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The Daughter's Walk

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Incredible story!

In 1896, Helga Estby and her daughter Clara, journey on foot from Spokane, Washington to New York City in a desperate attempt to save their family farm. Much to the dissatisfaction of their community, they leave their family behind to make the six month trek across the...
In 1896, Helga Estby and her daughter Clara, journey on foot from Spokane, Washington to New York City in a desperate attempt to save their family farm. Much to the dissatisfaction of their community, they leave their family behind to make the six month trek across the county. During the time spent on their walk, Helga reveals a deep secret that alters her perception of her family.
Upon their return to Spokane, several years later, Clara continues to walk. . .but this time away from her family. She relocates and changes her name, leaving a rift between her and the ones she loves the most. Based off a true story, Jane Kirkpatrick explores Clara's life that follows the great walk of 1896.

I'm not sure how to sum up my experience with this book, except to say that this story is like none I've ever read. It gripped me and fascinated me in a way that no other work of fiction has ever done. The tone of this novel differed from other novels, but that didn't deter me.

Mrs. Kirkpatrick is a master at bringing real-life figures into pages of fiction. Since this book is written in first-person, and because Mrs. Kirkpatrick does such an outstanding job with these characters, I constantly I had to remind myself that I was reading a piece of fiction and not Clara's actual biography.

This book is not your typical work of fiction. I found the pace a little slow, yet every second equally compelling. I'm not sure how the author accomplished that, but somehow, for this novel, it truly works.

The Daughter's Walk tore at my emotions and touched me deeply. This is a fascinating fictional account about a young woman who forges on in a time when women were undervalued and fighting for their rights.

I highly recommend this story. Readers who enjoy Nancy Moser's fictional accounts of real-life figures will devour The Daughter's Walk. Anyone who reads this story will come away with a new perspective on forgiveness and family.

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.

posted by Hollysmith on July 23, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Not for me!

Honestly, I did NOT enjoy this book. I really had to push myself to read some each day until I had finally finished it. I guess Historical Fiction is not for me, or at least this one in particular wasn't! Basically the book is about a mother and daughter who make the de...
Honestly, I did NOT enjoy this book. I really had to push myself to read some each day until I had finally finished it. I guess Historical Fiction is not for me, or at least this one in particular wasn't! Basically the book is about a mother and daughter who make the decision to leave their family and home to walk from Spokane, Washington to New York City for a chance to win $10,000 which would save their family farm. Clara, the daughter was uncertain about going, but went ahead with her mother. Through awful circumstances and many disagreements with her mother Clara learned a lot about herself on their journey. Remember that this story took place in 1896 when women had very few rights. When the pair had to return home without the prize money, they were shunned and looked down upon by their entire community. Helga, Clara's mother was forced to live in submission of her husband. Clara did not want this lifestyle for herself so she chose once again to leave home and family behind. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

posted by we5kings on March 21, 2011

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Incredible story!

    In 1896, Helga Estby and her daughter Clara, journey on foot from Spokane, Washington to New York City in a desperate attempt to save their family farm. Much to the dissatisfaction of their community, they leave their family behind to make the six month trek across the county. During the time spent on their walk, Helga reveals a deep secret that alters her perception of her family.
    Upon their return to Spokane, several years later, Clara continues to walk. . .but this time away from her family. She relocates and changes her name, leaving a rift between her and the ones she loves the most. Based off a true story, Jane Kirkpatrick explores Clara's life that follows the great walk of 1896.

    I'm not sure how to sum up my experience with this book, except to say that this story is like none I've ever read. It gripped me and fascinated me in a way that no other work of fiction has ever done. The tone of this novel differed from other novels, but that didn't deter me.

    Mrs. Kirkpatrick is a master at bringing real-life figures into pages of fiction. Since this book is written in first-person, and because Mrs. Kirkpatrick does such an outstanding job with these characters, I constantly I had to remind myself that I was reading a piece of fiction and not Clara's actual biography.

    This book is not your typical work of fiction. I found the pace a little slow, yet every second equally compelling. I'm not sure how the author accomplished that, but somehow, for this novel, it truly works.

    The Daughter's Walk tore at my emotions and touched me deeply. This is a fascinating fictional account about a young woman who forges on in a time when women were undervalued and fighting for their rights.

    I highly recommend this story. Readers who enjoy Nancy Moser's fictional accounts of real-life figures will devour The Daughter's Walk. Anyone who reads this story will come away with a new perspective on forgiveness and family.

    **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2011

    Not for me!

