Jane Kirkpatrick is known for her detailed story telling and deep characters. One More River to Cross by Kirkpatrick is no exception. The story is so historically rich and the characters both deep and diverse. This is a story of true heroism; families traveling, ultimately, as the first to settle into California in the 1840’s. It’s filled with exciting, dramatic moments and then also realistic moments of monotony and the daily grind of progressing through challenging terrain and even more dangerous weather conditions.
I was so impressed with the detail and historical accuracy of the story, but also how connected I was able to feel to the characters. The gender rolls are strong and the historically accurate representation of what that means really transported me to another time and place where childbirth was “women’s work” and “the men were the leaders and made the decisions.” I couldn’t fathom all these women went through, and the true grit and strength they showed in dealing with social constraints, unnerving life experiences, tragedy, and also true joy and happiness.
Curling up with Kirkpatrick’s characters this chilly fall I could only begin to understand the insane experience they had. I was enthralled by their ingenuity, frustrated by the challenges they faced and even more so by the very frustrations the female characters had of being overlooked or misunderstood. Such an interesting read as a woman and as a natural born leader. I could relate to those in the story who felt they big, great ideas and were just trying to be heard or understood. I think Kirkpatrick’s approach while accurate and realistic also provided enough of the characters who were”challenging the norm” overtly or inwardly to satiate my desire for the women to be heard.
The pace is not fast but the story ebbs and flows so rhythmically filled with excitement, tragedy, life’s bests moments of achievement and family that I just really felt myself pulled in, turning page after page, not realizing how far along I was. A truly captivating read and I found myself so grateful for the strong women who helped to shape our country even at it’s earliest stages. I hope you’ll grab a copy of One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick, and be sure to let me know what you think.
Thanks to Revell, a division of Baker Publishing group, for the book. All opinions are my own.