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.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like agreat read! Thanks for sharing your review.