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5+ stars for Katharine’s Remarkable Road Trip by Gail Ward Olmsted #historicalfiction #biographicalfiction #friendship #bookreview

Title: Katharine’s Remarkable Road Trip

Author: Gail Ward Olmsted

Genre: Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction, Friendship Fiction


Book Blurb:


"Kate makes me want to take a road trip. She's lovable and charming, and her voice... SO GOOD." -Kerry Chaput, author of the Defying the Crown series


"An uplifting and heartwarming tale of resilience, friendship, and the pursuit of a life brimming with adventure and purpose." –Booklist


If you loved Landscape of a Marriage by Gail Ward Olmsted, you'll absolutely adore Katharine's Remarkable Road Trip.


In the fall of 1907, Katharine decides to drive from Newport, Rhode Island to her new home in Jackson, New Hampshire. Despite the concerns of her family and friends that at the age of 77 she lacks the stamina for the nearly 300-mile journey, Katharine sets out alone. Over the next six days, she receives a marriage proposal, pulls an all-nighter, saves a life or two, crashes a high-society event, meets a kindred spirit, faces a former rival, makes a new friend, takes a stroll with a future movie mogul, advises a troubled newlywed, and reflects upon a life well lived: her own!


Join her as she embarks upon her remarkable road trip.


Katharine Prescott Wormeley (1830-1908) was born into affluence in England and emigrated to the U. S. at the age of eighteen. Fiercely independent and never married, Kate volunteered as a nurse on a medical ship during the Civil War, before founding a vocational school for underprivileged girls. She was a philanthropist, a hospital administrator, and the author of The Other Side of War: 1862, as well as the noted translator of dozens of novels written by French authors, including Moliere and Balzac. She is included in History's Women: The Unsung Heroines; History of American Women: Civil War Women; Who's Who in America 1908-09; Notable American Women: 1607-1950; A Biographical Dictionary; and A Woman of the (19th) Century: Leading American Women in All Walks of Life and figures prominently in With Courage and Delicacy: Civil War on the Peninsula by Nancy Scripture Garrison.


My Review:


Harken back to the adventure of the open road in 1907 as Katharine ventures out on her own from Newport, Rhode Island, to Jackson, New Hampshire. Along the way, she’ll encounter everything a road trip could offer and more. Gail Ward Olmsted weaves a story filled with independence, adventure, and a road trip where the automobile is both new and exciting. The narration and characters hooked me, and I couldn’t stop reading. The road trip, though, is the best part and will make you yearn to go out and experience your own road trip.

The characters are well-written and are a fountain of emotion. I connected with Katharine right away. She’s a wonderful heroine and so realistic. She’s a real historical person who’s lived a life unlike other women in her era. She’s a role model for women today. It’s her strength and personality which truly makes me love reading this book. The other characters fill out the story and add depth.


Let’s talk about the descriptive narration. The narration is so visual, so vivid in detail, I want to reach out and touch it. Gail Ward Olmsted uses descriptive world-building to grab the reader and pull them in her story. An immersive reading experience.

This is my first book by Gail Ward Olmsted and it won’t be my last. Her writing is flawless and gives readers a glimpse into the past. The pacing is perfect. She writes in such a way that I want to get in a car and go on my own road trip adventure.


My Rating: 5+ stars


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Author Biography:


Gail Ward Olmsted was a marketing executive and a college professor before she began writing fiction on a full-time basis. A trip to Sedona, AZ inspired her first novel Jeep Tour. Three more novels followed before she began Landscape of a Marriage, a biographical work of fiction featuring landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, a distant cousin of her husband's, and his wife Mary. After penning a pair of contemporary novels featuring a disgraced attorney seeking a career comeback (Miranda Writes, Miranda Nights) she is back to writing historical fiction featuring an incredible woman with an amazing story.


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Reviewed by: Nancy


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