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November 13, 2021

The Ride of Her Life by Elizabeth Letts ~ a Review

by MK French


In 1954, 63-year-old Annie Wilkes was given two years to live. She lost her farm, had no money or family, and refused to live in a county care home waiting to die. Instead, she bought a horse and brought her dog with her on a cross-country journey to see the Pacific Ocean before she died. Annie hoped that the kindness of strangers could point her in the right direction, even in a rapidly changing America.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Ride of Her Life
June 2021; Ballantine Books; 978-0525619321
audio, ebook, print (336 pages); biography

In the '50s, TV was just starting to make it big. Interstate highways were being built and cars were being purchased in ever-increasing numbers. While we now think of this time as "the good old days" compared to our modern time, the people were becoming more aware of the world and less trusting than they used to be. Annie Wilkes was a real woman (and not just a name from a Stephen King novel!) and made this journey at the end of her life. We learn about Annie, her family history, and the people or towns she passed through on the way. She might've been a bit naive about planning (or lack thereof) her trip, but her chance encounter with reporters at the time, and her own willingness to write patiently to them and those who helped her kept her spirits up. Far more were willing to help with shelter or meals after hearing about her, and she was always as friendly as the stories told about her.

The Ride of Her Life: The True Story of a Woman, Her Horse, and Their Last-Chance Journey Across America is a fascinating look at the journey Annie took, and the people she met along the way. The trouble she ran into at times is understandable, but towards the end of her journey is when I really felt bad and my heart went out to her. This was an interesting read, and I enjoyed learning about her and the time period.

Buy The Ride of Her Life at Amazon


Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.



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