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A Sweetness to the Soul
 
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Jane Kirkpatrick
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A Sweetness to the Soul (Dream Catcher)

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4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  788 Ratings  ·  120 Reviews
For Lovers of History, Romance, and Faith Based on historical characters and events, this 1995 Outstanding Western Novel award winner recounts the captivating story of a young, spirited Oregon pion
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 16th 2008 by Multnomah Publishers (first published June 12th 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jane Kirkpatrick
Feb 17, 2009 Jane Kirkpatrick added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I wrote this book. It was just named by the Oregon State Library as one of 150 Books celebrating Oregon's 150th anniversary as a state.
Tim
May 03, 2014 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was almost a stretch for me to take on - it could be counted as romance genre ... But plunging ahead, the story of Jane Herbert in the late 1800s in Eastern Oregon was a fascinating glimpse into life at that time.

It helped tremendously that I happen to know the region where the book took place: The Dalles, the Deschutes River, Warm Springs Indian Reservation, Canyon City, Oregon.

It turns out the book was loosely set around real historical characters, so a bonus. But Kirkpatrick writes rich
...more
Chana
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenifer
Apr 30, 2008 Jenifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before there was Nancy E. Turner ("These Is My Words"), there was Jane Kirkpatrick who seems to find these sweet, obscure stories from the Westward Expansion of the 1800s and ripens them. In this book, Kirkpatrick brings to life a beautifully constructed historical novel about a madly-in-love couple who were instrumental in the urbanization of wilderness Oregon during the Westward Migration. There is a depth and spirit in our leading lady that is both universal and inspiring. I think one of the ...more
Leslie
This book could be a 3.5 rating and possibly even a 4 star rating if it wasn't so long. Long books don't bother me but I felt like this one just kept going on and on and on with small stories in Jane and Joseph's lives. Stories that I think could have been left out or shortened to not make you feel like the novel was going to end but yet something else happened. This is the second book I've read by Kirkpatrick because I liked the first so well (A Mending at the Edge). I did enjoy the historical ...more
Kristi
Mar 11, 2011 Kristi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of Jane Kirkpatrick's books I read, and now she is one of my favorite authors. Such a coincidence how I found this book: We had been to a weekend trip in central Oregon and visited Sherar's Falls while there. The day after we got home, my daughter wanted to go to the Christian bookstore to get a book. While I was waiting for her to shop, I looked through the books and found "A Sweetness to the Soul", which looked good to me. When I got home and looked at the book more closely, ...more
Merileemackay
Oct 21, 2009 Merileemackay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title says it all. Even if you are not a western fan, this is really worth your time. I felt enriched by the words. I often reflected that this was a book of friendship and realtionships and was comforted by the people I met through the pages. The prose was beautiful, but not pulling punches. The characters were well defined, and the added element of the main characters being factual only makes it sweeter. Really an exceptional book.
Elizabeth
Mar 25, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best quote: It'll take you nowhere but to misery to blame another for things the way they are."