    Honestly, I did NOT enjoy this book. I really had to push myself to read some each day until I had finally finished it. I guess Historical Fiction is not for me, or at least this one in particular wasn't! Basically the book is about a mother and daughter who make the decision to leave their family and home to walk from Spokane, Washington to New York City for a chance to win $10,000 which would save their family farm. Clara, the daughter was uncertain about going, but went ahead with her mother. Through awful circumstances and many disagreements with her mother Clara learned a lot about herself on their journey. Remember that this story took place in 1896 when women had very few rights. When the pair had to return home without the prize money, they were shunned and looked down upon by their entire community. Helga, Clara's mother was forced to live in submission of her husband. Clara did not want this lifestyle for herself so she chose once again to leave home and family behind. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    Not so much, I would pass.

    A Daughter's Walk is the story (based on actual people) of a mother-daughter team who decide to walk across the United States, sponsored by a group of investors to promote dresses (that ladies can walk in) and save the family farm at the turn of the 20th century (an actual time). I think this is where actual history and fictional history part ways and the author takes over in the storytelling department. The story becomes a basic prodigal story without the squandering of inherited fortune and without the loving father taking back the wayward daughter.
    I did not really enjoy this book. I got through it but I found it tedious and mundane. Each of the story elements seemed to be attempts to be historical fiction. Yes, I do know that should be an accomplishment, given it's intended genre. But what I mean is the author seemed to be working to make it historical in nature. She has entire paragraphs where she attempts to show the passing of time by almost listing the things she found out about the period when she was conducting research. It is not woven into the story, it is an obvious "this is the time we are talking about" device.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    Excellent as usual

    Jane Kirkpatrick does not dissappoint in this novel of a Mother and daughter walk across America and then the reprocussions. The story is so interesting I was unable to put it down and was disappointed when the story ended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    A great book

    Very well written and easy to follow! I enjoy all of her books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    Excellent!

    This character grows up before your eyes!

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  • Posted April 18, 2012

    Very well written story of Clara & Helga's crossing from Ore

    Very well written story of Clara & Helga's crossing from Oregon to New York on foot in 1800+ promoting a reform dress to raise funds for salvation of their farm. The rest ... is a beautiful sad story. It has moments of joy and peace and hope that Clara will finally get a success she so desires and longs for. However what she does longs for the most is family relations.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    This book is based on a true story and founded on fact, rooted i

    This book is based on a true story and founded on fact, rooted in history, and almost forgotten. A story that should not have been but for the unplesantness of life and family crashing down around one young woman who lived an extrordinary life despite what was thrown at her.

    Clara is chosen by her mother, as the eldest child in the family, to join her in a walk across the entire country in 1896, in a gamble to earn enough money to save their family farm while showing that women are strong and showing the new fashion, a dress that didnt have a corset and had a higher hemline was going to be the dress of the future.

    They set out to walk from their home in Washington state and are to end up in New York walking more than 7,000 miles in 7 months by themselves. Mother Helga Etsby and daughter Clara manage to walk across the country, but their lives are forever changed when the things that they learn on the trip give Clara a different view of their family.

    When tragedy strikes, the family dosn’t hold together as it should, instead Clara and Helga are forbidden to talk of their months of walking, and Clara is cast out for not obeying this. She turns to some unlikely allies, and sets out on a different path.

    Her path leads her away from her family and into a family of her own making, although unusual, it holds and sticks with her through good times and bad, even through the more than 20 years before Clara starts to reconcile with the family she was born to. This story shows how blood isn’t always thicker, and sometimes you have to choose your family to do what is best for you to live and God won’t abandon you even if you walk away from Him.

    Talking about religion and faith with her new family Clara hears a debate asking “whether one ought to worship Jesus as a signpost or by following His direction. “If you see the sign saying ‘seventy miles to Coulee City’ you don’t stay there saying, ‘Yes, this is what matters. Iwill worship the sign.’ No, you follow the directions; you follow Him. Thats true worship, by doing what He asks of us.”

    Clara’s work ethic is something that stands out through the whole book, and in my life I keep seeing people that dont care enough to try hard enough at the tasks, the jobs they are given. Clara thinks “Passion allows you to see through the mists of disappointment or failures. Earn a little less, but have work you enjoy” and a friend asks her ” ‘ didn’t you say once that all new ideas are suspect because we tend to appreciate what already exists? Anything new dosn’t carry that substance.’ “ These 2 ideas are so true they just jumped off the pages and stuck with me.

    When I finished the book, I read the follow up, where the story came from ,what facts the author based the story on, and again I wound up heartbroken seeing that it took almost 100 years for the pain caused one woman by her family to fade so that this amazing story of courage and strength, faith and rejection,pain and love could be told. I’m glad this story came to light and has now been shared with us, the book was well written and I enjoyed it!

