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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

This adventure is a blend of old Western and just a hint of magic (or rather a super-human ability much like our beloved superheroes), but Rae Carson writes just as magnificently with a little element of fantasy as she did in a fully imagined fantasy world like The Girl of Fire and Thorns series. I love the references to local history, especially that of the gold rushes in Georgia and North Carolina, like the note that there once was a gold mint in Dahlonega, GA, (marked with the "D" that Denver now uses). Carson recreates the sense of rural Southern life with deep spirituality, the distrust yet charitable feeling given to strangers, the dangers of the culture especially for women and black folk, and the spirit of the wagon train traveling the Oregon Trail.

Leah/Lee is a wonderful character. She's fiercely independent as she's been providing for her ailing family, but she's also possessed of a strong-will and determination that gives her the fortitude to withstand her parents' murders, masquerade as a boy, and then in the face of hardship travel on her own with little resources all the way across the country. For much of the novel, Lee must rely on herself to get to safety. After she is robbed, she signs on to be a boat hand on a flatboat ferrying people down the Tennessee River through waterways all the way across to the Mississippi. The boat is hired by the Joyner family, and when they reach Missouri, Lee accompanies the Joyners a-ways but is cast out as being a runaway to make her own way to Independence. There, she sees a few familiar faces, and after a few days of not finding Jefferson, Mr. Joyner hires her to manage his wagon and cattle as he only has one other hand. Luckily for Lee, his hired hand is none other than the fellow she's been searching for, her best friend Jefferson McCauley. Together with their wagon train of families, a group of college men, and a group with a large number of livestock, they must travel through the wilderness to make it to California, fighting dangerous illness, mutiny, and other dangers.

I think you'll be surprised how things change for Lee and how, despite being a girl and the cultural attitude towards women, she shows courage, leadership, and responsibility beyond her years and the expectations of those around her. Truly, she's an inspiring role model of a heroine while still staying true to the historical detail. If you liked the Oregon Trail game and adventures, you'll like this book, and stay tuned for book two, Like a River Glorious, as more magic, adventure, and high stakes follow Lee and Jefferson in California.

To read the first three chapters, click here to go to EpicReads. Just for fun, you can also try the name generator for Walk on Earth a Stranger! (For kicks, mine is Jefferson "Crazy" Digger. What's yours?)

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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2 People left their mark' :

  1. I neeeed to get to reading this one... I've had it for ages and it does sound awesome.

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  2. She's one of my favorite authors!

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