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Customer Reviews for WaterBrook Press A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1

WaterBrook Press A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1

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Customer Reviews for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Review 1 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 18, 2013
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sparky
Location:Florida
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I thought this was a wonderful book - good historical content. I was especially interested since I grew up in Oregon and know Portland and Aurora. I am looking forward to reading the other two in this series.
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Review 2 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great book based on a true story

Date:May 18, 2013
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Janet P
Location:El Cajon, CA
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
A Clearing in the Wild is a novel written by Jane Kirkpatrick. Based on a true story, it is about a teenage girl named Emma Wagner who is part of a religious community that is based in Bethel, Missouri in the 1850s. Emma is independent and questions some of the ways of the community and the rules that Wilhelm the community leader has made. She ends up marrying the man of her dreams (Christian) against the wishes of Wilhelm. Christian is a scout leader and Wilhelm feels that Emma will keep Christian from committing fully to his job. Eventually Emma is given permission by Wilhelm to go with her husband Christian to Oregon to establish a new community. Through various trials that Emma experiences in Oregon, she grows in her faith and becomes closer to her husband.
My thoughts: I really enjoyed reading this book especially knowing that it was based on a true story. The author did a great job of blending what she knew about the real-life Emma and events with fictional events. There is also an interview with the author at the end of the book where she gives information about the real-life characters the book is based on. A Clearing in the Wild is the first book in the Change and Cherish Historical Series. I am looking forward to reading the next book and following Emma's adventures.
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Review 3 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

great fiction based on historical fact

Date:May 9, 2013
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bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Kirkpatrick is a master of historical fiction. What is especially great about her novels is that they are based on true stories.
During the mid-nineteenth century, a scouting group from a religious sect of German descent left Bethel, Missouri and headed west to find a new and more remote location for their utopian religious community. Among them was one woman, Emma Giesy, wife of the leader of the group. Feeling very suppressed by the dictatorial leader of the community in Bethel, Emma managed to get herself included in the scouting party. They initially headed to the Washington Territory. But when the rest of the community arrived, there was disagreement and they eventually ended up in the Willapa Valley in the Oregon Territory.
Kirkpatrick combines actual historical records with fictional events and dialog to give us a good sense of what life was like in the religious community and in the wild Oregon Territory. They certainly experienced hardships that had to be endured for them to survive. Of central interest is the place of women in that era. Emma rebelled against the accepted place. She desired a community where there was more equality between men and women. She was a strong woman but her exhibiting that strength came at a price for the community.
There are many issues discussed in this novel and the Discussion Questions included help make this a good choice for reading groups. There can be lively discussion about the place of women in the church and ministry and about how much authority a religious leader should have and if he should be followed without question.
I think you will find this historical novel well written and very interesting. Not only will you get a sense of pioneering in the mid-nineteenth century but also the characteristics of the religious communities that were formed during this era.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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Review 4 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Love 19th c. historical fiction

Date:April 27, 2013
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Cheryl
Location:Prospect,KY
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
A Clearing in the Wild by Jane Kirkpatrick opens on Christmas Day, 1851, in the colony of Bethel, Missouri, an isolated community of German immigrants dedicated to their faith where all wealth was common wealth so that no one would have to be concerned about the future. They were historically known as Harmonists who tried to achieve Christian perfection beginning their colony in Pennsylvania, then moving to New Harmony Indiana, Missouri, and then west.
This life is all seventeen year old Emma remembers but yet she longs for more and begins to question the ways of the teaching of their leader, Father Wilhelm Keil. While the new thoughts within the colony are to remain single so that one can devote their time to the Lord, Emma hopes this will be her last Christmas as a single woman and she can't seem to escape the thoughts of independence and being able to speak her mind and make her own decisions, all characteristics considered undesirable for Bethel women. When the grumblings of potential war between the North and the South begin to make their way into the Bethel community, a decision must be made as to whether or not the colony can remain in Bethel or must move farther west to escape being drawn into the war that seems inevitable.
Typically, Jane Kirkpatrick takes a real historical character and weaves a believable story about their lives, filling in with fictional details that history books and biographys don't tell. She has done the same with the colony of Bethel, MO. Ms. Kirkpatrick has proven to be an author who thoroughly researches the time period she is representing and A Clearing in the Wild is no exception. I very much appreciate her attention to detail and accuracy even though it does sometimes bog down the story a bit. In reading, I tend to be more of a "let's get the story moving and let my imagination fill in some of the details" kind of reader. This isn't Ms. Kirkpatrick's style but I love historical fiction so enjoy her books as well even if they aren't ones that "grab" me.
I did receivet shi book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way obligated to leave a positive review.
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Review 5 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Story of Christian Maturity All-Around

