowman
a Missouri and later Oregon neighbor
William Bowman
husband of Sarah
Zachariah Hawkins
doctor in Iowa/Missouri/Oregon journey
Nancy Hawkins
wife of Zachariah, neighbor of Carsons in Missouri and Oregon
Samuel, Maryanne, Martha, Edward, Laura, Nancy Jane
children of Nancy and Zachariah Hawkins
The Woman, Betsy
a Kalapuya woman in Oregon country
Little Shoot
Betsy’s grandson
Greenberry Smith (G.B. Smith)
slave patroller and neighbor of Carsons in Oregon
Eliza White
slave girl under contention in Missouri
Stephen Staats
Levin English
captains whom Carson traveled with in 1845
Henry Knighton
Hardin Martin
drovers for Carson
Joseph and Frances Gage
Letitia’s neighbors
A.J. Thayer
Letitia’s attorney

Being one of the “Poor Whites” from a slave state I can speak with some authority for that class—many of those people hated slavery, but a much larger number of them hated free negroes even worse than slaves.

—Jesse Applegate, Oregon emigrant from Missouri in 1843

The essential code must include . . . how to crawl from the wreckage when this life falters, how to plunge to the cellar of sorrow and grope for the ladder that might bring you back into some kind of light, no matter how dim or strange.

—Kim Stafford,
100 Tricks Any Boy
Can Do

She walked toward the prairie,

the unexpected promise of possibility, new grace

in her heart . . .

—Kathleen Ernst,
Facing Forward

BOOK: A Light in the Wilderness
4.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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