Monday, 31 August 2009

Historical Trek

Finished August 21
Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk across Victorian America by Linda Lawrence Hunt
My mother-in-law came across this book and passed it to me. It tells the story of a Norwegian immigrant woman who took a risk to attempt to save her family's home. Helga and her daughter Clara walked from Spokane to New York City along to win a prize of $10,000 from an anonymous woman sponsor who wanted to show that women had the physical and emotional stamina to endure such a journey. The two women faced danger from both other travellers and from nature and met many interesting and helpful people along the way. Unfortunately they did not get the prize and faced hardship and family tragedy before arriving back home. The cost to Helga to regain her family's trust and community's regard was to never talk of this accomplishment and its outcome. It was only through chance that her story did not disappear although it has many missing elements due to destruction of documents by her family. This is an inspiring historical story that was very nearly lost and I am glad that it was not.

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