The Daughter's Walk(2011)



In 1896, Helga Estby and her daughter Clara walked from Washington State to New York City, a distance of 4,000 miles, in seven months in the hope of raising $10,000 to save their farm from foreclosure. But that journey is only the beginning of their story, as the tragedies that follow their accomplishments and what they learn upon returning home are enough to separate Clara from her family for decades. Estranged and alone, it will take the power of faith and forgiveness for Clara to accept healing and to walk into a present joy and a hopeful future.

A Walk Across the U.S.


Clara & Helga's route across America. May 5 - December 23, 1896.

Clara & Helga's story was told in the Star Tribune on Wednesday, June 2, 1897. Read the entire historical account here.



Praise for Jane Kirkpatrick's The Daughter's Walk

"As I read I fell in love with these two women. I hurt for them, giggled at them, and found myself routing [sic] for their success. After Helga and Clara arrived home I was surprised at the direction the book took, and I was both proud and disheartened at how they both decided to make their way–most specifically, how they handled the repercussions of their journey together." Heather L. Saunders

Follow the discussion on: "The Pioneer Woman" blog.

4.5starsKirkpatrick is on the top of her game with this gem!

Needing money to save the family farm in 1896, Helga Estby and her daughter, Clara, accept a bet to walk 3500 miles from Spokane, WA, to New York City within seven months. For their efforts, they would be awarded $10,000. Returning home a year later, Clara chooses to leave her mother and the only life she has ever known to continue on her journey. The original walk, paid for by the fashion industry to show off new, shorter dresses, is based on historical fact. VERDICT Kirkpatrick (An Absence So Great) has done an outstanding job of illuminating turn-of-the-century America and the effect of the period’s rapid changes on the emancipation of women. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction that features strong female characters and attention to detail. - Library Journal


Writer's Recollections

I learned of Clara in a book by Linda L. Hunt where she wrote that after the walk, Clara changed her last name and was separated from her family for more than 30 years.





Video- (Book Trailer) The Daughter's Walk



2011 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award Nominee

USA Best Book

General Fiction Winner