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

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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  605 ratings  ·  100 reviews
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 seni ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 16th 2008 by Multnomah Books (first published June 12th 1995)
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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
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
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
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
Georgia Herod
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
Merileemackay
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.
Lynn M
Excellent historical novel.
Elizabeth
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
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
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.
Jane
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
Terry
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
Anna
Can you ever go wrong with Jane Kirkpatrick? Of course, no! Yet another sure-fire winner from her.
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
Lisa
I enjoy reading historical Christian books, and this one was a good read! I did take awhile to read it, so for me it felt a little long, but if I read it more consistently I think it would have been smoother. There was great detail that made the story vivid and lovely!

Being an Oregonian myself, I enjoyed that this story took place in Oregon and mentioned many Oregon landmarks and the characters' life in Oregon. I loved the Christian themes, particularly the love that Jane had for all people, inc
...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
Evelyn
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
Michele
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
Aug 27, 2007 Malbadeen rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
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 were prohibited from speaking their own langua
...more
Monica
One of the other reviewers says it best...
" Jul 15, 2013 Catherine rated it 2 of 5 stars

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......"

I would also add that it is a very long book and you keep waiting for a climax that never comes.
Mary
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
Leanne Schrotzberger
Awful title, but really good read about early settlements in the west. Fiction, but based on facts of the time. Mostly about the development about a relationship between a man and a woman, but not mushy at all. Also talks about the lives of the Native Americans in that area during that time and the developments and changes they were experiencing.
Carolyn Lind
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
Jackie Sandquist thomson
One of my all time favorites. Have read several times. Love the opening line that refers to as the way the river rises slowly, he seeped into my life.
Rachel
Never thought I'd like historical fiction but it would be tough not to be own over by the characters in this book.
Michelle
The first part is a little slow (which is why I gave it 4 stars) but I loved the rest of the book.
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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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