Date:March 25, 2013
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Anonymous
Location:Columbus, GA
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
"A Clearing in the Wild" by Jane Kirkpatrick is an extremely well-written novel. It took me a little while to get into it, but once I began to see where Kirkpatrick was going, I became engrossed. Then, in my opinion, the story ended perfectly. I was glad I’d kept reading!
Based on a true story, "A Clearing in the Wild" is the story of a young woman finding her grown-up place in the religious community of Bethel, Missouri. Wilhelm Keil, the leader of this community, makes all decisions for the community and holds all property in his name. When Keil announces that he is sending Emma’s husband and eight other men west on a one to two year journey to find new land for the community, newly wed Emma finagles her way along. Readers get to watch Emma, her marriage, and her Christian life mature.
Discussion questions at the end of the book help readers process its themes. An interview with the author reveals the history and fiction of the story with a promise of a second book to come in this series.
I thank Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. I recommend it to fans of historical fiction and to those concerned with women’s issues.
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Review 6 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great characters!

Date:March 25, 2013
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JoyAnne
Location:TN
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I love Jane Kirkpatrick's books. A Clearing in the Wild is a great story with exceptional characters (I especially liked Emma). A tale of German pioneers searching for a new home and the many hardships they endured. Similar to Amish life, the community wants to get away from crowded Bethel, MO. and find a place where they can live their lives without others interference. Emma accompanies her scout leader husband in this long journey , she is having a hard time accepting the fact that women are to obey their husbands, raise their children, etc. She isn't in agreement with this belief.
Kirkpatrick has written another wonderful novel, the plot is engaging. It really makes you appreciate the way we live today.
I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 7 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:March 19, 2013
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Kara
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
A Clearing in the Wild, by Jane Kirkpatrick, is the first book in the Change and Cherish Historical Series. It begins the story of the people of Bethel, Missouri, taking place in the 1850s. The people there, followers of Wilhelm Keil, obey their leader’s wishes without question, believing that he follows the Bible and the Lord.
Emma Wagner, however, is forever challenging Keil and his decisions. She and Christian Giesy marry against their leader’s wishes, so he agrees to send her with her husband and eight other men in search of a new place for the colony in Oregon. The ten of them endure many hardships, including Emma giving birth twice, and building homes for the 250 people they expect to join them. Then, when their leader and others finally arrive, he does not approve of their choice for a site, leading to difficult times for them all.
I enjoyed reading this story. It was more intense reading than your average fiction book, but that is probably due to the fact that it is a true story. Thus I recommend it for people who truly love history as well as a good story. I look forward to reading the other two books in this series soon.
Kara
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
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Review 8 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Didn't finish it the first time

Date:March 18, 2013
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Anonymous
Location:Banning, CA
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Unfortunately this is the second time I have bought this book.(Because it was cheap). I didn't remember until I saw it that I tried to read the first one and gave up. I put it down several times and tried again, but i could never make it to half-way.
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Review 9 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

