Jane Herbert is a feisty, sassy 12 year old whose life is full of all the joys of childhood and the security a loving family. After tragedy strikes her home, however, her life is shadowed by self imposed guilt that is nurtured by her mother, who blames her for the sorrow they share. At just 14 years, she marries Joseph Sherar, whom she has met only a handful of times, believing him preferable to the alternative of marrying one who does not care deeply for her. Thus begins their life of making dreams come true and learning to bend to and embrace the circumstances they face.
What I thought:
Jane Kirkpatrick skilfully tells the story of Jane and Joseph Sherar in ‘A Sweetness to the Soul’. This tale is told in detail that enables the reader to easily imagine themselves beside the Deschutes River at Sherar Falls, sharing the life that Jane and Joseph make for themselves there. It is a heart-warming tale of a child growing into a woman whilst facing significant challenge and sorrow in her young life.
‘A Sweetness to the Soul’ is a story full of adventure, dreams, hard work, love and sorrow. The analogy of a coping saw, strong yet supple is the perfect way to describe the way Jane seeks to live her life, knowing when to bend and when to stand firm. She draws from the wisdom of her Indian neighbours and friends, combining their truths to strengthen her own beliefs. Her relationship with her Indian friend, Sunmiet is inspiring and beautiful, particularly at a time when their relationship was not a popular one.
I found the epilogue particularly poignant and was moved to tears at the outpouring of love and affection by Jane’s Indian neighbours. It was the perfect ending to an enthralling tale of a strong, embracing woman. ‘A Sweetness to the Soul’ is one of those stand-out tales that will touch your heart deeply and leave you to ponder the many truths woven through it for quite some time to come.
Guest reviewer:~ my friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence
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