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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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The Memory Weaver (2015)

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Eliza Spalding Warren was just a child when she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre in 1847. Now the young mother of two children, Eliza faces a different kind of dislocation; her impulsive husband wants them to make a new start in another territory, which will mean leaving her beloved home and her departed mother's grave--and returning to the land of her captivity. Eliza longs to know how her mother, an early missionary to the Nez Perce Indians, dealt with the challenges of life with a sometimes difficult husband and with her daughter's captivity.
When Eliza is finally given her mother's diary, she is stunned to find that her own memories are not necessarily the whole story of what happened. Can she lay the dark past to rest and move on? Or will her childhood memories always hold her hostage?
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. Readers will find themselves 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.

At a Glance...

Eliza Spalding Warren

Memoirs

 
• First white child born west of the Mississippi in 1837.
• Grew up in what is now Lapwai, ID (Nez Perce for “the place of the butterflies.”)
• The Nez Perce people were Eliza’s playmates and her parents’ friends.
• At age 10, experienced firsthand the “Whitman tragedy.”
• Wrote Memoirs of the West which retells the Whitman tragedy.
• Journeyed alone with 2 small children via ox cart to Touchet, Washinton Territory, where her husband had relocated and also the site of the Whitman massacre.
• Later the family returned to Brownsville where Eliza’s siblings and father lived.
• Died 1919, buried next her husband Andrew in Brownsville.

 


 


The Whitman Incident

diary

The Whitman incident in the oral tradition of the tribes is one of self-defense. Presbyterian missionary Dr. Marcus Whitman, his wife Narcissa and eleven others were killed by a small band of local natives at their mission November 29, 1847. In 1847, over 4000 overlanders had travelled to the Oregon County and along with their wagons and livestock, brought measles. Over half of the Waiilaptu (Cayuses) tribe died as a result. Sick emigrants had detoured to Dr. Whitman’s mission and there infected many local tribe members.

At ten, Eliza was a captive of Cayuse Indians held with several others for 47 days in the winter of 1847. Their captivity followed the deaths of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, acts Eliza witnessed along with the deaths of eleven others on a cold November day. Eliza understood the Cayuse language she'd been taught by her parents, early missionaries to the Nez Perce, a neighboring tribe.
Asked to translate between the captors and their victims, she carried with her misunderstandings of what went on and blamed herself for events she couldn't control. Only years later, reading her mother's diaries, did she come to understand that one must face traumatic memories rather than run from them...face them filtered through love.


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The Memory Weaver

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Critics love Jane Kirkpatrick's The Memory Weaver

“While Kirkpatrick briefly describes the brutalities of the murders and subsequent standoff, the story is primarily about the personal relationships. Pushed by her father’s demands, Eliza marries a man with his own dark past and gives birth to her first child before turning 19. The men here all have strong character flaws; the women, on the other hand, are stalwart and wise, and Kirkpatrick brings their abilities to the forefront of the story. Kirkpatrick provides empathetic characters and historical elements that ring with accuracy. This is a fine interpretation of a little-known group of pioneering Christians.”

  - Publisher's Weekly

 

"Based on real events, this novel has adventure, mystery and romance. Characters are well defined and trying to let go of the past to move toward a happier future. Kirkpatrick is a talented author who writes about historical events that have been forgotten throughout the generations."

- RT Book Reviews toppick 4.5star

Author's Insight

The Memory Weaver asks the question...how does trauma affect a marriage and a mother and a life and how do we allow love to transform a memory to bring wisdom rather than despair? What role can friends and family play in helping another heal from a tragedy? How much are friends and family affected by disasters experienced by someone they loved? Set in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and the land where Eliza was once held captive, this is the story of memory and how what we remember isn't always what really happened. This story will remind us all that love is more powerful than the fiercest tragedy and that we often judge ourselves harshly over things we cannot change. Forgiveness is a journey we can make together.

 

 

 

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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."
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