Book Review: The Memory Weaver

Holy cow! Where did the summer go? I took a break from reading books to review, and read a few of the books sitting on my bookshelves and floor and chairs…  If you like stories that take place in the Pacific Northwest before the states were states, you may like this book.The Memory Weaver

The Memory Weaver is Jane Kirkpatrick’s latest novel and once again she builds a story based on true people and events. This is the story of Eliza Spalding, the daughter of prominent Presbyterian missionaries with the Nez Perce in the Pacific Northwest.

Her parents worked closely with Dr. Marcus & Narcissa Whitman in the Washington territory, and 10-year old Eliza was there at the mission when they and 12 others are murdered by the Cayuse. Eliza acts as translator for a month for the 45 women and children who are held hostage and the Indians. Big task for a little girl.

The book starts Eliza when is 13 years old, her mother (also named Eliza) has died, and she is living in Oregon territory with her difficult father and younger siblings. While she continues to deal with flashbacks and memories, she meets and marries Andrew Warren and they have children.

The story asks the question, how does trauma affect a marriage, a mother, a life…?

Like many women, she longs to know her mother and her thoughts. When Eliza is finally given her mother’s diary, she is stunned to find that “what we remember isn’t always what happened.” Her mother’s diary corrects many of the things she thought she remembered and provides some context to other things.

This wasn’t a light-hearted or easy read. It’s a little somber and sad, but there are threads of joy, forgiveness, love, and hope. (Watch the video trailer here.)

Once I got into the book, I had a difficult time putting it down. Watching Eliza work through the memories – good and bad – was like watching a butterfly come free of its cocoon, or a flower slowly beginning to bloom. And it was worth it.

Disclosure: I received a free book from the Revell Books in exchange for an unbiased review.

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