    “I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.

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  • Posted March 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I normally don't enjoy fiction novels, not even those under the

    I normally don't enjoy fiction novels, not even those under the umbrella called the "Christian" genre. Most "Christian" novels are either Amish love stories or just simply romance stories in general. Even the genre "historical" fiction usually is another name for a romance novel that takes place either in Amish country or in the 1800s out west. I usually find them dull, predictable and uninspired. The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick is quite different. True to its claim, it actually is to be considered a historical fiction novel True details about society's standards, the townspeople and technologies are faithfully included. Even the descriptions of towns, characters and circumstances are well researched right to the very last little detail. Historical facts and accuracy enlighten the reader as well as add to the authenticity. This book held my attention from the start. It was not a chore to read.

    The author challenges the common social view of the mother- parent relationship. The mother, Helga Estby, is portrayed as impulsive, enthusiastic and strong- willed woman. She is willing to confront and change society's standard of the role of women. In contrast, the daughter is more level headed, and reistant to change. Clara, the eighteen year old daughter often questions and admonishes her mother for what she deems to be irresponsible and impulsive choices. Yet her 19th century sense of duty and loyalty ensures that she will obey and follow her mother. There is no disrespect or refusal. Both the mother and daughter have distinct yet strong moral characters and a strong sense of familial duty, even though the expression is vastly different.

    This is the story of an adventure that a mother embarks in order to save the family farm from forclosure. There is risk and danger involved- physical and emotional as well, yet hope drives Helga to pursue the course. Though she is hesitant, Clara goes with her mother out of a sense of duty. The story chronicles their adventures and interactions with the 19th century world around them. A map chronicles the path of their journey. I found myself turning to the map in order to get a preview of how far into their journey that they were. As a blogger for WaterBrook publishers I received this book for the purpose of writing this review. the opinions expressed are my own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    recommended

    As with all of Jane Kirkpatrick's books this is a great book. It is a glimpse into the history of the first world war era which takes place around north east Wa. but gives includes some world views too. Very worth reading.

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  • Posted January 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended

    This is a book you won't put down. The family dynamics, the hardships, the hope that is woven throughout this story makes it a great read.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    One of my favorite historical fiction titles

    *The Daughter's Walk* tells the life story of Clara Estby, beginning in her late teens when her mother drafts her to accompany her on a trek from Spokane, Washington to New York City in a bid to win $10,000. The walk takes place in the late 1800's and the money is meant to save the Estby family farm. Sadly, because of Mrs. Estby's inability to stick to schedules and avoid side trips the women arrive in poor condition, Clara very ill and on the verge of death and out of time. They do NOT receive the prize. When they arrive home there are surprises waiting.

    The second half is truly engaging and takes place AFTER Clara leaves home. Why does she leave? What does her mother confide on the walk that changes Clara's life in unexpected and irreversible ways? How does Clara survive after she leaves home?

    Grab a copy of *The Daughter's Walk*, something warm and tasty to sip, curl up by a cozy fire in your favorite pajamas and enjoy the suspenseful tale!

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  • Posted September 3, 2011

    Engrossing Read

    The Daughter's Walk tells the tale of Clara Etsby, a young woman who reluctantly follows her Norwegian immigrant mother on a trek to walk across the United State of America as a way to raise awareness for women's rights and to raise money to save the family farm from foreclosure. The story doesn't end with the end of the women's walk, however. On their return, both Clara and her mother, Helga, find they have much to learn about family, sacrifice and forgiveness. While the book is based on real events, it is a novel and there are fictional characters and events woven throughout.

    I've had this book on my wishlist for a while, so I was happy when it popped up on my list of books to review. It was not at all what I expected- but that's not a bad thing. The women's walk from Spokane, WA to New York City is only the first half of the book. At first, I thought that perhaps it should have ended there, but once I got into the second part of the book I knew that so much of great importance would have been lost had that been the case.

    While the overall tone of the book gets a little preachy at times, it's not as overt and forced as many novels that are touted as being "Christian." I rolled my eyes a few times, but only a few. And the story and characters had me so wrapped up that I didn't mind. They had me so wrapped up, in fact, that I spent my entire afternoon today and most of the evening reading this book because I didn't want to put down.

    I strongly recommend this book as a great vacation or holiday read. It is intelligent and interesting, but fast moving and enjoyable all at the same time. You are left with plenty to think about without having to think to hard to get to the meat of it. If you're looking for a new novel to get into, make it a point to pick up a copy of The Daughter's Walk.

