Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Lee Westfall works hard on her family’s farm and loves her family even more. Her father is a bit sick so Lee is picking up the slack until he feels better.
Lee carries a secret with her. When she is out working on her family’s land, or anywhere, she can sense when she is near gold. She has been able to keep her family fed and safe because of this secret. She is able to cash in a little gold at a time to make ends meet.
One day, Lee comes home to a terrifying scene that makes her realize everything she has held dear, is gone. Her only hope is to head west to California with all the other gold-seekers and make a new life for herself.
This is the story of her great adventure as she finds out who she is and who she can trust.
I like historical fiction a lot. I had several people recommend this book to me and they had mentioned that it reminded them of The Devil’s Paintbox by Victoria McKernan, which I loved so I was looking forward to reading it. I was just a few pages into the book when Lee first starts sensing her first piece of gold, and it turned me off. I don’t want my historical fiction to take a turn into fantasy. Because it had been recommended, I kept reading and I am so glad that I did.
Lee realizes she will have to catch up with her best friend, who has already headed to Independence in order to catch a wagon train west. She also realizes that being a girl, lends itself to its own challenges. Lee is a problem solver and sees ways through all of her problems along the road.
Nothing is easy on this journey. When I think about the miles they had to travel and the terrain, they had to travel through, I am glad I am living in an age with cars and airplanes. At times, I had to grit my teeth as I read through some of the challenges they faced on the wagon train.
In the end, this was a great story. I am so glad that I kept reading. Yes, Lee can sense gold and that is a little hard to believe, but it does have a place in the story and doesn’t dominate it into a fantasy world like I thought it might. I highly recommend this book.