I learned a lot about 1850s history

Date:March 3, 2013
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notdenise
Location:Northern Indiana
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I am fascinated by history, but I don't often read historical fiction. I find some books not very believable or realistic, but that was not the case with A Clearing in the Wild, a book set in the 1850s. The book is told from the perspective of Emma Wagler Geisy, who is a member of the Bethel Colony, a community of Christians living in Missouri who are skeptical of the "outside world" and the evils and sin it contains. Emma is outspoken and doesn't often agree with the colony's attitude toward women, so when her husband is chosen to be a scout to choose a new location for the colony in the West (Oregon, Washington), she finds a way to go along.
The story is based on fact, and it's hard to know what really happened and what the author imagined, but I was impressed with the little details about life in the 1850s that the author included - like how Emma would have learned what worked as diapers for her baby from the Indians of the area, what was safe to eat, and what to expect from various seasons. The book gives a glimpse into the choices that the scouts had to make when choosing a new location, how they solved conflict, and the hard, back-breaking work that was created to carve a living out the wilderness. When the Leader of the colony comes west and doesn't fully approve of the choice of settlement, Emma and her husband have to make hard decisions that determine their family's future with the colony.
I would recommend this book as a very good read, and hope that the rest of the series is just as good. I learned some United States history, and a lot about what life was really like in the 1850s.
I received this book for free from Waterbrook in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 10 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

The Book Will Bring The Emotions Out.

Date:December 13, 2012
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bemiown
Location:Missouri
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
'A Clearing In The Wild' by Jane Kirkpatrick is based on a true story.
The people of Bethel, Missouri wanted to exist in a simple way of life and be generous. They wanted no distractions in their lives and vanity was a strict no-no.
The main character of the book was Emma Wagner. Emma found bindings instead of peace in this would be Eden. Their beliefs were far from Emma's. Women weren't supposed to be independent or have ideas and thoughts of their own making.
Emma gets the opportunity to go with her husband and some other male scouts to head West. She wants to discover her desire to belong to a community. She has a secret that no one, not even Christian knows. Emma definitely had a mind of her own. She tried very hard to speak her own mind and she did at times.
It's hard to think of so many people doing whatever Father Kiel said to do. Like they had no minds of their own. One person shouldn't have that much control. Father Keil seemed to be the bearer of evil, unhappiness and restlessness, instead of goodness. God's gift of grace? The evil showed when the baby died. Herr Keil's words were that "the baby died because of the parent's sin." Those were not words from the bible, not comforting to a mother, after months of carrying her child, lost her child.
Emma Wagner Giesy is brought to reality in 'A Clearing In The Wild'. The author makes us stop and think about the strong emotions that Emma feels. Emotions such as being left behind while her husband goes off more than once. They needed to start their marriage but it had to wait.
It made you feel so good when Emma was happy about being Frau Giesy. It was sad that Emma and Christian would be living apart quite abit when they were first married. The dialogue used some German words like 'Ja' 'Liebchen' 'ach' and made the conversation more realistic. Emma was so lonely and needed the warmth of her husband at night. It was also sad that she felt like a beaten egg when leaving the church. pg 58
Emma had a ruffle on her petticoat which is a sin, but in return the colony makes and sells whiskey. Simplicity is required in the home but the colony has a brass band and has dances complete with beer drinking.
The author did a lot of research of which you can tell by authenticity of the well written book. It's almost as though you can step into the character's shoes. I felt that Christian should have been more attentive to his wife at times.
There were so many emotions in this book.You can almost feel the love when Christian swings Emma into his arms on Christmas morning and smothred her with kisses.
On pg 64, this was unbelievable to me, "scouts will spy" didn't seem very God fearing to me.
The way women were treated was as though they were slaves, they would serve but not allowed into the discussions the men would have. They would work with the wagons and yet not be treated any better than dogs. The women reminded me of clusters of grapes waiting to be picked. The women wore gray at their wedding to not appear too worldly. Does color mean you're worldly?
The book in not fast paced, it's more laid back, slow paced and definitely a page turner, just a little slower. The way the author addresses domestic violence is in a very delicate way.
You'll definitely want to read the second and third books in this series. Good going, Jane Kirkpatrick!
I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
http://wwww.jkbooks.com
http://www.jkbooks.com/pages/bio.html
http://bemiown.blogspot.com
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Review 11 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Piqued My Interest

