Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Daughter's Walk - Jane Kirkpatrick

The Daughter's Walk: A Novel

Product Description

A mother's tragedy, a daughter's desire and the 7000 mile journey that changed their lives.

In 1896 Norwegian American Helga Estby accepted a wager from the fashion industry to walk from Spokane, Washington to New York City within seven months in an effort to earn $10,000. Bringing along her nineteen year-old daughter Clara, the two made their way on the 3500-mile trek by following the railroad tracks and motivated by the money they needed to save the family farm. After returning home to the Estby farm more than a year later, Clara chose to walk on alone by leaving the family and changing her name. Her decisions initiated a more than 20-year separation from the only life she had known.

Historical fiction writer Jane Kirkpatrick picks up where the fact of the Estbys’ walk leaves off to explore Clara's continued journey. What motivated Clara to take such a risk in an era when many women struggled with the issues of rights and independence? And what personal revelations brought Clara to the end of her lonely road? The Daughter's Walk weaves personal history and fiction together to invite readers to consider their own journeys and family separations, to help determine what exile and forgiveness are truly about.
My Review
A poignant story of secrets kept and told, of hurts and forgiveness.  Jane does a marvellous job of taking an true happening with a lot of whys and weaves an unforgettable story.  Clara, 19 years old, is not interested in walking from Seattle to Washington D.C. with her mother and leaving her father and siblings behind. (Clara’s youngest sister is only 2). But her mother leaves her no options, and during the long walk they face many obstacles. With them we face the monotonous days of walking, the challenges and fears of the terrain, the dangers of two women walking the rails. The first 27 chapters deal with the actual walk and the subsequent homecoming. The rest of the book is the account of the years Clara spent in self-determined exile.  The reader feels the pain of the tragedies in Clara’s life as she makes some of her choices, and the freedom of other decisions. This story is well written, and one that will live on in my memory.   Forgiveness is important, and bitterness does not help anyone. I would recommend this book for book clubs as well as for individual reading.
I received this Advance Reading Copy of A Daughter’s Walk  free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for the express purpose of reading for review and blogging. A positive review was not a requirement.

Friday, March 11, 2011

March 11, 2011

and a lovely morning it is. 64*F and i'm sitting on the deck having coffee while i chat. it's been a while since i was on my blog, so sorry if you've been checking and there hasn't been anything new. we do, after all lead a very busy social life here in sunny Arizona. We just got back last night from a few days and nights in Yuma visiting Dean Reimers in their busy life, trying to touch base with Steve Reimers who have an even busier life Benny Friesens (we missed Benny but had a great visit with Sherilee and the boys Jeremy and Zack) and a few friends who winter there.  We bucked a southwest wind driving down, and it was breezy the next day, but not too bad.
We had an awesome time learning about Dean & Yvonne's new farming venture. i could love that - the playing in water part of it. At least once every cutting season (which at the peak would be about every 3 weeks) they need to flood irrigate their alfalfa fields. So that means round the clock checking to make sure the water is not flowing to fields they do not want watered. we watched Dean fix one leak by hand (litterally) and Skylar using the backhoe for another one. Looked like fun, but i know their livelyhood depends on that. We also enjoyed other things, among them a supper picnic at West Wetlands Park. The evening was beautiful and the girls played till after dark. The whole family, including Grandpa Denver were able to join us! We ventured off of the Interstates and main roads to see wome rugged desert country, too, as well as lush green fields of produce and alfalfa.
Mom came home with an awful cold so she is sitting low today. i am blogging while doing laundry. Everyone else thought today was a great day for drying laundry on the line, so am waiting for my turn. Need to check back there every once in a short while to see if the lines are free! A great way to spend a warm and sunny March Friday! Take care, and i'm hoping to hear from you soon!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mine is the Night by Liz Curtic Higgs

Product Description

Stepping from a battered coach on a rainy April eve, newly widowed Elisabeth Kerr must begin again, without husband or title, property or fortune. She is unafraid of work and gifted with a needle, but how will she stitch together the tattered remnants of her life? And who will mend her heart, torn asunder by betrayal and deception?

Elisabeth has not come to Selkirk alone. Her mother-in-law, Marjory Kerr, is a woman undone, having buried her husband, her sons, and any promise of grandchildren. Dependent upon a distant cousin with meager resources, Marjory dreads the future almost as much as she regrets the past. Yet joy still comes knocking, and kindness is found in unexpected places.

Then a worthy hero steps forward, rekindling a spark of hope. Will he risk his reputation to defend two women labeled as traitors to the Crown? Or will a wealthy beauty, untainted by scandal, capture his affections? The heartrending journey of the Kerr women comes to a glorious finish in Mine Is the Night.
First off, i think i would have to say that this is the best Liz Curtis Higgs book i have read! Her scenes are so vividly portrayed, that you can see the lowlands of Scotland, feel the rain and taste the scones, etc. as well as feel the emotions of the well-rounded out characters. The story has everything needed to make it outstanding - a brave, yet gentle hero, who can be harsh if needed, a needy heroine, intrigue, danger and suspense. That there are more than one romance story told, does not hurt, either.
I love it when i can learn history through fiction, and romance was alive and well during the 1700s as Liz writes. The comparison to Naomi and Ruth (of the old testament) is there in the background, and definitely (in my humble opinion) adds dimention to the story.
All-in-all a page turner, and one i will remember and re-read!
This book was given to me free by Waterbrook Multnomah book Publishers for the express reason of giving an honest review, not necessarily favorable.  The opinions are my own.
This book will be available at, as well as your local bookstore March 15, 2011