The Daughter’s Walk
In 1896 Helga Etsby and her daughter, Clara, began a trek from Spokane, WA to New York City. A journey that was supposed to be a way to earn money to save the family farm and raise awareness of women’s rights became so much more than that. Helga and Clara faced many challenges along the way including robbery, illness and injury. They also shared many secrets, some that would begin to tear apart the very fabric of their family. Upon returning back home to Spokane, Helga and Clara learned that their family had faced tragedy in their absence and held them responsible for it. Shortly after their homecoming Clara left her family, changed her name and began a new life. She was separated from her family for twenty years.
Little is known about why Clara left her family and what she did while she was separated from them. After careful research and discussions with members of Clara’s family, Jane Kirkpatrick brings us a story that speculates what Clara might have done and how she may have lived. Kirkpatrick does a wonderful job of weaving together history and creative license to tell an amazing story of independence, love, life and restoration. At the end of the novel, she provides the reader information on where she got her facts and where she used creative license to add flourishes to the story.
This is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. I loved the way Kirkpatrick was able to really give the reader a feel for the sentiment of the era in which the story is set. Upon reading this book, I was able to understand how everything Clara did was something brave and courageous that set her apart from other women of her time. I would recommend this book to those interested in historical fiction and I also think it would be a great addition to any high school history/social studies curriculum.
Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.