Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Two Books and a Giveaway

UPDATE: Thursday, 4/30 at 1:40 p.m.

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Timestamp: 2009-04-30 18:37:21 UTC

Congrats to Sara! The book will soon be on its way to you!

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I have a double feature of books by Jane Kirpatrick to tell you about, along with a giveaway!

A Flickering Light
Jane Kirkpatrick

Returning to her Midwest roots, award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick draws a page from her grandmother’s photo album to capture the interplay between shadow and light, temptation and faith that marks a woman’s pursuit of her dreams.

She took exquisite photographs,
but her heart was the true image exposed.

Fifteen-year-old Jessie Ann Gaebele loves nothing more than capturing a gorgeous Minnesota landscape when the sunlight casts its most mesmerizing shadows. So when F.J. Bauer hires her in 1907 to assist in his studio and darkroom, her dreams for a career in photography appear to find root in reality.

With the infamous hazards of the explosive powder used for lighting and the toxic darkroom chemicals, photography is considered a man’s profession. Yet Jessie shows remarkable talent in both the artistry and business of running a studio. She proves less skillful, however, at managing her growing attraction to the very married Mr. Bauer.

This luminous coming-of-age tale deftly exposes the intricate shadows that play across every dream worth pursuing—and the irresistible light that beckons the dreamer on.

Although this is a fiction book, as indicated above Jane Kirpatrick based this on her grandmother's youth. The determination of Jessie to become a photographer in the days when few women had dared to attempt such a vocation was inspiring. Her maturity in dealing with many of the challenges that came her way was admirable. Yet in spite of her maturity, she is still very naive. I found myself sympathizing with each of the characters - with Jessie in her desperate attempts to follow her dream, with Mrs. Bauer in her mental and emotional struggles in a time when little was understood about such things, and with Mr. Bauer in his rejection by his wife. This book is a great reminder not to place ourselves (or allow our daughters to be drawn) into situations where familiarity and admiration can open doors we should leave firmly closed. Through her photography, Jessie learns much about life itself, and these parallels are expertly described in sectional "forwards", accompanied by actual photographs taken by the author's grandmother.

I looked at this fine photograph. . .and remembered. . .the source and understanding of light marks a portrait master. I held that thought close, ever grateful for the lesson, hoping always to reflect that learning in my life.

View the book trailer:

Jane Kirkpatrick

Wrap yourself in a fantastic journey,
a remarkable commitment, and a spare and splendid story

Master storyteller Jane Kirkpatrick extols the beautiful treasures, unknown to a wider public, rediscovered in the Old Aurora Colony of Oregon’s lush Willamette Valley. The people and legacy of Aurora, a utopian community founded in the mid-1800s, will stir your imagination, hopes, and dreams; and remind you that every life matters—that our lives are the stories other people read first.

Unique and treasured quilt pattern variations
More than 100 photographs, many never-before published, from 1850 to today
Cherished stories from Aurora descendants
Rich images of fine crafts from the Aurora Colony and private collections
An introduction by renowned American artist John Houser

Aurora is about the difference every ordinary life can make—and a beautiful celebration of a time and place in which people expressed their most cherished beliefs through the work of their imagination and hands.

This is a beautiful book containing a peek into the life of a close-knit group of settlers in the tiny settlement of Aurora, Oregon. Life was a challenge as many of the items needed had to be made or "cobbled together" from the materials they had. Then there was the challenge of simply staying alive, well-fed and healthy. The founder of the community, Dr. Keil, and his wife buried six of their nine children. Four of them, including 12-year-old Aurora, for whom the colony was named, died of smallpox just prior to Christmas 1862. Yet in the midst of such heartache and difficulty beauty arose, and the book is filled with beautiful pictures of quilts, embroidery, and weavings from this community. And for the quilting buffs, patterns and directions for two quilts are included in the back of the book.

Here is the book trailer:

Jane Kirkpatrick is a best-selling, award-winning author whose previous historical novels include All Together in One Place and Christy Award finalist A Tendering in the Storm. An international keynote speaker, she has earned regional and national recognition for her stories based on the lives of actual people, including the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Hall of Fame. Jane is a Wisconsin native who since 1974 has lived in Eastern Oregon, where she and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 rugged acres.

Jane has a great website, which includes a blog where she talks more about the fact vs. fiction aspect of her writing and the role that photoographs played in unlocking the mystery of her family relationships.


I have an extra copy of A Flickering Light for one of you. Leave a copy on this post by 12 noon CDT tomorrow (Thursday, 4/30) and I'll draw a winner. Continental US residents only, please

Happy reading!


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Anonymous said...

Oh, I'd love to read that! Thanks Linda!

Pat S. said...

I think I have read one of her books before, and this sounds great.

Pat S.
Lago Vista, TX

♪♪Melody♪♪ and Puddin said...

I am always game to win a book. Thanks for the heads up on 'Aurora'
My ancestors helped settle in that area around the 1840's, so I will be looking forward to what she shares in that book,too

sara said...

you know me...I will never turn down a book!!!!

Cathy said...

I'd love to win, but I'm too late it's 12:18. Oh well, maybe next time.