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The Daughter's Walk

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  2,614 ratings  ·  456 reviews
A mother's tragedy, a daughter's desire, and the 7000 mile journey that changed their lives.

In 1896 Norwegian American Helga Estby accepted a wager from the fashion industry 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. She brought along her eighteen-year-old daughter, Clara, and
Paperback, 388 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by WaterBrook (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  2,614 ratings  ·  456 reviews

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Rachel M
May 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Kirkpatrick unearths some of the most amazing untold stories from the foundations of American history, and this is one of them. Clara, the "daughter" of the title, begins the story angry with her mother for her impulsive decision to walk across the continent for a dubious prize of $10,000, taking Clara along. As the journey progresses, Clara comes to understand her mother's intentions, but the journey creates alienation and estrangement within their family as a whole.

Clara returns from the
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I know I have said it before but I will say it again, Jane Kirkpatrick is one of my favorite writers! She finds historical women figures that I have never heard of and their stories are so interesting! I find it incredible the way she weaves the historical facts with fiction to the point that every novel seems like a detailed true account of the person’s life.
A Daughter’s Walk is about a young woman, Clara Etsby and her mother, Helga who in 1896, walked 3,500 miles from Spokane Washington to
Teresa Lukey
Aug 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls 13-25
Jane Kirkpatrick's historical fiction novel, The Daughter's Walk, appealed to me because the thought of walking from Spokane, WA to New York sounds damn near impossible. I believe the author must have gotten her inspiration for this book from Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America, which does its best to document the true story Helga Estby and her daughter Clara's 3500 mile trek across the US with little more than pepper spray, a revolver and $5 in the year 1896.

If you are familiar with Jane Kirkpatrick’s books, then you know that she is a master at taking historical facts and weaving them into captivating stories. Each time I read her books, I not only learn something about history, I enjoy the journey. Jane’s books are one example of why I adore historical fiction. Her stories center around real people and she researches her subjects well before putting pen to paper.

The Daughter’s Walk is based on the true story of Norwegian born Helga Estby who
Erin Cataldi
Apr 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
I'm not going to lie this book was depressing as hell. It starts off following a mother and daughter in 1896 as they make a 7,000 mile journey on foot across America in hopes of getting $10,000 to save the farm. From there nothing works out as planned, the farm is lost, Clara loses two siblings to diphtheria while she and her mother are trekking North America, and she learns some dark family secrets. All of this happens in the first fourth of the book. The rest is even more depressing as Clara ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Pros: Though classified as Christian fiction, it's not in any way preachy.

Cons: I didn't find this woman strong at all, really. Granted she started a fur business, but everything she did was partially controlled by two old ladies. The family is horrible. I would have left the horrid mother and sister and stepfather a long time before and never gone back. The mother endangered her daughter, the sister is a bitch who is spiteful, mean, and bitter, and the stepfather is a jerk who always treated
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Story Description:

Doubelday|April 5, 2011|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-1-4000-7429-7

A mother’s tragedy, a daughter’s desire and the 3,500 mile journey that changed their lives.

