In 1896, Helga Estby and her daughter Clara, journey on foot from Spokane, Washington to New York City in a desperate attempt to save their family farm. Much to the dissatisfaction of their community, they leave their family behind to make the six month trek across the county. During the time spent on their walk, Helga reveals a deep secret that alters Clata's perception of her family. Upon their return to Spokane, several years later, Clara continues to walk. . .but this time away from her family. She relocates and changes her name, leaving a rift between her and the ones she loves the most. Based off a true story, Jane Kirkpatrick explores Clara's life that follows the great walk of 1896.
I'm not sure how to sum up my experience with this book, except to say that this story is like none I've ever read. It gripped me and fascinated me in a way that no other work of fiction has ever done. The tone of this novel differed from other novels, but that didn't deter me.
Mrs. Kirkpatrick is a master at bringing real-life figures into pages of fiction. Since this book is written in first-person, and because Mrs. Kirkpatrick does such an outstanding job with these characters, I constantly I had to remind myself that I was reading a piece of fiction and not Clara's actual biography.
This book is not your typical work of fiction. I found the pace a little slow, yet every second equally compelling. I'm not sure how the author accomplished that, but somehow, for this novel, it truly works. The Daughter's Walk tore at my emotions and touched me deeply. This is a fascinating fictional account about a young woman who forges on in a time when women were undervalued and fighting for their rights. I highly recommend this story. Readers who enjoy Nancy Moser's fictional accounts of real-life figures will devour The Daughter's Walk. Anyone who reads this story will come away with a new perspective on forgiveness and family.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.
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