I requested this 1,168-page trilogy for review several weeks ago, and have decided to review each book separately so I don't forget any important details along the way. If I ever actually make it through all three books, I may post a summary review at the end. I've only just finished book one, so that's all I can do right now, anyway.
Emma of Aurora is based off of the true story of Emma Wagner, who challenged the submissive role of women in her close-knit Christian colony even as they ventured west to seek a more isolated home.
A Clearing in the Wild (Change and Cherish #1)
This first book follows Emma as she enters adulthood--rebelliously sewing ruffles into her petticoat, exasperating all with her endless questioning, learning what it means to love, and developing her own sense of spirituality. Jane Kirkpatrick clearly put extensive research into this story, and also fabricated wonderful details to flesh it out.
I enjoyed following Emma as she questioned and discovered and grew, through all of her struggles and successes. One or two of the male characters proved to be quite insufferable, though, and I spent a good portion of the book fuming over their ignorant pigheadedness (sorry, that wasn't very nice). But they, like Emma, were real people, and they had their virtues.
However, I was not completely engrossed in the story; it didn't have that magnetic pull on me that some books do. It is well-written, and I have no complaints about it (except maybe that the beginning was rushed a bit). I've read one other book by Kirkpatrick, and struggled through that one, too. I think it's just a difference between my taste and her style.
(I received a free copy of the Emma of Aurora trilogy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)