Review of The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick
The Daughter's Walk left me feeling sad at so many times as I read it. Clara Estby is forced to walk cross-country with her Norwegian mother, Helga, in 1896, in a valiant effort to save the family's farm after the father is unable to work. They must wear the new "reform dresses" which, shockingly show ankles of the shoes/boots, as they walk. They are not allowed to take any rides and must raise their own money, in hopes of the prize money of $10,000. They do in fact walk from Spokane, Washington, to New York, but they are 10 days late and are refused a penny of the prize money.
Along the way, Clara's mother reveals to her that she is not Ole Estby's true daughter. Clara is the illegitimate child of the rich young man whom her teenage mother, Helga, worked for the family. Her mother refuses to reveal to her the name of her father, but later, her stepfather shouts it out in anguish. Clara is thrown out of her own home and sent away in disgrace. She and her mother are forbidden to speak of the "shameful walk across the country" by Ole and her sister, Ida. Clara finds friends in two women who were actually secret investors of the prize money the women were refused any portion of. Read the story to find how Clara finds peace with her own story and that of her mother. Read to see the resilience of a young woman and her forgiveness of those who have turned against her. Read to hear the story of one daughter's walk. We all have a walk in life to share.....a story. This is Clara's story.
I found this book a little bit slow at times but I did feel the urge to read to try to find some peace and contentment for Clara, if for no other reason.
About the Author:
Jane Kirkpatrick is the author of more than fifteen historical novels based on the lives of actual women, and several nonfiction titles. Her books have collectively sold more than 500,000 copies, winning awards and critical acclaim, including Best Books of 2009 by Library Journal. She lives in Oregon with her husband, Jerry.
For more information about Jane and her works, visit her website: http://www.jkbooks.com I received a free copy of this book from Multonamah WaterBrookPress for my honest review.