This book tells the story of a young, spirited, pioneer Jane Herbert. It is "filled with insight and glimpses of real-life pain and offers a pwerful testimony to themiracle of God's healing power" without being "churchy".
Catherine
Jan 03, 2011 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story touched me. It rang a familiar tune in my own life. I have read many of Jane K's books, most all of them out of order and it just doesn't seem to matter. If it weren’t below freezing outside, I would take a drive to the area in this story, but I guess it will have to wait until Spring.
Wendy
Oct 22, 2009 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great Jane Kirkpatrick book. She bases a lot of her books on historical characters and this one is Jane Sherar. Jane marries a much older man, becomes best friends with an Indian girl, and makes a life for herself in Oregon. The love story between her and her husband is really sweet.
Anna
Apr 08, 2010 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can you ever go wrong with Jane Kirkpatrick? Of course, no! Yet another sure-fire winner from her.
Lynn M
Jan 19, 2014 Lynn M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical novel.
Betty
Feb 21, 2017 Betty rated it it was amazing
l thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The story begins with young Jane Hebert's difficult life in 1800 Oregon. She frequently took care of her younger siblings until they became I'll and died. Her mother blamed her for their deaths which led to an estranged relationship.
Jane eventually married a man sixteen years older than she and they had a good marriage. As much as she wanted children, she did not give birth to any of her own.
Her husband Joseph became a builder of roads and bridges and i
...more
Christy
May 09, 2017 Christy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
This is one of Jane Kirkpatrick's earlier writings and I didn't care for it much. The style is very different from what I have read of her to this point. This read is quite lengthy and almost wordy. I was reading a story that had already took place and I never could get involved. It almost seem like a collection of different stories instead of one cohesive work; jumping around.
Kitty Tomlinson
Jane Herbert describes her life in Oregon from the time she was 12 in the mid 100s. She is alienated from her family after a disaster, but finds the love of her life as she lives out her time. Loved it.
Georgia Herod
Dec 27, 2014 Georgia Herod rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent historical novel by Kirkpatrick about Joseph and Jane Sherar, a couple who made a huge impact on the settlement of Oregon near Multnomah Falls.

Based on historical characters and events, A Sweetness to the Soul recounts the captivating story of young, spirited Oregon pioneer Jane Herbert who at the age of twelve faces a tragedy that begins a life-long search for forgiveness and love. In the years that follow, young Jane finds herself involved in an unusual and touching romance
...more
Isabelle S.
Jan 03, 2016 Isabelle S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was excellent! Absolutely Superb! I enjoyed that is was written by a christian and had christian values. The story tells of young Jane Herbert, age twelve, who is ripped apart when three of her four siblings are taken by diphtheria. Jane is further distressed when she has to live with the guilt, thinking that it is her fault. She thinks that she can somehow redeem herself when she is married and has children. She marries a man that is sixteen years older than her (she was fou ...more
Kimberly
A Sweetness to the Soul was a good read. Kirkpatrick based the story off of the lives of Jane Herbert and Joseph Sherar who settled a certain area of Oregon in the late 1800's. The story, characters, and the inclusion of Native Americans were great, but the writing...I got SO tired of all the silly sentences of foreshadowing that were EVERYWHERE! Sentences to the effect of, 'If only I had known then what I know now,' or 'Little did I know what would happen next.' I made those up as extreme examp ...more
Michele
Jul 28, 2012 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely historical novel about a young couple making their way and realizing their dreams in the Pacific NW during the 1800s. The book had a slow start but as the characters were developed and the story moved forward, I became captivated. Most of the characters were likable and the two main ones (Jane & Joseph) were people who had such goodness that we all should emulate. Their was a fair share of hurt, pain & disappointment but there was much more happiness & joy. It was am ...more
Malbadeen
Jul 01, 2007 Malbadeen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: wranglers, people that can't have kids and lovers of tidy stories
(August) It's a book full of lessons well learned, hurt healed with time, perfect marriages and gracious acceptance of loss - in other words, not a book I could readily relate to.

Come to think of it I did learn a lesson from this book - don't borrow books from acquaintances, because then you feel obligated to read them.

That being said...yee-ha for me because, I did it! I'm meeting with the person that lent me this book 3 months ago in exactly 1 and a half hours and I can proudly, conscious free
...more
Evelyn
Sep 27, 2011 Evelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book to read slowly to appreciate and absorb its wisdom and characters.

