Legalities: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jane Kirkpatrick is the only Christian author I've found, whose books I consistently pick up, read, and enjoy. Normally her books are, for me, one-sit reads. I'm not sure why this one was easier to put down and wait a while before picking up again. Which does not detract from the story, just an observation. Sometimes it's nice to have a book one can read a chapter or two at a time, put it down for work, or sleep, and pick it up again later.
Kirkpatrick writes historical fiction, which I love, and she writes about the early women in the Oregon Country, which I also love. She is a Christian author, and her characters are, of course, also Christian (which they were in real life). She does not use the books to proselytize; she shows how important their faith was to the women. And trust me, to those early women—it was a lifesaver on more than one occasion!
The Road We Traveled tells the story of Tabitha Brown (Tabby), a grandmother, whose adult children were headed from Missouri to Oregon, and were going to leave her home with the one son who wasn't making the trek. The boys assumed (typical) she wouldn't want to go. Boy, Howdy were they ever wrong! Tabby (a widow), her husband's brother, and an orphan boy hired as driver, said they would be no problem, and would not slow them down, and made the trek.
This is a coming of age story for all characters involved, it is delightfully told, and gives marvelous insight into the lives of our early pioneers—especially the women. They often had no real choice in whether they made the trek or not, and it was wonderful to read a story about a real woman who, against all odds, made the trek on her own terms. With her usual style, she tells a detailed and rich story.
If you enjoy the history of early settlers to the Oregon Country (including what is now Washington State), read this book.