(Book review) All She Left Behind

Reviewed by:

Diane Ash, retired teacher and current church librarian at the Federated Church of Sandwich



Title: All She Left Behind

Author: Jane Kirkpatrick

Publisher: Revell

Publication Date: 2017

Format: Print book

Length: 329 pages


Jennie Pickett is in a troubled marriage, has a young son, and longs to become a doctor as she struggles with life on the Oregon frontier during the 1870’s. When her husband divorces her and leaves her with nothing, she finds employment nursing an older woman whose husband she is indebted to financially.  After her patient dies, Jennie and the widower develop a strong love for each other and begin a new life together that includes fulfilling Jennie’s dream of going to medical school.  This historical novel is inspired by the true account of Jennie Pickett and Josiah Parrish who lived in the Willamette area of Oregon during the 1870’s, and while some of the story may seem unlikely, it is backed up with documents and letters kept by Jennie’s daughters and granddaughters along with newspaper accounts.  The characters are well developed, and the author’s research is impressive when you read her notes at the end of the novel.  Although few women were allowed into medical school during this period of history, records prove that Jennie did indeed graduate from Willamette Medical College in 1879.


Rating (1 to 5)


Suggested Audience


Christian Impact

The importance of a strong faith and prayer when struggling with a troubled marriage, addiction, and how to follow one’s dreams are a strong theme in this book.

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About Evangelical Church Library Association

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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