    As part of the Blogging for Books program, the publisher provided me with a review copy of this book.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    What a Journey!

    The Daughter's Walk is the first book that I've ever read by the author Jane Kirk Patrick and it won't be my last. This book would be categorized under the historical catagory and it does not disappoint. The author does an exceptionally well job in describing the era in which the main character Clara Estby resides in. I loved reading the tale of the character and deeply felt for her in the struggles and great joy when things were going in a blessed way in her journey.

    This story I found to be a quick read because it was so hard to put down! The story itself, The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick is about a mother, Helga Etsby and her nineteen year old daughter Clara. Who accept a wager from the fashion industry to walk from Spokane, Washington to New York City within seven months in order to save the family farm. And what journey it was! Can you imagine traveling 3,500 miles in the late 1800's? In this story, you'll be reminded of the importance of determination, family, forgiveness , and waiting on God. Overall, it's a wonderfully epic story in my eyes. I would encourage everyone to give it a read. I'm very eager to pick up a few more books by this author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    When I first read about this book, the story sounded interesting but then I realized that it's a historical fiction novel. Two women really walked from Spokane, Washington to New York City in 1896! Just that part of the story is amazing and it's only half of the book.

    At times the story was heartbreaking but their lives took a turn and then it become uplifting again. I really enjoyed reading about this family and what they went through. Clara was a strong woman and her story is inspiring.

    As I was reading the book I was wondering which parts of this story are fact and what parts Jane Kirkpatrick filled in. I had planned to do some research on the internet after finishing the book but I was presently surprised that author included notes at the end of the book. She explained her research, what facts she uncovered, and what she speculated. She also explained her reasoning behind how she filled in the missing gaps. I thought every decision she made was suitable and it made me love the book even more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2011

    "The Daughter's Walk" by Jane Kirkpatrick

    In 1896 Helga Estby decides to commence on a journey from Spokane,Washington, to New York City with her eldest daughter Clara.If they make it to New York City in seven months by ONLY walking they receive $10,000 so that they can save their farm. Unfortunately Clara and her mother don't reach their destination within the time limit, so they receive absolutely nothing. They return to their home about a year later, empty-handed. Later on Clara decides to leave her family (for good reason) and changes her name. The separation between her and her family lasts for about 20 years and when she returns many things are not as they once were. Something that surprised me about this novel was that it's actually based on a true story. I almost cried a few times in it, it was very heartbreaking to see how her and her family didn't get along. The story had its ups and downs but, honesty...I didn't enjoy reading this at all it was boring and there were many times were I didn't want to keep going. I guess it depends on the person reading the story because it was inspiring it just wasnt...intresting. I personally didn't like it but that doesn't mean others won't enjoy it.

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A country as wide as the holes in relationships

    Jane Kirkpatrick's novels are generally based in fact, and The Daughter's Walk is no exception. The story starts in 1896 when a Norwegian American mother walks from Spokane Washington to New York City, trying to complete the journey in seven months to fulfill a wager and save the family farm. Her teenaged daughter Clara reluctantly walks with her, taking a journey into her own past as the promised future recedes.

    The journey across America is beautifully told, whole towns and scenes coming to life, and a wonderful railway bridge becoming a symbol for conquering the unknown. Fear of heights holds the daughter back. Loyalty, maybe love, maybe determination pulls her on. But in the end it's a balance-what she wants and what her mother wants; what she needs and what her family needs; what she hopes and what society determines is her right.

    Clara learns to take external risks, but that personal risk of devoted relationship comes hard. When the journey's complete she can't quite balance whether her family's rejected her, or she's rejected them. Whichever is true, it's wounded her.

    The history of the time is beautifully woven into this tale of women gaining their rights and independence. And a story of all times is woven into the fractured family. Forgiveness isn't easy. Exile isn't sure. And sometimes the hardest step to reconciliation is the one that's easiest to take.

    Jane Kirkpatrick's novel builds on solid historical research, family stories and relics, and a deep understanding of human nature. It's a beautiful tale of determination, plans derailed, and the journey to forgiveness. There's much to ponder, and there's much to imagine with awe. Life has changed in the hundred years that have passed, but people are still the same; our fractured relationships might all hide well-plotted tales if we change our point of view.



    Disclosure: I received a free copy of this novel from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. Since Jane Kirkpatrick is one of my favorite authors, I considered myself very fortunate.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Strong, resiliant characters---Historically fascinating

    When I selected this book, I didn't realize that portions of it were historically accurate--that the walk actually took place. For that era, it was unheard of for a wife to disobey her husband, leave her children, and independently take charge of herself. I'm in awe of what Helga Estby and her daughter, Clara, accomplished.

