Book Club Beat – All Together in One Place by Jane Kirkpatrick

Welcome to Book Club Beat, where book clubs share about their discussions.

Book club name and location: Bibliovores, northern California

Book: All Together in One Place by Jane Kirkpatrick (WaterBrook Press, 2002)

What it’s about: When Mazy Bacon and her husband head west on the Oregon Trail, Mazy finds her boundaries stretched in uncomfortable directions. Tragedy befalls the wagon train, and Mazy and eleven other women bind together for survival and companionship.

Were discussion questions available? None in the back of the book or on-line that we could find.

What we liked about the book: We loved Ms. Kirkpatrick’s gorgeous prose and many deep, quotable thoughts and insights. One group member had multiple sticky tabs throughout the book with her favorites marked. We enjoyed the diverse and intriguing characters, and how they bonded in a realistic manner due to adversity. Th difficulties of life on the Oregon Trail became real to us.

Anything we would change about the book? Not really. However, please note that this is the first in a three-book series, so many of the plot questions remained unresolved at the end of the book.

Fun connections (did the story inspire food, decorations, favors, etc.?): Not this time. For some reason, none of us was terribly interested in Oregon Trail cuisine.

Deep connections (this story made us think about the following discussion topics): We did discuss women’s friendships and how adversity brings people together, but this book sparked fewer discussion points than other books we’ve read. Most of our discussion focused on the characters and what made them tick.

Do you recommend this book for other book clubs? Yes – remembering that this is the first in a series. The theme of women supporting each other resonates well for a women’s book club.

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