Monday, October 19, 2015
The Memory Weaver- Jane Kirkpatrick
Description: 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.
My Thoughts: The description of this novel hints at a story in which an adult Eliza struggles to weave her memories of past hurt with current memories of hope while living in the very place she fears. This was the premise I was expecting, but not the one I found. In reality, The Memory Weaver begins in Eliza's teen years, and it is not until halfway through the book that even the first of the two children mentioned are born. It is farther still until Eliza and her husband move back to the place she was taken hostage.
While Kirkpatrick's way with words is beautiful and often times perfectly descriptive, I found the story lacking in any form of interesting plot. Toward the middle, there is a conflict between her and her husband which I found compelling and would have liked to take part more in the narrative. Outside of that, there were moments of interesting dialogue and interaction between characters, but it was overall mundane, daily activities only colored by Eliza's way of look at them.
The reason I give this as high as three stars is because Kirkpatrick's writing is beautiful in its conveyance of everyday life. As well, there were moments that genuinely held my interest and attention. However, for myself, the pretty descriptions were not enough to make me care about Eliza Warren. I have read other novels based on true historical figures in which I felt like the story came to life. The Memory Weaver did not do this for me.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.