Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Daughter's Walk By Jane Kirkpatrick

I received this book from the Blogging For Books Program for free for my honest review of this book.

Book 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 Thoughts:

The Daughter's Walk is the first novel by Jane Kirkpatrick I have had the pleasure of reading.  When I read the description of this book I knew I had to request it. I have always enjoyed historical fiction and to see that this book is fiction but based on a true story really grabbed me. I found myself having a hard time putting it down. This novel really spoke to me both as a daughter and a mother. 

I had never heard about Helga Estby and her 3,500 mile walk from Spokane, Washington to New York City, New York.  Jane Kirkpatrick does a wonderful job in the details that I never felt I was "missing" anything from the story.  The descriptions of people and places were so vivid, it was like I could watch it all unfold. Jane Kirkpatrick has written a wonderful story of faith, family, and friendship. The historical detail woven into her novel is fascinating, depicting a journey I had never before heard of, the walk across an entire country by a mother and her daughter. Clara's journey that follows this event is so well told by Jane Kirkpatrick and Jane succeeds in breathing life into Clara's character.  I found myself laughing with Clara and crying with Clara.  I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction.  I cannot wait to read more novels by Jane Kirkpatrick.

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