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The Daughter's Walk: A Novel Paperback – April 5, 2011
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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 to craft living, breathing characters immerses the reader into her story world. I come away entranced, enlightened, and enriched after losing myself in one of her novels.”
—Kim Vogel Sawyer, best-selling author of My Heart Remembers
“The Daughter’s Walk brings to mind another much-loved book, Mama’s Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes, which became the Broadway play and movie I Remember Mama. Jane’s Norwegian characters captivated me in much the same way. Uplifting and heartbreaking by turns, this is a wonderful story, superbly written.”
—Irene Bennett Brown, author of Where Gable Slept and the award-winning young-adult novel Before the Lark
Top customer reviews
I did start this book expecting a different kind of story - something in the vein of Follow the River or A Thousand White Women, historical adventure novels. It's not that kind of book. I was a little disappointed to find that the actual walk was more a prologue to the story, a starting point, than the story itself. The walk was completed about a third of the way through the novel, maybe a bit more, and was not the centerpiece of the book. But once I got over that adjustment, I enjoyed this book a lot. It was a detailed and convincing exploration of how one woman tried to make her way in the world at a time when women had very few choices open to them. It is about a woman who travels the world, quite literally, looking for a place that feels like home.