Book Review – Change and Cherish Series – Rating: 7.75 out of 10

A Clearing in the Wild, A Tendering in the Storm, and A Mending at the Edge

by Jane Kirkpatrick

How I came to read these books:

This is a three book series, though the third book is the one that is now being released. I was given the opportunity to read all three. Though “A Mending at the Edge” can be read on its own, I highly recommend reading the first two in the series first.

Score Summary

  • Content: 8
  • Writing Style: 10
  • Re-readability: 7
  • Busy Mommy Scale: 6


These books are fiction based on historical records of a real woman, Emma Wagner Giesy. It reminded me a lot of the Little House on the Prairie books I read over and over as a child. Emma, however was a member of a religious group that lived communally.

Now that I have finished the full series, it was a really good story. I had a hard time through the middle book (not unlike Empire Strikes Back) because the middle of any good story is where all the real struggle is. Because I have the tendency to carry into real life the emotions of the books I am reading, I was somewhat depressed while reading the middle book. Emma had a very hard life. She made many decisions I wouldn’t have, which made it harder for me to read as well. Overall, though I am very glad to have read it.

For the official summary, please read summaries of each book down below.

Writing Style

A lot of historical information written in a way that I enjoyed it. That says something.


I’ll hang on to these books, mostly so I can share them. I might re-read them someday. While she did so many things that were contrary to my way of thinking, I did learn a lot about service and servanthood that I know I need to take to heart.

Busy Mommy Scale

Not horrible, but really does warrant the time to be able to sit down and at least absorb a chapter at a time. I did read most of it in a page here and there, but I felt almost disrespectful. It’s so much better when you can fully get the word pictures in each scene, rather than having to scramble back a few pages or paragraphs to pick up momentum again.

Book: The Change and Cherish series
Author: Jane Kirkpatrick
Summary: The Change and Cherish series follows the story of feisty Emma Giesy

A Clearing in the Wild

A Clearing in the Wild CoverSpirited young Emma Wagner chafes at the constraints of her 1850s religious community, which values conformity over independent thought, especially in women. Skeptical of the colony’s growing emphasis on preparing for “the last days,” Emma clashes with their increasingly autocratic leader—and faces the unexpected consequences of pursuing independence.

A Tendering in the Storm

This lyrical novel, based on an historical figure of the 1800s, follows the spirited and intelligent Emma Giesy, who achieves her goal of separating her family from the repressive religious community in which she grew up. But unexpected and dire consequences leave her family—and her faith—struggling to survive.

A Mending at the Edge

A Mending at the Edge CoverThis richly textured novel, the third in the acclaimed Change and Cherish series, follows the historical figure of Emma Wagner Giesy, who chafes under the restrictions of her 1860s religious colony. When her bid to belong in her unique way unravels her most precious relationships, she seeks new ways to stitch meaning into her life.

Author Bio:

Jane Kirkpatrick is the best-selling author of two nonfiction books and fourteen historical novels, including the popular Kinship and Courage series. Her award-winning writing has appeared in more than fifty publications, including Sports Afield and Decision. She’s won the coveted Western Heritage Wrangler Award, an honor shared by such writers as Larry McMurtry and Barbara Kingsolver. Jane is a licensed clinical social worker as well as an internationally recognized speaker. She and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 acres in eastern Oregon.

1 Comment

  1. //

    Thank you so much for your rating scale and its explanation, too! I love the Busy Mommy item especially and appreciate that it isn’t alwasy easy to read my work in between feeding, driving kids to t-Ball and folding clothes. So that I made 7.75 overall is very pleasing indeed. You’re a fine writer yourself, slipping your blog into a busy life. I’m honored that you found the time to read and review my work. Thank you. Warmly, Jane Kirkpatrick

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