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June 13, 2024

Gail Ward Olmsted's Novel Captures Katherine Wormeley's Inspirational Journey

by Susan Roberts

I enjoy books with older main characters and Katharine's Remarkable Road Trip by Gail Ward Olmsted really met that goal.  It's 1907 and Katharine Prescott Wormeley takes a road trip by herself to drive from her old home in Rhode Island to her new home in New Hampshire.  It's only 300 miles but the roads are poor and Katharine is 77 years old - too old in some people's opinion to be undertaking such a long drive.  But Katherine had lived an extraordinary life -- she was a nurse during the Civil War and opened a school after the war.  She never married and had a lot of friends who cared about her. She planned an uneventful 8-day drive but her road trip was full of adventure and new people.

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

book cover of biographical fiction novel Katharine's Remarkable Road Trip by Gail Ward Olmsted
June 2024; Black Rose Writing; 978-1685134327
ebook, print (229 pages); biographical fiction

During her trip, Katherine received a marriage proposal from the widowed husband of her best friend, she helped save a man who had been hurt in a farm accident and she made new friends wherever she stopped.  As she drove, she thought a lot about her past because she knew that her new home in New Hampshire would be her last home.  She had led an exciting life and her experiences on the trip made it possible for her to help other people -- both physically and spiritually.  She definitely enjoyed her life, was open to new experiences, and really enjoyed helping other people.  Her descriptions of the beautiful scenery of New England at times made me feel like I was riding in the car with her.  This book is a short but fun look at a woman who didn't follow the normal path and was proud of her accomplishments,

The main character Katherine Wormeley was a real person (1830-1908) who is still remembered as a philanthropist and a woman ahead of her time.  Be sure to read the Biographical Notes at the beginning of the book which gives more information about the real woman and her accomplishments.  The Author's Notes at the end go into more detail about Katherine's life and the author shares what characters in the book were real people and which characters were from her imagination.  This book was a fantastic look at a brave woman who believed in helping other people and was definitely ahead of her time with her accomplishments and her abilities to live the life that she wanted to live.

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.   


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