Thursday, April 14, 2011
The Daughter's Walk
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.
The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick is historical fiction based on a real story; the story of a mother and daughter walking across America in order to earn a prize to save their family farm. But the story doesn't end when they reach New York; in many ways it's only the beginning of the daughter's walk in life.
During the women's walk across America, I kept holding on waiting for something exciting to happen and then a family secret was revealed. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for more but it just didn't happen for me. The story seemed to go somewhat flat.
I had a difficult time relating to this story as the mother seemed to do a 180* turn when her life was turned upside down after returning to her home in Washington. And the daughter seemed to do the same but in the opposite direction. It just seemed well... unbelievable.
Hear Jane talk about The Daughter's Walk here and read Chapter One here.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.