Book info

A Sweetness To The Soul (2008)

A Sweetness to the Soul (2008)
Rating
4.13 of 5 Votes: 5
ISBN
0880707658 (ISBN13: 9780880707657)
languge
English
series
genre
publisher
multnomah
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A Sweetness To The Soul (2008)
A Sweetness To The Soul (2008)

About book: Another excellent historical novel by Kirkpatrick about Joseph and Jane Sherar, a couple who made a huge impact on the settlement of Oregon near Multnomah Falls. Based on historical characters and events, A Sweetness to the Soul recounts the captivating story of young, spirited Oregon pioneer Jane Herbert who at the age of twelve faces a tragedy that begins a life-long search for forgiveness and love. In the years that follow, young Jane finds herself involved in an unusual and touching romance with a dreamer sixteen years her senior, struggles to make peace with an emotionally distant mother, and fights to build a family of her own. Filled with heart-warming insight and glimpses of real-life pain, A Sweetness to the Soul paints a brilliant picture of love that conquers all obstacles and offers a powerful testimony to the miracle of God's healing power At age 12, Jane Herbert experiences a horrible tragedy which haunts her and sets her searching for love and forgiveness for the rest of her life. Her wounds need healing—both in her heart and between her and her mother. Jane finds the love of her life in Joseph Sherar, a romantic visionary sixteen years older than she. She has a deep longing for children—and security. While Jane never bears children of her own, she has a family—through Joseph’s compassion and sensitivity. Together they build bridges over rivers and troubled relationships. On their journey west, "they discover that to pursue one’s dreams with strength, flexibility, and faith brings a sweetness to the soul and touches the lives of others in the process." This started a bit slowly for me, but I became engrossed in watching these rich, dynamic characters develop as they opened Oregon for further settlement. Kirkpatrick is able to weave pain and suffering, joy and love, along with the mundane of everyday life into a rich tapestry of relationships and depth of character. I finished the book slowly because I didn't want it to end.

This is a book to read slowly to appreciate and absorb its wisdom and characters.Nuggets of truth gleaned from this book: "It's funny, the pleasures we deprive ourselves of rather than face our fears." P. 14 "But then, it is rarely the event but our reaction to it that change our lives I've found." p. 57 "I noticed something more: the eagle soared not only by his own efforts but by the strength of something else, by the strength of the wind and his willingness to bend to it." p. 86 (in the Bible, "wind" can also mean "spirit" and like the eagle, we soar not by our own efforts but by the strength ofGod's spirit and our willingness to bend to Him..my own thought.) Lessons from a coping saw: "Why do they saw it 'copes'?" "it has both the strength and flexibility...Blade is very strong, good, hard steel. But it bends." p. 244 "So often one loses sight of what's important by spending too much time focusing on being somewhere else. One forgets to enjoy getting there, don't you know." P. 358 "A hard heart has no room for the good things God gives."" p. 380
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Reviews
Michele
This is a lovely historical novel about a young couple making their way and realizing their dreams in the Pacific NW during the 1800s. The book had a slow start but as the characters were developed and the story moved forward, I became captivated. Most of the characters were likable and the two main ones (Jane & Joseph) were people who had such goodness that we all should emulate. Their was a fair share of hurt, pain & disappointment but there was much more happiness & joy. It was amazing to read about how much of a visionary Joseph was and how hard he and Jane worked to bring his dreams to fruition. Even though I love living in the here and now with all our advancements & conveniences, there were so many times that I found myself wishing I could live in a time such as Joseph/Jane did - one where the American dream was still alive and achievable and not stifled at every turn by laws & regulations.The book was also a wonderful love story in more than one way. The main love story was, of course, between Joseph & Jane but there was also a friendship love story between the couple and their friends, so many of whom were native Indians.I also enjoyed the author's notes at the end describing what characters and what events were based on fact and where artistic license was taken.Although the book is long, if you want to be uplifted & inspired, read this book.
Heather
As the title suggests, this book brings forth a sweetness to the soul.This book was lovely. I was afraid now and again that some horrific tragedy was right around the corner. I was pleasantly surprised that although the story recalled some sad times, there was a happy ending. The only thing that really bothered was the fact that we "Americans" decided that Native Americans should be required to attend special boarding schools, to cut their hair, and were prohibited from speaking their own languages....among other things. They were here first!
Leslie
This book could be a 3.5 rating and possibly even a 4 star rating if it wasn't so long. Long books don't bother me but I felt like this one just kept going on and on and on with small stories in Jane and Joseph's lives. Stories that I think could have been left out or shortened to not make you feel like the novel was going to end but yet something else happened. This is the second book I've read by Kirkpatrick because I liked the first so well (A Mending at the Edge). I did enjoy the historical part of this book, learning about the pioneer days of settlers in Oregon (very interesting!).
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