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The Daughter's Walk: A Novel by [Kirkpatrick, Jane]
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The Daughter's Walk: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 228 customer reviews

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Length: 402 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Nineteen-year-old Clara Estby is hauled by her mother, Helga, on a 7,000-mile walk from Spokane, Wash., to New York in 1896. The fashion industry is looking for promotion of the new, shorter dress for women; Helga is looking for a ,000 prize to save the family farm from foreclosure. The historically factual walk is only the first half of the book; the rest follows Clara after she leaves her family, becomes a businesswoman, and makes her way as times change for women at the turn of the century. Kirkpatrick has done impeccable homework, and what she recreates and what she imagines are wonderfully seamless. Readers see the times, the motives, the relationships that produce a chain of decisions and actions, all rendered with understatement. Kirkpatrick is a master at using fiction to illuminate history's truths. This beautiful and compelling work of historical fiction deserves the widest possible audience. (Apr.)
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Praise for The Daughter’s Walk

“Jane Kirkpatrick is a wonderful writer who creates a story full of strong, admirable characters with human flaws. Clara and Helga come to life with dimension and depth, pulling us into their world. I walked across the country with them, experienced their triumph and disappointment, and faced the shattered, angry family when they returned. Jane has given readers a wonderful story of a family schism that comes full circle to love and grace, and of the importance of family, especially when one has been an outcast. I highly recommend The Daughter’s Walk!”
—Francine Rivers, best-selling author

“Jane embraces the finest qualities of the human spirit in all her writing. One of America’s favorite storytellers.”
—Sandra Dallas, author of Prayers for Sale

“Jane Kirkpatrick brings immense integrity to historical imagination, using her consummate skills as a historian sleuth and psychologist. A compelling portrait of Clara’s own bold entrepreneurial spirit gives readers believable insight on how a mother and daughter’s love survives financial hardship, a courageous thirty-five-hundred-mile walk, family tragedy, and estrangement. Bravo!”
—Linda L. Hunt, award-winning author of Bold Spirit: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America

“Jane Kirkpatrick gives us inspiring stories of women who accomplish amazing feats. She has done it again with the poignant story of Clara Estby, who walked with her mother from Spokane to New York in a desperate bid to save the family farm from foreclosure. What was left for this daughter when her connection to family was severed? Jane brings Clara’s story to life.”
—Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books and Music

“Jane Kirkpatrick’s attention to detail and ability ...

Product Details

  • File Size: 3590 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (April 5, 2011)
  • Publication Date: April 5, 2011
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004EWFUX2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,955 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I decided to read The Daughter's Walk because it sounded like such an interesting story-two women walking across the country for a wager in the late nineteenth century. What a fascinating premise for a novel! The fact that this walk is an actual historical event makes it even more interesting. Of all the main characters in the novel, only three are completely fictional. Clara, her mother, her siblings, and the two female furriers who Clara goes to work for are all real people whose names have not been changed.

The novel spans forty years of Clara Estby's life from the time her mother first decided to walk across the country and take Clara along, to her mother's death decades later. Part one, which is almost half the length of the book, recounts in fictional detail the walk from Spokane to New York City. Part two, which spans most of the second half of the book imagines what Clara's time in exile from her family was like, and part three, which is just a few pages long, tells of how Clara made peace with the remaining members of her family over twenty years later.

The backdrop for the entire story is the early feminist movement, which began to gain widespread support in the late nineteenth century. Helga Estby was a suffragette, and although Clara begins her journey without any feminist inclinations, we soon find her embracing the independent lifestyle of a businessperson which was rarely pursued by women in those days.

Being a Christian novel, there is mention of God, but I feel that this is one of those books where God is tacked onto the story as an afterthought. Take God out of this story and you probably wouldn't miss Him much. Even more disappointingly, there is no satisfying spiritual resolution.
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Format: Paperback
I have been taken in by tales of cross-country races, like the "Bunion Derby" of 1928, as told in C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race, and the more recent Trans American foot race, as in David Horton's A Quest for Adventure. More recently, I followed Jeff Rudisill's walk across America, which he chronicled at [...]. So I was interested to hear about Helga and Clara Estby's walk across America in 1896.

Think about coast-to-coast travel at that time: transcontinental railroad tracks had been completed less than 30 years before. But Helga Estby boldly accepted a wager from sponsors in the clothing industry to walk from their home in Spokane, Washington to New York. If they complete the walk in the allotted time, they would be awarded $10,000. That money would have saved their farm from foreclosure and helped their struggling family.

Jane Kirkpatrick, an accomplished writer of historical fiction, pieced together the limited historical record of their walk and creates an epic story of the Estby family. The account of the walk itself fills only about a quarter of the book. Most of the book deals with the impact on the family, specifically Clara's life after the walk. Two of Helga's children died while they were on the journey, so the grief-stricken, controlling patriarch forbade the rest of the family from even mentioning "the walk." Helga and her daughter Clara, then 19, had kept detailed accounts of the walk, but the family destroyed those records. This family rift bothered me. Talk about holding grudges: twenty years later, Clara was still ostracized from her family.

Kirkpatrick paints a detailed picture of life at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, especially from the women's perspective.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had my hesitations about this book when I ordered it but once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. It's a book that should on everybody's reading list. There is so much about Clara Estby and her mother's 3,500 miles trek to New York City from Spokane, Washington on foot to save their family farm and their family. The trek is only a part of the story.

When Clara and her mother return home, they are not happy. Nobody in the family is. A lot happened there while they went to save their farm. Upon their return home, nothing went as planned. I won't spoil the secrets that Clara learns along the way. This story is also about a mother and daughter relationship as well. The book is also about family and the immigrant family experience in the Victorian era. But the book is also about women like Clara and her mother and others who try to fight for equality.

The book is first rate reading material. You will not be disappointed by reading this book. It's just first rate and based on a true story. The author, Jane Kirkpatrick, does a first rate job in writing, researching, and delivering a classic book to readers everywhere. I can't speak enough of this book or read it fast enough.

If I would cast anybody, I would cast Amelia Heinle for the role of Clara Estby and Melissa Leo to play her mother in a film version. I could this story becoming a film classic of high quality.
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Format: Paperback
To be honest, I wanted to love this book more than I actually did. I've read some Jane Kirkpatrick novels over the years that have been wonderful. This one was not quite as good.

Overall, the story is a fascinating one. Two plucky women walked across the United States over 100 years ago! That part is real, documented historical fact! What an incredible feat of "girl power," if ever there was one.

The facts pretty much end there, though. What Jane Kirkpatrick did was to take an interesting story then fill in some large gaps with a lot of historical fiction. At times the lines between fact and fiction were really blurred too much. With such an incredible true story, the book became difficult to follow when crazy fictionalized events were added into the story, too. The final effect is that the story felt at times like a soap opera episode of "Little House on the Prairie.

For example (and a bit of a spoiler), while the two women are off on their trek, children are dying back the farm. Pa is trying to hold the family together while half of the clan is living in the barn shack out back to escape the dreaded sickness. Meanwhile, Ma and Sis are conned in New York, robbed of their savings and left to beg for their train ticket home. But then when they get on the train to race home, Sis encounters by "chance" some benefactors that will change her life. And so on and so on...

It really all was a bit too much, for my tastes.

As much as I wanted to love this book, I really didn't.

I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. That's for sure.
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