The acclaimed author Rae Carson beings a sweeping new trilogy about a young woman with a powerful, and dangerous, gift set in Gold Rush-era America.
Walk on Earth a Stranger follows Lee Westfall, who has everything she could want – a family and home she loves, a loyal steed and a best friend who may want to be something more. However, Lee also has a secret.
She has a gift of sensing gold in the world around her. She can feel it in the earth, nuggets in a stream, even goldust on people’s hands and clothes. With this gift, she has managed to keep her family afloat and safe – even through the harshest winter. But some people would kill to control a girl with this kind of power.
When everything Lee holds close to heart is ripped away from her, Lee decides to flee to California – where gold has just recently been discovered. But before she can revel in the idea of finally being able to be herself and use her gift, she first has to survive the rough, dangerous journey there.
This YA Fantasy novel is the first in Carson’s The Gold Sheer trilogy, with the next book, Like a River Glorious, due to come out September later this year. It is a book filled with hope and inner strength, and shows just how much sheer determination and will can keep you alive.
Walk on Earth a Stranger was introduced to me when I was asked to write about it, I never knew what to expect from it, but ultimately, I couldn’t put it down.
The thing I was drawn to most about this book, was the message that no matter how great and strong it is to do something on your own, it is 10 times better to do with other people. Sometimes, in life, you can’t allow yourself to be so alone – you need to let other people in.
It’s not always the answer holding everything in to yourself. Sometimes you need to trust people to still love you despite the secrets your hoard about yourself. You can’t always do everything alone, you need to let people in – it’s figuring out the ones who are worth the risk and those who aren’t.
Lee has secrets of her own, and when she firsts leaves to go to California she spends the first part of her journey alone. Later, she groups with people and they travel the dangerous road together and by the end of the novel, they’re considered family.
She spends most of the novel trying to hide herself and her secrets. Trying not to let anyone see who she is and discover her gift. But by the end, she realises that she needs to take a chance to trust the people she loves most to keep her secret. There’s a moment in the novel where she says:
“Maybe I could trust him. Maybe I’m lonely enough to take a risk on someone.” – Rae Carson, Walk on Earth a Stranger.
There’s a moment when we all realise that to survive the journey of life (and any other journey, really) we can’t always make it on our own. We need to let someone in, if only to make the journey more interesting.
When I was younger, I read somewhere that as human beings, we can’t survive alone, but even if we could, we wouldn’t want to. And that has stuck with me growing up. It was the same message I got when reading Walk on Earth a Stranger.
It teaches us the true meaning of leaning on one another for support, and the realisation that we derive strength from one another. One person’s actions make us stronger, braver.
When we see someone else being brave, it encourages us to be braver. We pull together as a team. When surrounded by people that we hold close to our hearts, when we see them doing their best to go on when when circumstances seem dire, we do the same. People are become more determined to survive when everyone else around them is doing the same.
Most of all, Walk on Earth a Stranger reminds us of all the reasons not to give up, even when the road seems impossible.