Date:January 11, 2013
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plasticmom
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Here in rural America, it's a big deal when the UPS truck pulls up out front. Which then leads to a dive for the front door to see who the package is for. "Boooook!", we yell. "We" being my fourteen year old daughter, and myself. Never mind that it's "mine". If it has words and she beats me to it, I'm sunk. And so it was that said daughter got to read "A Clearing In The Wild" first.
Based on a true story, it follows the journey of young and spirited Emma Wagner as her life unfolds among the people of Bethel, Missouri. Never one to "conform", Emma was the only woman in a party of ten sent out as a scout to find a new home for her communal society in the Oregon wilderness. Very well researched, it sent me scurrying to the internet to learn more about who Emma Wagner Giesy was, and what happened later on in her life.
That was after my daughter had had her turn with the book. Which went something like this: "ummm, I don't really like this book, she marries some old guy". "Then why are you reading it?". "ummm, because I want to see what happens between her and the old guy"?
I enjoyed "A Clearing in the Wild", plus it made for a nice discussion between my daughter and I after we had both read it. I'm always encouraged to know that there are good books out there that are "clean" enough for me to share with my fourteen year old daughter. Bravo, Jane Kirkpatrick!
"A Clearing In The Wild" is available from www.christianbook.com
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Review 12 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

More than I expected!

Date:December 31, 2012
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Beth
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Young Emma Wagner seems to be born into controversy.
As a Bethelite woman she is expected to be content with a simple communal life where everyone dresses the same, individuality is frowned upon, and women are expected to keep silence. When Emma Sets her heart on marrying Christian Giesy despite the fact the leader of the colony opposes it, it doesn't take a lot of persuasion for him to agree to letting her accompany her new husband and a group of scouts on a mission to Oregon.
As their scouting mission progresses Emma begins to question the Bethelite leader and his ideas that women are little more than the servants of men. As she begins to find her voice in a male dominated society, she also starts to believe that God chooses individuals not communities, and that He made His creation to be unique and individual.
A Clearing in the Wild is absolutely inspiring!
Although she can be selfish and short sighted at times, Emma is a heroine. She follows the old German proverb " Begin to weave/God provides the thread". Even when things don't make sense she still "weaves", still leads as God guides her and provides the "thread".
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 13 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Strong Character, based on a real person

Date:December 19, 2012
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Teddy G
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
A Clearing in the Wild begins with Emma Wagner living in a simple settlement in Bethel, Missouri, where she is merely one of the many colonists leading a life of community under Wilhelm Keil's leadership. However, Emma is known to question Herr Keil's decisions, and when her husband, Christian Giesy, is to be sent west to locate a new location for the colony shortly after their marriage, she pushes her way into the scout group to be allowed to travel with him. After they arrive on the West Coast, she is forced to examine her own faith in God, her husband's priorities, and their "leader's" beliefs as they wait for the colony to join them and for Herr Keil to pronounce his decision on the colony's new home.
Emma Wagner Giesy was such a strong character, and a woman who incited me to care about her fate and the decisions that were being made on her behalf. Likely, it's my placement in modern culture that made me so aggravated at those who wouldn't let her speak and cheered when her husband and fellow scouts began to listen to her, but I could only hope to have been as strong as she was on such a journey. I was amazed that while she often questioned the way of life established by Wilhelm, she never seemed to question God, or that the Bible was true. I did find myself wishing that she could come in contact with someone who would lead her deeper into the Bible, however, to find her own way and more Truth than that which the colony had deemed appropriate to share with its inhabitants.
Once I finished the book, I was going to give it 3 stars, mostly because it was such a rough journey and there were so many aggravating sections where the leader forced his way upon the people that I wouldn't deem it an "enjoyable" read. However, in the section from the author, I realized that it was based on a true story, and that Jane Kirkpatrick had done intensive research on Emma and everything that she went through, and that made the story that much more incredible. So now, I give this book 4 stars, based on a strong story and the intensity of knowing that it really happened and this Emma Wagner Giesy was likely much as the author depicted her.
This book is only the first in a series, and I look forward to reading more about Emma's life!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 14 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