In 1896 a Norwegian-American, Helga Estby, accepted a wager from the fashion industry to walk from Spokane, Washington to New York City within seven months in an effort to earn $10,000. Bringing along her nineteen-year-old daughter, Clara, the two made their way on the 3,500-mile trek by following the railroad tracks and
Cheryl Olson
May 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
“We are going to walk to New York City, Clara, you and I”- not exactly the words that you would expect to come out of your own mother’s mouth. And did I mention this walk was to originate in Spokane, Washington and that the time was 1896? Two women unaccompanied by a man and out to “save the farm” literally in an effort to earn ten thousand dollars provided by sponsors of the walk to pay off their mortgage on their farm. Not your everyday undertaking I must say, but then neither is this book. ...more
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, fiction
Jane Kirkpatrick is very skilled at taking actual historical events and weaving a story into them. She is also very skilled at creating strong independent female characters, often portraying them in a time where that wasn't acceptable. I enjoy reading her novels because I often learn a bit of history. The Daughter's Walk is no exception. In it, Jane Kirkpatrick takes a little known historical event...Helga Estby's walk cross-country from Spokane to New York with her daughter Clara in 1896. But ...more
Jan 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
Do yourself a favor and read, "Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America" by Linda Lawrence Hunt before even thinking about reading this book. I hate to admit that I only got 10 pages into this book before I became so disgusted with the author that I have no intentions of ever reading anything else by her again. Extreme much? Why yes..yes I am. First of all the book reads like it took place in 1996, not 1896. The wording sounds like the same dialog that takes place ...more
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-e-book
I really liked this book. I love historical fiction & this was very interesting. In the beginning I thought the characters were well written and the historical aspect of the book was very interesting. It was based on a true story, which I knew going in, but the author pieces together what happens to the main character later on in the book. I felt it fit together well, but I also can see where the details that were unknown or made up had some gaps. That at times left me a bit frustrated in ...more
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This book was so intriguing. Knowing that this was a true story, and that two women accomplished a walk across America during this time period was just astounding, to say the least. It also made very grateful for women who were brave against staggering odds, paving the way for future generations of women. I know I am reaping the rewards of women who lived before me. Many of them faced enormous hardship, but didn't give up, making huge sacrifices for the good of their families. It was a very ...more
Heidi Ciravola
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one! I love historical fiction and this was a story I had never heard before. While the events of the story themselves were not overtly interest grabbing, Jane Kirkpatrick weaves a story of interest. A story about family, love, healing, the strength of women, and so much more!
Jill Porter
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book of fiction based on actual events was fascinating!
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I love reading about historical people! Her dilemma confused me as I can’t imagine how I would feel in her shoes nor what I would do. But I would not wait to contact my brother for years nor would I allow my sister to keep my mother from me!
Michelle John heckle
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Wow was this a long book... I generally enjoy historical fiction, but the story to me seemed long and drawn out. Written from the main character point of view, Clara, in my mind was a whiny teenager who really didn’t grow up—her life experiences were many for a girl of her day and I did enjoy reading about the navigation of her life circumstances. Fictionalizing conversations and speculation around actual events made this story bad for me as a reader.
Deborah Sloan
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing

In the Victorian Era where women, no matter what your station in life, were expected to marry and be the backbone of the household, silently supporting their husbands and raising children came the Women's Suffrage Movement. Women who wanted nothing more than the right to vote and be a part of decision making for their country, comes this story of Helga and Clara Estby who take up the challenge to walk from Spokane, Washington to New York within 7 months in an effort to promote the newest
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was able to relate to the mother and dauther as I found out I had a different father than all of my siblings at 16, the daugther finds out when she goes with her mother on a walk on a wager with the fashion industry from Spokane, Washington to New York City in six months. The daughter can't figure out why her Mother insists she must go with her.
She soon finds out that she learns things about her Mother and her life that she never knew before.
After the walk, which is about 1/2 of the book, the
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jane Kirkpatrick never disappoints. Once again, in The Daughter’s Walk, she has brought to the page the story of strong women during a time in our country’s history that found many families struggling to maintain their family’s income and home and women struggling to find their place in society, the work force and politics.

Helga Estby and her daughter, Clara, and their historical attempt to walk the breadth of our country was undertaken in an effort to save the family’s farm in Washington
Apr 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Based on true events, this novel tells the story of the famous 3,500 mile walk made by Norwegian Helga Etsby and her daughter Clara in 1896, when they followed the railroad from Washington to New York. The story continues on from there to tell how the walk affected their lives and how Clara lived the next twenty years estranged from the family she tried so hard to help. While the walk is a real historical event, the author has used research and speculation to fictionalize an event and create a ...more
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love the genre of historical fiction and Jane Kirkpatrick is the master of it. She has an amazing ability to write about strong women in our past. This installment of Ms. Kirkpatrick’s repertoire is about a mother and daughter that set out on an almost impossible feat. The year is 1896 and Helga Estby has accepted a wager to walk across the country in order to promote the women’s suffrage movement. The fashion industry has put up a $10,000.00 prize if the trip can be made in less than 7 ...more
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up without my glasses on in the library. In a hurry, some of you know the drill. I was hoping it would be even a miniscule of a fraction of an ounce of what Cheryl Strayed's book was. I wanted to walk while I was driving. After listening to a bit of the 1st disk, I got home and plugged the title and author into Goodread's data so I could save. Up popped "Christian Fiction". Oh, no! I was ready to return the audio to the library as I really didn't want to be preached to. I just ...more
Kathleen Basi
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Daughter's Walk is a fictionalized account of a real historical event. Clara Estby and her mother walk from coast to coast in the last decade of the 19th century to forward women's suffrage. Afterward, the family (led by her stepfather) refused to let the women discuss their achievement. Clara was estranged from her family for two decades. The book follows Clara in those years, filling in the gaps in the historical record with what might have happened to cause it.

