Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction, Magical Realism
Leah Westfall has a gift; she can sense gold. She has kept this gift a secret her whole life from everyone but her parents, but after tragedy strikes, Lee discovers someone else does know and she ends up running away to join the California Gold Rush to avoid him. This is the beginning of an adventure for Lee that includes lots of hardship and tragedy, but also earns her new friends as well, as she makes the trek all the way from Georgia to California.
Walk on Earth A Stranger was a very fast read for me. Considering the fact that it is mostly historical fiction with just a small amount of fantasy thrown in, I honestly wasn't expecting to be so glued to it. The best thing about this book is Lee. She's a girl who is tough because she's had to be. As one of my buddy reads friends said, she reminded her of the girl in True Grit.
I liked that the good things balanced out the bad things that happened in the book. There would be a scene where the worst in humanity is portrayed, but then it would be followed up by one full of generosity and hope. Quite a few of the characters in the book really evolved on the journey. One in particular who was hard to like in the beginning, becomes very likable in the end.
There is a hint of romance in the book and I liked that it is a very slow burning one that didn't interfere with the plot. Jefferson is Lee's best friend and that is how the relationship is mostly portrayed throughout the book.
If there is one thing I'm disappointed about, it would be that the whole book is spent traveling. Don't get me wrong though, this traveling is not boring. It's filled with adventure and tragedy. I was just eager to see what would happen when they finally got to California.[ I was really disappointed that her uncle finds her immediately after she arrives in California. I thought it was a little far-fetched that he would find her so easily. But I loved the way her new found "family" stood up for her. (hide spoiler)]
I will most certainly be reading the next book in the series.
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