Bold Spirit

  • by Linda Lawrence Hunt
  • Narrated by Pat Stien
  • 6 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1896, a Norwegian immigrant and mother of eight children named Helga Estby was behind on taxes and the mortgage when she learned that a mysterious sponsor would pay $10,000 to a woman who walked across America. Hoping to win the wager and save her family's farm, Helga and her teenaged daughter Clara, armed with little more than a compass, red-pepper spray, a revolver, and Clara's curling iron, set out on foot from Eastern Washington.Their route would pass through 14 states, but they were not allowed to carry more than five dollars each. As they visited Indian reservations, Western boomtowns, remote ranches, and local civic leaders, they confronted snowstorms, hunger, thieves, and mountain lions with equal aplomb.Their treacherous and inspirational journey to New York challenged contemporary notions of femininity and captured the public's imagination. But their trip had such devastating consequences that the Estby women's achievement was blanketed in silence until, nearly a century later, when Linda Lawrence Hunt encountered their extraordinary story.


What the Critics Say

"Surprising, inspiring....Hunt skillfully brings this story alive." (The Seattle Times)
"A thoughtful discussion of the social and psychological factors that often silence family stories....Fortunately [Hunt] has broken the silence of Helga's story to embolden the spirits of future generations." (Bloomsbury Review)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


What an amazing woman and story! Has encouraged me to tell my kids and grandkids the stories of their great grandparents!
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An incredible story hindered by average writing.

This book is an incredible story about a woman who walked across the USA in the 1800s with only her teenage daughter as a companion. They had no money; they carried no extra clothes or food; they found themselves accosted by men and followed by mountain lions. These women are the types of women I revere. They were strong, capable women breaking - no, shattering - barriers. I loved the story. However, the writing style feels more like a history report done in high school or at community college. It was difficult to get over the writing style and stay invested in the book. I stayed with it because I was intrigued by Helga and Clara. I still am.
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- Kelly

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-28-2011
  • Publisher: Books in Motion