Not Without My Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace

Not Without My Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace

by Andra Watkins


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Can an epic adventure succeed without a hero? Andra Watkins needs a wingman to help her become the first living person to walk the historic 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did. Fifteen miles of rugged highway each day for thirty-four days.

After striking-out with everyone in her life, she settles upon her disinterested eighty-year-old father. And his gas. The sleep apnea machine and self-scratching. Sharing a bathroom with a man whose gut obliterates his aim. Her father is every grown child’s nightmare of embarrassing behavior. They’ve never gotten along.

As Watkins trudges America's forgotten highway, she loses herself in despair and pain. Her tenuous connection to her father unravels in a series of epic misunderstandings. Will they finish the trip and turn ‘I wish I had’ into ‘I’m glad I did?’ Or will they kill each other?

Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace is a New York Times best selling memoir for everyone who suffers from shattered dreams and dysfunctional relationships. If you like Cheryl Strayed, Bill Bryson, or Elizabeth Gilbert, you’ll love this humorous, heartbreaking memoir from New York Times best selling author Andra Watkins.

Buy Not Without My Father today and discover your next favorite read!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780990859314
Publisher: Word Hermit Press LLC
Publication date: 01/15/2015
Pages: 252
Sales rank: 617,463
Product dimensions: 8.80(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.30(d)

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Not Without My Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
TarakianWarrior More than 1 year ago
I had the honor of reading this book, and that's exactly what I consider it, an honor. Each character is alive. Each character you care about. The way Andra Watkins writes speaks to me as it will speak to you. It's gut wrenching, it's laughable, it's where you're reading and you suddenly burst into tears, or giggles, or bawdy laughter, or you shudder. Each new character that comes upon the page you instantly want to meet (well, except for a few...). You (as the reader) feel the pain, feel the joy, and walk alongside Andra as she walks those miles. You feel the sleet upon your face, the blisters on your feet, and you root for her to continue. I know I'm not alone in saying this, but I love Andra's father. I will purchase anything that Andra writes because when I read her writing...I'm there. I'm present. Take a chance and read this book. You will not be sorry.
DebbieHennessy More than 1 year ago
Nov 30, 2014 Debbie Hennessy rated it 5 of 5 stars I absolutely loved this book! I was given an advanced readers copy of Not Without My Father. This book is Andra Watkins Memoir of her 444 mile walk of the Natchez Trace. In order to successfully complete this project she needed some help. No one else was available to help except her 80 year old father. This book is not just about the trials and tribulations of walking 15 miles a day for 34 days, it is re-connection of the father/daughter love. One of my favorite lines her father said was “She smiled one of them smiles that’s been lighting me up for the whole of her life”. This book will make you laugh and cry and wince at the horrors she was doing to her feet. I am reading this book for a second time because I don’t want to miss a thing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
True story how an author decides to walk the Natchez Trace Parkway, 444 miles to promote her book. She starts out to walk 15 miles a day, with her retired father. And what a pair they make! A great story how one can endure trials and find strength from within.
AlisonDailey More than 1 year ago
I received an Advance Reading Copy and daily followed this journey on the author's blog. Although the subtitle of this book is “One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace”, this is really about a young woman’s adult relationship with her parents. Andra’s relationship with both parents strengthens and changes as she learns to appreciate the individuality and history of each.  The author is adept at her descriptions; the experiences and personas of which she writes are quite vivid and realistic. I really felt that I was on this adventure with her, on the Trail and staying at the inns. Rarely did I feel just a reader but instead, I shared her range of emotions: I celebrated her triumphs. I became discouraged. I chuckled. I anguished. I appreciated the frustration and love of the parental relationships.  You won’t regret reading about this woman’s courage, humility, and humor. 
pamela984 More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed Andra's writing style both on her blog and in To Live Forever. Reading her memoir of the walk on  the Natchez Trace was a delight. I had followed her blog throughout her walk and yet this book brought me side by side with her on the walk. I have been dealing with an aging parent so this seemed to fit well with my own experiences. As a daddy's girl I wanted to see how she handled her time with her aging parents for five weeks. This book was a clear reminder that we need to spend time trying to understand where our parents are today. Tomorrow isn't promised to any of us. But we will hold fast to our memories.  Told both from Andra's perspective and from Roy's (her dad), the book illustrates the understanding they gain about each other. This book made me laugh, wince in pain, and cry with her. While the book can be read even if you haven't read To Live Forever, I would still recommend reading To Live Forever for a better understanding of the landscape.  I recommend this book to all. It is an easy read but delivers so much impact.
Lou44LM More than 1 year ago
Andra Watkins has chosen a unique and challenging way to connect with her aging Father, and along the way, rekindles a frayed and distant relationship with her Mother. Andra walks the 444 mile Natchez Trace to commemorate and launch her first novel, To Live Forever, An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis. She chooses her wingman to be her 80 year old Father, Roy Lee Watkins, Jr., a natural born story teller, to accompany her on her daily trek of 15 miles. Of course, old Roy doesn't walk, he spends the 5 hours a day telling any stranger a story while Andra walks through wind, rain, sleet and the chaos that comes with a lonely journey. Roy is also tasked with selling her book out of the trunk of the car to any passing soul and that is one job he excells at.  The book is a telling of the daily travails, fights, tears, and screaming between Daughter and Father and an eventual bonding of sorts as both begin to understand one another. Mother joins them for the final three of the five week trek and adds another dynamic that only Mothers and Daughters can empathize with.  The daily description of the walk is well worth following and the grinding of the personalities of Father, Mother and Daughter bring laughter and tears to the reader. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
RSJohnson More than 1 year ago
Superficially this book is a departure for Ms. Watkins. Her first book is a historico/romance/gothic/ghost story with a twist, i.e. a novel. An excellent and rollicking tale, indeed.  Not Without My Father is a travelogue, personal reflection, and true adventure wrapped up in the form of a memoir. It too is excellent. I already know I am getting three copies to give to significant people in my family. Yet in the end both books have a common theme. A girl/woman searching for her father, looking for connection, protection, understanding, and the ability to separate while growing close. For the rest, it is well written, gripping, and well worth your time. Both books are well worth your time. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She really walked the length of the Natchez Trace. This enviable and daunting task is well told with chapter headings incorporating some inspiring lyrics and will make you feel like doing great things yourself! Along the way she delves into personal history and familial relationships with gusto and honesty. BRAVA!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written and interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved reading this book. Thank you, Andra Watkins, for allowing us to accompany you on your journey. Your story made me feel so many emotions as you described your childhood and adulthood relationships with your parents. I was pulled into the frustrations and joys of the road you battled along with the inner turmoil as you came face to face with some realities of life. I loved how you made the book not just a story of your experiences on the Trace, but it was an inspirational challenge to us all to get out there and live the life we're so desperately missing. It was a reminder to stop thinking in terms of "someday," but get on board with celebrating the day we are in and to invite those we love to join us. I do not speak alone when I say this book and its story is a blessing to all who read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. I fell in love with the family. I cried and laughed throughout. Shes a great writer.