It's an interesting journey,
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Once again Jane Kirkpatrick did not disappoint! I love how she gathers as many facts as possible and then fills in the blanks to make a powerful work of fiction that grabs the hearts and stirs the soul!
I was caught up in the journey of not only the physical challenge of the mother/daughter walk across the US, but the personal challenges of Clara as she begins her quest for independence and her finding her true self. The women that come into Clara's life to mentor her in her years of discovery
Feb 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-books
I struggled a little getting into the book but once I realized it was based on a true story I was fascinated.

This book tells the story of a mother daughter duo, Clara and Helga, who walked across America to prove women are strong. And while the walk is interesting enough, the majority of the book looks at how it changes their lives. Heartache, exile, reunion, friendship, family, and the role finances play in life's choices are all themes that are considered through Clara's story.

The writing
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I think Jane Kirkpatrick does such a phenomenal job at writing historical fiction. At the end of the story she tells how she put all of the details together and what was speculation versus fact. She'd read Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America by Linda Lawrence Hunt and knew there was a story about the daughter. She was so right and I am so glad she wrote that story!
Sharon Huether
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Daughter's Walk By Jane Kirkpatrick This story revolves around the scripture "This is the Way, Walk in It." Isaiah 30:21 The Daughter walked many paths. With her mother to save the family farm. To find her own way when she no longer felt part of the family she grew up with. She walked the path to financial freedom, a new family of two cousins that she worked for. She experienced new adventures, owning property, she traveled to many foreign countries to learn more of the furrier business. She ...more
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked this read! I find it intriguing that the walk by two women from Spokane to NYC as an advertising gimmick in 1896 is a true event. The dynamics of family and friend relationships plus the adventure makes for a good story that keeps my interest. The characters were real and believable even though it was hard sometimes to empathize with some of the their thinking and reasoning. Lots of good book discussion questions in this story. This has a Christian slant and the author does get her point ...more
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book on more than one level. First, as a novel with a true historic background. The book was terrifically researched by the author through intense document reprisal and interviews with family members. I loved the story of the evolving mother/daughter relation, and Clara's development into a strong independent woman of her own right. Their journey from Spokane to New York on foot near the turn of the last century is amazing, and puts in proper perspective any such modern attempts. ...more
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Eh. That's pretty much what I've got to say about this book. Maybe it's just the mood I was in when I read it, but I found myself so uninterested. It is based on a rather interesting little historical tidbit, but that's really just about all that it's got going for it for me. The characters are bland. The dialogue strikes me as fake. And it's depressing. To me, it's gotta be a good book if it's worth being depressing.
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Kirkpatrick brings us a story of one woman's restoration from personal grief to the meaning of community."
“Oh, I take little phrases from Scripture in the morning and think about them all day, then at night I write down how God spoke to me through them.” “That’s nice,” I said as I stuck another stamp into my book. “Like this one,” she continued. “ ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul.’ Now, I’ve always thought of that as a command, but it’s also a promise that one day I shall love God that way. Isn’t that lovely? That came out of my day yesterday. And the rest of it is a promise too, that I shall love my neighbor as myself, that I can count on that, and not only because it’s commanded.” 0 likes
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