great historical romance

Date:December 16, 2012
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cathy
Location:Kansas
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A Clearing in the Wild by Jane Kirkpatrick is a book based on a true story of the settling of the Oregon Territory in 1853 by a religious group from Bethel, Missouri. The people of Bethel live a life of simple living for the good of the community and generously reaching out to others to come live with them. Nothing in the community is owned personally but all is communally shared. They have a leader who makes all the rules for the group and is not to be questioned even by the men. Emma Wagoner is a 17 year old girl of Bethel who must constantly reign herself in. She would like to be outspoken of her feelings of skepticism of their leader. Emma has finally caught the eye of Christian Geisy a good looking man who is much older than she. Christian has just returned from a mission for Bethel. Christian soon asks Emma to marry and she quickly accepts as well as her father agrees to this arrangement but the leader, Wilhelm Keil refuses to marry them. The couple marry anyway using a justice of the peace. Father Keil decides to move the whole group to Oregon because of growing concerns regarding the slavery question. He chooses a scouting group and Christian is among them. Emma protests then figures out a way to become the only woman in the scouting group to venture out to the west. She finds hardship that is much worse than she could have imagined.
Ms Kirkpatrick you have written such a good book mixing fact and fiction to make the reader feel a part of this trip and the first 2 years of the settlement in Oregon. Though Kirkpatrick had to fictionalize the story it reads very true to life. It tells of the hardship not only of the times but of being a woman who cannot express her thoughts because women were not able to make decisions even those which concern her. A woman in Bethel was even further censored than the general women of the day. Such a hard life being a woman was at this time. Thank you Ms Kirkpatrick for writing such a good book for us.
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Review 15 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:October 4, 2011
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Marjorie Walsworth
Location:Hart, MI
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Very interesting especially since it was based on historical facts. Would like to read the next one!
+1point
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Review 16 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Better Than Expected

Date:October 8, 2010
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I began reading A Clearing in the Wild with mixed emotions, simply because I read All Together in One Place by this same author, and I did not enjoy it at all. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this book. The story was interesting enough to keep me turning the pages, although, there were a few places that could have been edited to shorten the story some. I am actually anxious to read the other two in the series, and I hope they'll be as good as this one.
+2points
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Review 17 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:July 17, 2008
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Sharon Rose
In many ways this was a difficult book to read. I was raised by a Christian mother and a verbally & physically abusive father; not to my mother but, more to me and my younger sister.Knowing that this was based on a true story made it a bit easier to get through. I am now on the second book and will order the third one when I'm finished with it.Emma was a strong woman and I can identify with her in several ways. Maybe its good to read about her trials and work through my still hard-to-forget feelings. My father was saved before he died and I am so grateful that I could hear him pray. We were just beginning a good relationship when he died. I see that quite a bit between Emma and Christian. Now that he has died I am anxious to see what she will do and how she will handle things with two children and another one on the way.
+2points
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Review 18 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Date:March 14, 2008
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Anonymas
In my opinion, this book promotes unhealthy ways of thinking (especially about bad situations) and a pessimistic negative view on life. I do NOT reccomend it! Also there is a very distorted view about God throughout. It constantly repeats one character saying "you still have to pay the consequences for Eve's sin and the sins of mankind" etc. and never tells the truth about forgiveness in Jesus or about Him taking the curse of sin. If you like history in the west, I would read books on Jedediah Smith, no contest!
+2points
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Review 19 for A Clearing in the Wild - eBook Change and Cherish Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 6, 2006
Great interaction between the two main characters; nice to see their growth as the story develops. Wonderful historical read - felt like I was with them on their journey!
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