Jane grew up near Mondovi, Wisconsin, a little town not far from the Mississippi River. Her older sister Judy (now deceased) and younger brother Craig helped on the family dairy farm. Dozens of cousins lived within 50 miles providing the privilege of extended family memories. Most of the "Rutschow" clan remained in the Wisconsin-Minnesota area. Jane moved to Oregon in 1974 after completing her master's degree in social work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She worked in the disabilities field and became the director of the mental health program in Deschutes County and the first female president of the Oregon Community Mental Health Director's Association.
Emma of Aurora offers a three-in-one compilation of Kirkpatrick’s popular novels following real women in the nineteenth century.
A Clearing in the Wild: A historically accurate account of one woman's life in a communal religious colony of the 1850s. In her trademark lyrical style, Kirkpatrick weaves historical details into her story line, peopling it with complex characters and deftly conveying powerful insights on the nature of faith, community, and the human spirit.
A Tendering in the Storm: This second book in the Change and Cherish series is based on the life of a historical woman who wished to be known within a closed religious community of the 1850s. This book shows how she was changed through difficult circumstances and the friendships of others and how she came to terms with the consequences of some of her poor choices. A Mending at the Edge: Book 3 in the series follows a historical woman of the 1860s whose Christian communal society is flawed by its suppression of individual voices, especially those of women. The story acts as a witness to the devastation of suppression while celebrating the power of the human spirit to change and cherish the faith and hope found in ordinary women's lives.
One dedicated woman...giving voice to the suffering of many
Born to an unavailable mother and an abusive father, Dorothea Dix longs simply to protect and care for her younger brothers, Charles and Joseph. But at just fourteen, she is separated from them and sent to live with relatives to be raised properly. Lonely and uncertain, Dorothea discovers that she does not possess the ability to accept the social expectations imposed on her gender and she desires to accomplish something more than finding a suitable mate.
Yearning to fulfill her God-given purpose, Dorothea finds she has a gift for teaching and writing. Her pupils become a kind of family, hearts to nurture, but long bouts of illness end her teaching and Dorothea is adrift again. It’s an unexpected visit to a prison housing the mentally ill that ignites an unending fire in Dorothea’s heart—and sets her on a journey that will take her across the nation, into the halls of the Capitol, befriending presidents and lawmakers, always fighting to relieve the suffering of what Scripture deems, the least of these.
In bringing nineteenth-century, historical reformer Dorothea Dix to life, author Jane Kirkpatrick combines historical accuracy with the gripping narrative of a woman who recognized suffering when others turned away, and the call she heeded to change the world.
One woman, an impossible dream, and the faith it took to see it through.
German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Klager possesses only an eighth-grade education—and a burning desire to create something beautiful. What begins as a hobby to create an easy-peeling apple for her pies becomes Hulda’s driving purpose: a time-consuming interest in plant hybridization that puts her at odds with family and community, as she challenges the early twentieth-century expectations for a simple housewife.
Through the years, seasonal floods continually threaten to erase her Woodland, Washington garden and a series of family tragedies cause even Hulda to question her focus. In a time of practicality, can one person’s simple gifts of beauty make a difference?
Based on the life of Hulda Klager, Where Lilacs Still Bloom is a story of triumph over an impossible dream and the power of a generous heart.
“Beauty matters… it does. God gave us flowers for a reason. Flowers remind us to put away fear, to stop our rushing and running and worrying about this and that, and for a moment, have a piece of paradise right here on earth.”
Based on a true story of a mother and daughter's historic walk from Spokane, Washington to New York City in 1896 in an effort to save the family farm. Clara, the daughter, tells this story of family disappointment and betrayal, love and loss as she breaks from her traditional Norwegian family. On her journey, she discovers what family truly means and why it is a word that comes to us from the Latin Famalus meaning "servant." It's a story of family schism, reconcilliation and grace.