Book Reviews

Book Review: This Road We Traveled by Jane Kirkpatrick

1.jpgWhen Tabitha Brown’s son makes the fateful decision to leave Missouri and strike out for Oregon, she refuses to be left behind. Despite her son’s concerns, Tabitha hires her own wagon to join the party. Along with her reluctant daughter and her ever-hopeful granddaughter, the intrepid Tabitha has her misgivings. But family ties are stronger than fear.

The trials they face along the way will severely test Tabitha’s faith, courage, and ability to hope. With her family’s survival on the line, she must make the ultimate sacrifice, plunging deeper into the wilderness to seek aid. What she couldn’t know was how this frightening journey would impact how she understood her own life–and the greater part she had to play in history.

With her signature attention to detail and epic style, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick invites readers to travel the deadly and enticing Oregon Trail. Based on actual events, This Road We Traveled will inspire the pioneer in all of us.

From page one, This Road We Traveled promises to be a novel jam-packed with history and I believe it more than delivered. There was rich detail sprinkled throughout the pages. Another superb treat was the amount of sound wisdom offered up. The type of wisdom you would expect to find in an older lady’s memoir. I found several quotes to ponder on even after the book was closed.
Unfortunately, I struggled with actual story-telling. I started off connected and intrigued by the futures of these three women. But as the story continued, my interest wanned. It’s hard to pin down the exact cause of the problem. I believe it’s a lack of tension and a mishmash of narration techniques. I regularly read historic journals so I’m not put off by this type of narration. In fact, I think the book would have been greatly improved had Kirkpatrick decided to use it. Instead, I found sections of the story summarized and narrated where I would have liked to see it acted out. And other sections that I felt could have been skipped over altogether that was acted out in what seemed to be slow motion.
I wanted to like this one. I REALLY wanted to like it. But at the end of the day, it just wasn’t a fit for me. However, I can’t discredit the amount of energy and study that went into the novel and will gladly recommend it to anyone who wants to further dig into the history of the Oregon Trail.

~ I received a copy from Revell in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. 

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