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The Daughter's Walk

A Novel

Jane Kirkpatrick

Category: Fiction

About The Daughter's Walk

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 $10,000. Bringing along her nineteen year-old daughter Clara, the two made their way on the 3500-mile trek by following the railroad tracks and motivated by the money they needed to save the family farm.  After returning home to the Estby farm more than a year later, Clara chose to walk on alone by leaving the family and changing her name. Her decisions initiated a more than 20-year separation from the only life she had known.
Historical fiction writer Jane Kirkpatrick picks up where the fact of the Estbys’ walk leaves off to explore Clara's continued journey. What motivated Clara to take such a risk in an era when many women struggled with the issues of rights and independence? And what personal revelations brought Clara to the end of her lonely road? The Daughter's Walk weaves personal history and fiction together to invite readers to consider their own journeys and family separations, to help determine what exile and forgiveness are truly about.

“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.”
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)


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

About Jane Kirkpatrick

Jane Kirkpatrick is a best-selling, award-winning author whose previous historical novels include All Together in One Place and Christy Award finalist A Tendering in the Storm. An international keynote speaker, she has earned regional and national recognition for her stories based on the lives of actual people, including the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Hall of Fame. Jane is a Wisconsin native who since 1974 has lived in Eastern Oregon, where she and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 rugged acres.

Product Details

400 pages | Published by WaterBrook

On Sale Date: Apr 5, 2011

Trim Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/4

Carton Quantity: 24

Sneak Peek

A mother's tragedy, a daughter's desire and the 7000 mile journey that changed their lives.   Click here to download chapter one of The Daughter's Walk. In 1896, in order to save the family farm, Clara Estby reluctantly accompanies her mother on a cross-country journey that redefines a mother's tragedy and a daughter's desire. Over two decades, friends and faith help Clara move through a family betrayal and into a future of her own design.  But will the tentacles of the past keep her from finding the real joy in forgiveness?

Click here to download chapter one of The Daughter's Walk.

By Sherri Wilson Johnson

The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick is the story of Clara Estby, nineteen-years-old, and her mother, Helga. They set off on an adventure from Spokane, Washington, to New York in 1896. The problem with this adventure is they are on foot and it is an adventure that Clara did not ask to go on. Their family farm is in danger of being lost after the father has been injured, and Helga takes on a risky challenge in order to save it. Clara is at...

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By Val Frania

The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick is about a young Norwegian American woman, Clara, and her mother, Helga, who walked from Spokane, Washington, to New York City in order to earn money to save the family farm that was threatened with foreclosure. They were promised $10,000 by the fashion industry to make the trip in 7 months on foot. Clara and her mother were gone for more than a year and suffered many trials and disappointments along...

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By Sherrey Meyer

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...

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By Brittney Rutherford

What a fantastic book! The Daughter's Walk is about about a young woman, Clara, who is forced by her mother, a suffragette, to walk across the nation by a specific deadline. The two women would be paid for advertising a new style of dress, in support of the developing feminist movement. Against her better judgment and her family's wishes, she gives up her job as a domestic and accompanies her mother. Along they way the face danger and...

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By Mary Bearden

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the journey did not end well at all. Clara became sick for two days and then sprained an ankle which eventually made them 2 weeks late getting to New York City and they did not get the $10,000 that the fashion house had offered. Unfortunately, while they were away some of the children had died of diptheria and Ole Estby, Helga's husband would not even listen to Clara's explanation. What he did not...

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