As soon as I started Walk on Earth a Stranger, I knew it would become a favourite. It did, and is one of my favourites reads of 2015.
Lee Westfall can sense the presence of gold beneath and above the surface. Veins, nuggets – you name it, she can find it. Lee and her family have kept this secret safely guarded for fear Lee will be exploited. The sense leaves her warm and with ever-present company. Her gift has kept her family from starvation, but soon her life is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Lee disguises herself as a boy and sets off for California and the gold rush. A fantastic story with a strong heroine and some amazing magical elements.
When I heard about Rae Carson’s new novel, I was intrigued and the history geek in me was excited. It surpassed all my expectations and I was left with a serious case of book hangover.
Lee was such a fantastic protagonist and I thoroughly enjoyed reading from her perspective. She was tough and a hard worker, a dreamer but also a realist, grounded. Torn from her family, Lee is thrust into a path she never expected to take and I really admired her development, and the relationships and bonds she found on the trail. The beginning is a little slow as it sets the story but I encourage you to persevere because once Lee sets off on the trail, it’s a whole new journey, and a fantastically engaging one at that.
It’s gritty and an honest novel; the hardships travellers faced on the road to the west are not treated lightly and not everyone makes it out alive. The romance was another aspect I really enjoyed. It’s a slow-burn, developed and more friendship based at the moment, and I’m looking forward to seeing it evolve in the sequel. The novel was very much centred on Lee and her fellow companions journey to the West, and I loved that.
Fans of historical fiction/fantasy will devour this. I can’t wait for the sequel.
MY RATING: ★★★★★