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  • All Together in One Place
  • Written by Jane Kirkpatrick
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  • All Together in One Place
  • Written by Jane Kirkpatrick
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307553416
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List Price: $9.99


On Sale: December 24, 2008
Pages: 416 | ISBN: 978-0-307-55341-6
Published by : WaterBrook Press Religion/Business/Forum
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One of the incidents that made a profound impression upon the minds of all: the meeting of eleven wagons returning and not a man left in the entire train; all had died, and been buried on the way, and the women returning alone.
-from the journals of Ezra Meeker, 1852

Their lives would be tempered by adversity, expanded by faith, polished by perseverance.

For Madison "Mazy" Bacon, a young wife living in southern Wisconsin, the future appears every bit as promising as it is reassuringly predictable. A loving marriage, a well-organized home, the pleasure of planting an early spring garden--these are the carefully-tended dreams that sustain her heart and nourish her soul.

But when her husband of two years sells the homestead and informs her that they are heading west, Mazy's life is ripped down the middle like a poorly mended sheet forgotten in a midwestern storm. Her love is tried, her boundaries stretched, and the fabric of her faith tested. At the same time, she and eleven extraordinary women are pulled toward an uncertain destiny--one that binds them together through reluctance and longing and into acceptance and renewal.

Based on an actual 1852 Oregon Trail incident, All Together in One Place, Book One in the Kinship and Courage series, speaks to the strength in every woman and celebrates the promise of hope that unfailingly blooms amidst tragedy and challenge.
Jane Kirkpatrick

About Jane Kirkpatrick

Jane Kirkpatrick - All Together in One Place
Jane Kirkpatrick is a best-selling, award-winning author whose previous historical novels include All Together in One Place and Christy Award finalist A Tendering in the Storm. An international keynote speaker, she has earned regional and national recognition for her stories based on the lives of actual people, including the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Hall of Fame. Jane is a Wisconsin native who since 1974 has lived in Eastern Oregon, where she and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 rugged acres.


“Reading All Together in One Place inspired our quilting group to quilt our version of your story in cloth.”
- Reader from Oregon
Reader's Guide|Discussion Questions

About the Book

WaterBrook Press Reader’s Guide
for All Together in One Place by Jane Kirkpatrick

“One of the incidents that made a profound impression upon the minds of all was the meeting with eleven wagons returning, and not a man left in the entire train. All the men had died and had been buried on the way, and the women and children were returning to their homes alone from a point well up on the Plate, below Fort Laramie. The difficulties of the return trip were multiplied on account of the throng moving westward. How those women succeeded in their attempt, or what became of them, we never knew.”
--Ezra Meeker recalling an incident on his first journey west on the Oregon Trail in 1852.

As with many of us, Mazy Bacon thought she yearned for the things that gave her nurture: her home and garden, her dog, the love and comfort of her husband, the visits of her mother. She did not like surprises or change and told her husband so. She liked a predictable life and thought that she controlled it. “Things’re not always what they seem,” her husband said one evening in early 1850 and thus began this young woman’s journey to the wilderness places of her life - the wilderness of landscape, relationship and the yearnings of her soul.

ALL TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE is a novel, set in 1852, about eleven wagons of women seeking the nurture of home and facing change. But more it is a story of the wilderness places of our lives today and the discovery of what we’re given-if we will seek it-to see us through. Writer Terry Tempest Williams reminds us that “to step into wilderness is to court risk.” We are warned in life to be prepared before we step where few have gone before. But sometimes we are forced to enter the wilderness. Death, divorce, loneliness and betrayal announce the wilderness of relationship. A move, an illness or an accident can separate us from familiar landscapes, friends and even ourselves, piercing us in places we fight so hard to stay away from. The wilderness of spirit can challenge, too, revealing both fears and fragile places in our faith that trouble us and taking us deep into uncertainty.

But wrapped within the wilderness places, treasure sparkles-if we believe, persevere, and reach beyond, if we will trust the Psalmist’s words, “The Lord knows my lot. He makes my boundaries fall on pleasant places.” To find those pleasant places of our lives, no matter where we are, we’re asked to stretch, to risk and trust and to admit that we have entered wilderness, that life as we once knew it and believed that we controlled, has ended. With that admission, we can court commitment not just risk, and with faith and friends, move forward toward abundance we otherwise would never known was there.
--Jane Kirkpatrick

Discussion Guides

1. When life presented Mazy with the unexpected sale of their home and the arrival of her mother and her own injury, what strategies did Mazy use to keep from changing? Did any work for her? Why not? What choices did she have she didn’t take? Would her life have been better if she had chosen one of those?

2. Sister Esther noted that we always have control over our attitude. Do you agree? Do we control anything else in our lives?

3. When you enter a wilderness area-in the landscape, relationships or of the spirit, do you have a favorite strategy you keep repeating even though it doesn’t get you what you want? What might it take for you to try new ways to deal with disappointment, frustration, loneliness, guilt and fear?

4. What is “community” in your life? Is it different from “family”? What does it take to form kinship in this age of frequent and distant moves, of technology, and many fractured lives?

5. What made it possible for Tipton to “move on?” What barriers does Suzanne face in finding her pleasant places? Is it realistic that merely reaching out to another person in their wilderness place could bring them to the pleasant places of their lives? How common is it for us to want to go back to the way it was, to “go back home?”

6. What boundaries or barriers keep us from moving forward in the wilderness places of our own lives?

7. When the Israelites gathered at the Jordan, prepared to finally-after forty years-cross into the promised land, why did Moses make them go over the stories of where they’d come from, what had happened to them, and of what God had done for them? Did these women find ways to be healed from the stories of their lives?

8. What kinds of emotions were the people of ALL TOGETHER grieving? Can you identify the challenges of the spirit that grief sometimes brings into our lives? Who brought hope to help each woman through it-or did they allow grief to change them?

9. For the women of ALL TOGETHER, what role did the “necessary circles” play in their journey?

10. Have you ever changed the boundaries of a pleasant place as Ruth did by doing something that took you back instead, deprived you of staying in or moving to a “better place”? What is it about a familiar place that makes us want to return or stay there, even when it provides us pain, even when it wasn’t all we told ourselves it was?

11. What allows us to wander in the wilderness even when surrounded by abundance?

12. It’s been said that in a time of crisis, people seek three things: sound information, a sense of connection with others, and spiritual support. Pick a character and talk about how these three needs materialized in the life of that woman or what got in the way.
How have those yearnings been met in your own life?

13. In the 1800s, Samuel Johnson wrote, “To be happy at home is the result of all ambition.” Do you agree? What is home? What was Mazy’s true home and how did it change when she moved to a different place?

14. Talk about the phrase from poet Rainier Rilke’s poem, that “God is the great homesickness we can never shake off”? How does that apply to ALL TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE? Does it apply to your own life journey as well?

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