This Road We Traveled

Drama, adventure, and family struggles abound as three generations head west on the Oregon Trail.

The Memory Weaver

Love is more powerful than the fiercest tragedy.

A Light in the Wilderness

A Light in the Wilderness is a story of grace and courage in a time of trial. WILLA award winner.

Promises of Hope for Difficult Times

A caregiver’s journey.

The American Dream

Contains A Mother’s Cry from The Midwife’s Legacy

One Million Books in Print

Read about Jane's milestone of achieving One Million books in print.

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Change & Cherish Historical Series (2006-2013)

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Emma Wagner Giesy was the only woman sent west from Missouri with nine male scouts to find a new home for their 1850s German-American religious community. What they eventually establish is the only successful utopian colony to survive for more than twenty years west of the Mississippi. A Clearing in the Wild (Book I ) was a finalist for the WILLA Literary Award for Historical Fiction; A Tendering in the Storm won the WILLA Literary Award. A companion book, Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, Community and Craft, provides a history told through quilts and crafts of the actual colony in Oregon.


Emma Now available: The omnibus edition: Emma of Aurora.

A Clearing in the Wild

Young Emma Wagner chafes at the constraints of 1850’s Bethel colony, determined to remain untainted by the world. Passionate and independent, she resents the limitations placed on women and finds it difficult to rein in her tongue. (2006)

A Tendering in the Storm

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. Loss and disappointment soon threaten to consume her and she makes a series of poor choices that take her into dangerous relationships. (2007)

A Mending at the Edge

Based on the life of German-American Emma Wagner Giesy, the only woman sent to the Oregon Territory in the 1850s to help found a communal society. While set in the historical past, it's a story for our own time answering the question: Can threads of an isolated life weave a legacy of purpose in community? (2008)

Women Writing the West

WillaAward"More than a recognition that women played broader roles than being ranch wives or prostitutes, the new view of the Women's West speaks to the diversity of women of all cultures and all time periods. It acknowledges the rich variety of ways women responded to the western experience."

Learn more at Women Writing the West

A Clearing in the Wild: Finalist for WILLA Literary Award for Historical Fiction.
A Tendering in the Storm: Winner of the WILLA Literary Award for Historical Fiction.

Critical Reviews of Jane Kirkpatrick's Change and Cherish Historical Series

“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

"Jane has a gift for breathing simple beauty into the lives of remarkable historical women characters. In A Mending at the Edge, Emma comes off the page and shows readers an unforgettable picture of a very unique Oregon community. I love living within view of Mt. Hood even more now that I better understand those who shaped the tenacious beginnings of this region."
Robin Jones Gunn, author of the bestselling Glenbrooke Series and the Christy Award-winning Sisterchicks novels

Author's Insight

This story of Emma as a member of a communal society intrigued me - especially the journey along the Oregon Trail as the only woman with 9 German / Swiss men.  I'm of German descent, and I can't imagine spending all that time with stubborn (persevering) German men!  After they spent all that time together, I wondered how Emma and the men, changed their societal views toward each other - and that became part of the story!

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Audio Books

Clearing Tendering Mending

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Study Guides

Readers' Guides included with each book.

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"Jane, you were a wonderful presenter and writer’s friend at the recent Northwest Christian Writers Renewal.
The evaluations were unanimous that you hit all the right notes and nourished the spirits of our conferees."
Clint Kelly, Program Coordinator