A Name of Her Own
In 1811 Marie Dorion was a Native American from the Iowa tribe, traveling with her husband, Pierre, in the Astor overland expedition. In this novel about her life, Marie went against her husband’s wishes when she took her two young sons and followed him on the wilderness voyage that took them overland from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean. She faced many difficulties, including an abusive, alcoholic husband and an untamed wilderness, as she worked to keep her family together. Her love for them helped her endure extreme hardships and survive when others did not.
Jane Kirkpatrick has woven a masterful tale in this, the first installment of the Tender Ties Historical Series. She does not describe her characters as absolutes, but as living, breathing, imperfect people. Each person made both good and bad choices and they and the people around them lived with the consequences. Nevertheless, Marie learns that the loving hand of Providence guides each choice and its consequence. The changes in Marie and her family are subtle. They mature over time. Ms. Kirkpatrick has carefully researched her subject: many details are based on historically documented facts, which the author explains at the end of the book. This book is highly recommended both on the merit of its scholarship and the complex nature of its characters.