A Story of Tender Truths About a Woman’s Desperate Efforts
to Shelter Her Family
Determined to raise her children on her own terms, Emma suddenly finds herself alone and pregnant with her third child, struggling to keep her family secure in the remote coastal forest of the Washington Territory. With loss and disappointment as her fuel, she kindles a fire that soon threatens to consume her, making a series of poor choices that take her into dangerous relationships.
As clouds of despair close in, she must decide whether to continue in her own waning strength or to humble herself and accept help from the very people she once so eagerly left behind.
Based on a True Story
Table of Contents
Author Jane Kirkpatrick has been featured once again-- this time for her newest novel, A Tendering in the Storm, book two in the Change and Cherish Historical series. Follow the links below to read the reviews!
About Jane Kirkpatrick
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.
Praise for A Tendering in the Storm
By Jane Kirkpatrick
"A Clearing in the Wild is a joy to read....It satisfies on every level."
–Historical Novels Review
“Jane Kirkpatrick again proves herself to be one of the finest writers working in historical fiction today. With A Tendering in the Storm, Kirkpatrick applies her usual meticulous research and rich period detail to give readers a wonderful story with strong, unforgettable characters. Beautifully and thoughtfully written as always, this novel will capture your attention, your imagination, and your heart.”
–B.J. Hoff, author of the Mountain Song Legacy and An Emerald Ballad
“In A Tendering in the Storm, Jane Kirkpatrick continues the story of the tensions between the individual and the community that is at the core of the communal experience. The voices of Emma Giesy and Louisa Keil offer personal and passionate perspectives of these often conflicting views. Kirkpatrick presents a historically based and emotionally charged account of challenges, change, and charity.”
–James J. Kopp, Communal Historian, Aurora Colony Historical Society Board of Directors, and the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission
“A Tendering in the Storm is one of Jane Kirkpatrick’s most compelling novels yet–and that’s saying something! With her skilled and lyrical writing, Kirkpatrick brings to vivid life the beauty and severity of pioneer living, a complex provocative villain, and a story that grabs the reader and won’t let go. But most of all, Emma Giesy emerges as a remarkable heroine: appealing and vulnerable, but possessing tenacious courage and true strength. This book kept me turning pages far into the night!”
–Cindy Swanson, online reviewer and radio host
“Jane Kirkpatrick’s riveting history of Emma Wagner Giesy holds up an antique mirror whereby we may regard ourselves today. Kirkpatrick’ s intuitive, effulgent prose leads us from our self-possessed age to the nineteenth century where we participate through Emma in an emerging civilization. Kirkpatrick tears away the proscenium, allowing us to experience Emma’s firm opinions, ravaging losses, fathomless grief. Emma’s life teaches us that without community we lose synergy, love, protection–and perhaps even God. Yet without a strong sense of self, we have no convictions, no dreams–no sehnsucht (to borrow Emma’s word) and therefore, nothing to contribute. In seeing ourselves through this true, fictional rendering of a real life, perhaps we can find the courage to grow and the wisdom to learn.”
–Dorothy Allred Solomon, author of In My Father’s House; Predators, Prey, and Other Kinfolk: Growing Up in Polygamy; Daughter of the Saints; and Sisterhood
“Once again Jane Kirkpatrick's attention to historic detail brings the hardscrabble existence of the Willapa Bay pioneers to life. In A Tendering in the Storm, Emma Wagner Giesy struggles with choices she makes in response to great tragedy. With rigid honesty, Kirkpatrick shows the consequences of these choices and how Emma regains her strength through love, trust, and sacrifice.”
–Karla K. Nelson, owner,
Time Enough Books, Ilwaco, WA.
“The title A Tendering in the Storm keenly expresses the continuing story of the intrepid Emma Wagner Giesy as she struggles between the comfort and security of her religious community and self-reliance in the midst of tumult. Jane Kirkpatrick’s impressive research on this true character reveals many realities of one woman’s efforts to carve out a life for herself and her children on the burgeoning frontier of Washington Territory. In her engaging style rich with metaphor and imagery, the author explores issues still relevant in today’s world: women’s rights, child custody, property rights, domestic violence, and religious freedom. Bravo!”
–Susan G. Butruille, author of Women’s Voices from the Oregon Trail and Women’s Voices from the Western
1. This is a story about giving and receiving. Who gave up the most in this story? Who knew how to receive and why are both capabilities important in our lives and in the life of a family?
2. This is also a story about community and individuals within a community having a voice and making choices. Could Emma have found a way to remain at Willapa and find contentment there? What voice did Louisa have at Aurora Mills? Did either woman pass up opportunities to be heard more clearly?
3. Emma and Louisa both speak of the great longing, the Sehnsucht, that is within each of us. In the German, the word implies something compelling, almost addictive in the human spirit that drives us forward on a spiritual journey. What was Emma’s great longing? Louisa’s? Did these women achieve satisfaction in this second book of the series? Is there a relationship between human intimacy and such spiritual longing?
4. Give some examples of when Emma “began to weave” without waiting for God’s thread. What were the consequences? Is it wise to “begin to weave” without knowing the outcome?
5. The author uses the metaphor of light throughout the book. Is having enough light for the next step really enough? What role does light play in Emma’s discovery that finding meaning in life’s tragedies requires reflection? Give some examples of Emma’s reflective thinking. When might she have been more reflective? Would you describe Louisa as a reflective woman? What prevents us from being more reflective in our everyday lives?
6. How can we receive without feeling obligated? What qualities of obligation sometimes diminish gifts that others might give us? Why does that make it difficult to receive them?
7. Strength is often defined as self-sufficiency. How did Emma’s strength reveal itself? What made is possible for her to ultimately accept the gifts of others?
8. Did Emma use her sons in order to get her own way? What supports your opinion?
9. How much of Emma’s feeling of isolation was self-imposed; how much was isolation related to the demands of the landscape and how much was a spiritual isolation or feeling of abandonment? Did you agree with how the author conveyed these qualities of isolation?
10. Did Emma make the correct choice at the close of the book? Have you ever had to make a choice where all options appeared poor? What helped you take the next step?