A Tendering in the Storm by Jane Kirkpatrick – My Review

Originally Posted at Bibliophile’s Retreat by Melissa Meeks

This is a heart rending historical novel taking a look at Emma Wagner Giesy’s life in our beautiful Northwest during its beginnings as a civilized territory. In this second book of the Change and Cherish series, Jane Kirkpatrick takes a look at Emma’s choices after losing her husband and to what lengths she is willing to go, as a widow in a patriarchial society, in order to keep her children with her.

In the 19th century single parents were nearly unheard of in the sense that we know of them today yet here is a story of a woman who strains against the confines of her society even to the point of fighting help from friends and family who are willing and able to relieve some of her burden. She is determined to be beholden to no one and feels that there are strings attached to any offer or act of assistance from her husband’s family or the colony of which they have been a part since birth. In this patriarchial group her outspoken, assertive nature is frowned upon and the others are certain that her sons need a male authority in their lives now that their father is no longer alive to fill that role.

Emma has already lost her husband of a few short years and a loving father to her children yet the grandparents and others in the colony insist that she should give up her independent ways and move closer which would also mean giving up the land her husband purchased for their homestead and the house they shared for most of their lives together. They want the children under the wing of an older male in the group a grandfather or uncle to fill the father role until or unless Emma remarries which doesn’t seem to be amongst the options she is considering. They also feel that coming and going from the main settlement for school during the months it is in session is not a feasible alternative due to the distance of Emma’s land and home from the settlement. She however stubbornly clings to the only things she has left of her beloved, their homestead and children. She cannot bear to lose any of them to her in-laws or give them up voluntarily to someone else.

What won’t Emma resort to in order to keep both the only home she knew with her husband and their offspring together in one place rather than giving in to the insistent demands of her in-laws and leaders of the colony? Read this sequel to a A Clearing in the Wild and find out for yourselves.

I’ll be posting a review of the third book in this series soon. You can read my review of the first book here.

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