Saturday, September 5, 2015

Review: "The Memory Weaver" by Jane Kirkpatrick

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Review: "The Memory Weaver" is an emotional story of healing that takes readers on a journey through the western frontier.  Jane Kirkpatrick introduces the real-life Saplding family, who served as missionaries to the Nez Perce and survived a deadly Cayuse Indian attack. Knowing that the plot is inspired by actual events makes the story more meaningful.  Although this is a work of fiction, Kirkpatrick gives us a realistic vision of what life must have been like for Eliza as she grew into womanhood still haunted by visions of the Indian attacks.  

"The Memory Weaver" spans a few decades from the beginning to the end, with a focus on family dynamics, memories, and healing. I was very drawn into the story initially, but, my engagement began to wane towards the end of the novel. The entire novel feels like a diary, letting us into the emotions of Eliza's daily life. The first half of the novel is more focused on details of Eliza's seemingly ever-changing life and her struggles with her impulsive husband. The pace started to feel slower as I went deeper into the second half as Eliza's memories and emotional healing took precedence.  Eliza's healing is impactful and poses questions about how we perceive past events in our own lives.  As Eliza discovers, her memories are not always accurate, and sometimes misconceptions create more pain than reality. Kirpatrick definitely provides readers with something to ponder and discuss.  

I appreciate "The Memory Keeper" for its realism and historical focus.  Eliza's story brims with perspectives of the American West that aren't always seen in fictional novels.  Kirkpatrick does not romanticize life on the frontier or even the specifics of Eliza's life, like her marriage to Andrew Warren. Eliza's tale is one of many peaks and valleys, which combine to create a portrait of a true pioneer woman.   

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Summary from Baker Publishing Group: Eliza Spalding Warren was just a child when she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre in 1847. Now a mother of two, Eliza faces a new kind of dislocation; her impulsive husband wants to make a new start in another territory, which will mean leaving her beloved home and her mother's grave--and returning to the land of her captivity. 

Haunted by memories and hounded by struggle, Eliza longs to know how her mother dealt with the trauma of their ordeal. As she searches the pages of her mother's diary, Eliza is stunned to find that her own recollections tell only part of the story.

Based on true events, The Memory Weaver is New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick's latest literary journey into the past, where threads of western landscapes, family, and faith weave a tapestry of hope inside every pioneering woman's heart. Get swept up in this emotional story of the memories that entangle us and the healing that awaits us when we bravely unravel the threads of the past.

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