MaryEvelynLS, April 28, 2014 (view all comments by MaryEvelynLS)
I finished this book with a sense of satisfaction and a deeper understanding of what women had to endure and suffer in the late 1800's, early 1900's. The Daughter's Walk was fascinating and I was absolutely stunned to learn of the journey that mother and daughter took. 3500 miles!! (We complain about a 3-mile walk in the neighborhood.) The story that continued after the infamous walk is the author's view on what may have happened to Clara, the daughter, after they returned to Washington. Jane Kirkpatrick did extensive research that led her to tell the story as she did. Kirkpatrick was assisted in her research by members of the Estby family and various documents and city records. I am inclined to believe that Kirkpatrick must have gotten some of it right. If not, it still made for an exceptional story. Well done.
The Daughter's Walk is based on the true story and 3,500-mile historical walk of Helga Estby and her eighteen year old daughter, Clara, that began in May of 1896. The fashion industry offered a wager to Helga Estby to walk from Spokane, Washington, to New York City within seven months in an effort to earn ten thousand dollars and save the family farm that was in foreclosure. The women were asked to wear the new reform dresses, to show that women were strong and just as sturdy as men and could accomplish anything in such attire. Their expected arrival was to be December 13th, with exceptions and extensions for illnesses. Along the way, the women could accept food and lodging but not ask or beg for it. There were many supporters en route but there were those that scoffed at the women's dresses and considered them vulgar and obscene for their fashion notion and traveling unescorted. Helga Estby was a supporter of women suffragettes and never believed that the journey could be unsuccessful. After a year away from the farm, mother and daughter return home to heartbreaking, tragic circumstances that will devastate relations and split a family apart. Clara chooses to walk away from her family and must find her own way in the world. It is a story of strength, utter sadness, unlikely friendships, and a woman's ability to succeed against all odds and provide for herself. Yet, Clara proves to be a woman that cannot succeed without the strength and support of the family ties that bind us all.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it will be a story that I will always remember. A story of incredible will and courage. The Daughter's Walk changed lives of mother and daughter forever.
FlowerGirl, January 31, 2012 (view all comments by FlowerGirl)
Great new historical fiction by Jane Kirkpatrick recounts the story of the Estby women who walked across America to save their farm. Tells the missing story of what happened to them later. Good read!
AFBarton, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by AFBarton)
A beautifully written story of the 1896 walk from Spokane to New York City by a mother and daughter trying to save their farm; and the journey the daughter took in life upon return. I couldn't put it down.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Ann Reed, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Ann Reed)
The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick is one of those stories that enters snippets into your thoughts long after you have found a place on your bulging bookshelves to put it away. The relationships and dynamics within the family and especially between Mother and Daughter are well developed and cause one to pause to look at their own relationships. The story of getting to the East Coast is full of twists and turns, literally and figuratively; you feel their triumphs and frustrations, always wondering if they will make the journey in time. Understanding the rippling effects of their walk and how it flowed throughout the future of The Daughter will keep you wondering, "what if" for a long time....
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"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.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.