    Clara initially refuses to accompany her mother on the trip, however she acquiesces realizing her mother will go alone if necessary. Once the journey begins, mother and daughter begin a new book in their relationship. Clara learns much about her mother that didn't know before and begins to respect this new woman in her life. It always touches my heart when a parent and child begin to really "know" each other even though they have lived together day in and day out. This relational shift is a gift to both and to future descendants--think of the stories that can be passed down!

    Unfortunately for Helga, her life was irreparably altered after the walk. From the way her family treats her to the way others perceive her. For Clara, her life is also transformed but in a different way (I don't want to give it away!!). Would they have done the walk knowing their future outcome? Would they have done anything differently?

    This is the first book I've read by Jane Kirkpatrick and I have to say I am very impressed with her writing style, the way she develops the characters and how they actually become family to the reader. Her descriptions of surroundings and circumstances is also well done. Ms. Kirkpatrick has surely done her research of the walk and it shows. I know I will be looking for other books written by her. The Daughter's Walk has earned a 5-star rating from this reader--thank you Ms. Kirkpatrick and Waterbrook Press!

    This Book was provided by Waterbrook Press through the "Blogging for Books" program in exchange for an unbiased review. The opinions expressed were my own.

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  • Posted June 11, 2011

    A good Read

    The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick had its ups and downs for me. The book is written in three parts; Family, Exile, and Reunion. Family was all about the walk that mother (Helga) and daughter (Clara) took in order to raise money to save their farm. On their journey they had many encounters both good and bad, but while they were successful with their completion it wasn't enough. The second part of the book looks at the daughter's life and what she does once she is exiled from her family. I had a difficult time getting into this because the plot moved very slowly and I found the work that the daughter did to be boring. However, once she discovered her true gift, the book started to pick up and was excited to see what the outcome would be.

    This book was all about personal revelations for Clara, the main character. She overcame so many struggles throughout her life that it kept me reading to find out how the story would end. She was not presented gift after gift on a silver platter, rather she had to work to accomplish her goals. I believe this is important for every woman (or man) to see play out, as it helps to give us all a sense of purpose.

    This is not a book I would read over and over again, due to the slow moving plot. However, it was a good story of endurance and love. Thank you Water Brook Multnomah for providing me with this book to read.

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  • Posted June 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Intriguing Historical Tale Brings New Perspective to Societal Roles and Values at the Turn of the Century

    Jane Kirkpatrick's books have been must reads for me since I discovered her historical novels at the library several years ago. Her books span a variety of places, times, and events yet as a reader I can always expect to discover something new with each book while finding a familiarity with the writing style and feel of the books each time I open her novels. The Daughter's Walk is no exception to the rule for Kirkpatrick's novels that they will be filled to the brim with detail and history pertinent to the story and characters of that particular book. I love the way Kirkpatrick can always bring to life the scenes and people of her books without slowing the pace of her stories through excessive details. Though she always weaves the threads of rich description and imagery into her stories I have yet to find one that moves too slowly to hold my attention.

    Once again Kirkpatrick's work has reinforced the status of must read in my opinion. Above all she has a knack for finding intriguing stories that have not yet become so familiar to readers that it seems to be just another book added to an already extensive selection on a particular event or topic. If the event or topic are familiar, she brings a new perspective or character to the forefront and pens a book uncommonly engrossing for readers. The Daughter's Walk though focused on the specifics of Clara (Estby) Doré's life during and after the "walk" her mother forced upon her, that walk is only a small fraction of what forever changed her life and forced a rift in the only family she'd known until that point. Clara's perspective and choices bring topics such as women's suffrage, abilities in occupations and positions that have been otherwise jealously reserved for males, equality of the genders, and intelligence of females to the forefront in an era where everything is changing despite the attempts of many to hold the status quo immobile and prevent change whether it could be for the better or worse. In truth life is always changing around us but in order to progress ourselves we must embrace that change not inhibit it and thus fall behind as others continue to press forward beyond that standstill point we refuse to release. For Clara the support of friends who become her adopted family and the faith they exhibit as well as share with her become the one stable foundation she can count on in life. Faith and supportive, caring people around us are sometimes the only constant in life yet we overlook their value until everything else is yanked from beneath us leaving no pillar to lean upon. Clara's experiences, choices, and feelings illustrate our needs as humans and the unique desires and passions that God has wired into each person to fit the roles He created them to fill.

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