Friday, November 11, 2016

This Road We Traveled by Jane Kirkpatrick

Imagine taking a journey that few have ventured across a land where you only have what you've managed to get into your wagon. Imagine spending countless months in the open air and facing such dangerous conditions, you thought you'd loose your life.
This is a taste of the story, This Road We Traveled, written by Jane Kirkpatrick. A story that deserved to be told of a group of people who left everything for the promise of land in the West.

From the Back Cover:
Tabiatha Brown refuses to be left behind in Missouri when her son makes the decision to strike out for Oregon--even if she has to hire her own wagon to join the party. After all, family ties are stronger than fear.
Along with her reluctant daughter and her ever-hopeful granddaughter, the intrepid Tabitha has her misgivings. The trials they face along the way will severely test her faith, courage, and ability to hope. With her family's survival on the line, she must make the ultimate sacrifice, plunging deeper into the wilderness to seek aid. What she couldn't know was how the frightening journey would impact how she understood her own life--and the greater part she had to play in history.

My Review:
This is an amazing story about an adventurous group of people who crossed the plains of our country from Missouri to Oregon.  Their courage and bravery was truly amazing. I cannot imagine all the difficulties they would have endured. Yikes, these days I complain about my internet not working...  This story spoke to me.  Not many historical fiction stories actually bring out tears, but this one did with it's ending thoughts. Tabitha Brown is quite an amazing woman.  One who ended up starting a university in her late 60's because of her push and resolve to do something with the life she'd been given. The author did a great job capturing Tabitha Brown's spirit and helping the reader to gain a little insight into her life.

"Her prosperity began when she had given everything away, when she had nothing left and when she'd prayed to understand what her poverty was meant to teach her. From that day forward, God had opened doors of service and she kept walking through them." (pg. 316)  I appreciated the thought that Tabitha's life was all about God and what He would have her to do in each given circumstance. Any time that she came to a place of wondering what to do next, she'd wait on God to see what His plan for her life was. All she wanted was to know how best to spend the "light" she had left during these twilight years. The poem by John Milton, When I Consider How My Light Was Spent, was used in the book and took on great meaning with the main character of the story. 

This last quote from the book really touched my heart. In the story, Tabitha is writing her memoir for her granddaughter and in her final page she ends with this thought:
"Now, my greatest challenge...did you know, Sarelia, that Webster tells us a challenge is a call to engage in a contest, or a claim to question truth or fact? But here is an oddity: the word comes from the Latin word calvi, meaning 'to deceive.' I've thought often of that word root, to deceive.  I've decided that to refuse to accept a challenge is the deception. To let one's heart hesitate so long the challenge is missed, that forms the trickery. To resist our calling, whatever that may be, to keep our feet planted in one place rather than use them to go forward, or from fear, to fail to spread our wings--that perhaps is the greatest cheating of any of our lives. What deception it would be to turn our backs on what we're called to do, discovering that purpose." (pg. 321)
Yes, it is quite a thought that we could live this life that God has given us trying to avoid a challenge we know He wants us to take. The challenge is to step up and look past the easy route and trust God with what He has us to do. I really enjoyed reading this book and would definitely recommend it to any historical fiction fans. You'll learn much more than just history through this story! 

***I received this complimentary book from Revell.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

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