Nuggets of truth gleaned from this book:

"It's funny, the pleasures we deprive ourselves of rather than face our fears." P. 14

"But then, it is rarely the event but our reaction to it that change our lives I've found." p. 57

"I noticed something more: the eagle soared not only by his own efforts but by the strength of something else, by the strength of the wind and his willingness to bend to it." p. 86 (in the Bible
...more
Catherine
I didn't enjoy this book very much. It was a somewhat interesting story, and good writing, but it felt too episodic and a little too boring for me to really get into. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, so I was looking forward to reading it. Even though the age difference and girls marrying so young was commonplace at the time this book takes place (and this book was based on a real couple), it was a bit off putting that the two main characters met when the girl was twelve and they ...more
Mary
Jun 07, 2010 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm trying to decide if Kirkpatrick is serious competition to Nancy Turner (These Is My Words and sequels) and think not quite. This book, also based on real people's real lives, was much slower-moving and was quite lengthy. It probably contains more actual personal and historical events than the Turner story, and that may account for the pace. It took me awhile to decide I liked it as much as I do. I was not as familiar with the Oregon setting as much as I would have liked, but now I want to vi ...more
Carolyn Lind
Jun 18, 2012 Carolyn Lind rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one probably is like a 3.75; so I rounded up; another interesting historical fiction by Jane Kirkpatrick. Some may find the book too slow, but there is a lot of history wrapped up in this story. Perhaps at those moments in the book, the reader could refer to the fourth quote listed below...

A few quotations:

1. “He said to use what was not my choice and make it into something wise; to always look for the learning in a moment however much pain it carried also.”-142

2. “Wisdom, of course, carri
...more
Jane
Mar 01, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on historical characters and events, A Sweetness to the Soul recounts the captivating story of young, spirited Oregon pioneer Jane Herbert who at the age of twelve faces a tragedy that begins a life-long search for forgiveness and love. In the years that follow, young Jane finds herself involved in an unusual and touching romance with a dreamer sixteen years her senior, struggles to make peace with an emotionally distant mother, and fights to build a family of her own. Filled with heart-wa ...more
Sydney Avey
Realistic family drama about life's struggles, joys, and sorrows in the pioneer days of Oregon. I loved the character of Janie and how she stood up for herself. I especially liked that as she grew and learned to deal with difficult relationships, she did so with grace but maintained her sense of independence. The frontier spirit is almost a character in the book. Joseph's vision for Oregon and the complex relationships of Oregonians with the Indians were interesting. Refreshing to get an intima ...more
Terry
Nov 28, 2014 Terry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My folks have been recommending this writer and now I understand why they're crazy about her. Jane Kirkpatrick has a way with a good story! This book is set on the Deschutes River in Oregon - part of my home state I am not so familiar with. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed her work and look forward to reading her other works.

I appreciate her careful research and the way she blended fact and fiction. I also appreciated her recounting what was true and what was fiction at the end of the book - not
...more
Heather
As the title suggests, this book brings forth a sweetness to the soul.

This book was lovely. I was afraid now and again that some horrific tragedy was right around the corner. I was pleasantly surprised that although the story recalled some sad times, there was a happy ending.

The only thing that really bothered was the fact that we "Americans" decided that Native Americans should be required to attend special boarding schools, to cut their hair, and we're prohibited from speaking their own langu
...more
Marilyn
Feb 14, 2010 Marilyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am really glad I read this book. I learned about pioneer life in Oregon and the Indians that lived here. And, because it was about places I have been to, I could picture them in my mind as I read: The Dalles, The Warm Springs Indian Reservation, the Columbia River, Portland, & Astoria. Also, the characters in the story were based upon real people who lived at that time.
Finally, it was a touching love story, and was about a woman overcoming life's trials through love!
(The only thing was it
...more
Heather
Feb 10, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the title suggests, this book brings forth a sweetness to the soul.

This book was lovely. I was afraid now and again that some horrific tragedy was right around the corner. I was pleasantly surprised that although the story recalled some sad times, there was a happy ending.

The only thing that really bothered was the fact that we "Americans" decided that Native Americans should be required to attend special boarding schools, to cut their hair, and were prohibited from speaking their own langua
...more
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Kirkpatrick brings us a story of one woman's restoration from personal grief to the meaning of community."
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“The visionary mind takes many turns before settling on any specific path.” 1 likes
“Change isn't the end... It's an unfolding, the beginning of something different.” 0 likes
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