Sharp tongued yet loving, opinionated yet understanding, lame yet persevering, brave yet fearful of becoming a burden, a life filled with dichotomy, light well spent. This is Tabitha Moffat Brown, pioneer, also known as “The Mother of Oregon.” Once again Jane Kirkpatrick has fleshed out the life of a strong woman from America’s history, holding true to her life, drawing reasonable conclusions, and adding enough fiction to allow her to live once again in the hearts and minds of readers. In this endeavor, Kirkpatrick is a master.
Tabitha Brown, along with her son’s, Orus Brown’s, family and her daughter’s, Pherne Pringle’s, family, traveled from St. Charles, Missouri to the Salem and Forest Grove areas of Oregon, traveling together most of the way, then with Orus taking the Oregon Trail, and Tabby and the Pringles separating to follow the California Trail into Oregon. Those following the Applegates through northern California encountered extreme hardships, with the survivors entering their new lives in Oregon with not much more than the clothes on their backs, depending on the kindness of those who had gone before.
Tabby’s relationship with her children plays an important role in her story. While her deep love for them, and them for her is obvious, there is tension and more than just a bit of friction between them. While Tabby may not totally comprehend the root of this, she does, often unsuccessfully, try to avoid adding fuel to the fire. Success does seem to come more easily once Tabby finds meaningful ways to spend her light during her later years.
While reading This Road We Traveled I flagged twenty pages on which I underlined pearls of wisdom, quotes that I will copy into my reading log to revisit in the future. How many authors of fiction offer such treasure? I highly recommend this book to readers of historical fiction, to those looking for strong female role models, and to those who love the beauty of words. I thank Revell Publishing and the Christian Blog Alliance for providing this book for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation for providing this review.