Pack up and leave her home? Never see the broad Hudson River, which flows both ways past her sitting room window, again? Eschew the glories of New York City and the wonders of the 1850s modern technology, and head out to unknown territory in the Wild West?
- WINNER: Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, Winter 2021 – Best Women’s Fiction
“Walk Away West was like a breath of fresh air. ... Author J.F. Collen paints a picture with words that is both captivating and entrancing. As a lover of historical fiction, I was entranced not so much the journey, but by the social constructs and mores of the time. It is so rare to find an author prepared to so thoroughly invest themselves in an era that the reader is transported instantly to that time and place and feels an integral part of everything. ... This is an absolutely fantastic story and one I can highly recommend.” ~ Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, Grant Leishman (5 STARS)
Cornelia Rose—armed with her midwifery training, as well as literature and history knowledge, thanks to older brothers’ education and books—embraces the opportunities that life in the metropolis of New York provides.
In love and happily married to Obadiah Wright, her life is a fairytale of abundance. Surrounded by her family, the couple establishes a home and enjoys the entertainment, society, and technological marvels that make life in the 1850s so easy. Adventure finds her, whether she is touring New York City’s first World’s Fair, or a passenger on a disastrous steamboat ride.
Her life takes an unexpected turn with Obadiah’s decision to heed the call of the West. As his wife, she has no choice but to leave her home, family, and the comforts of civilization, and join him in accepting his opportunity to become circuit judge in Utah Territory. In spite of her endless hours of research, nothing prepares Cornelia for the arduous walk from the packet boat on the Erie Canal toward the Wild West.
“A masterful wordsmith, Collen has an ability to describe the wonders of the time period with historic accuracy. The realism continues with the captivating and often humorous dialogues that resound with dialects and the language of the era. Furthermore, her creativity in illustrating the sights and sounds, fear and pain, wonder, and excitement immerse the reader in the setting of the story.” ~ Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, Cheryl E. Rodriguez (5 STARS)
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PRINT BOOK INFO
Perfect Bound / Softcover:
6.14 x 9.21 x 0.5454 (0.828 Lbs)
240 Pages (30/carton)
List Price: $15.95
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“As Nellie moves from her beloved New York milieu to strange territory in more ways than one, J.F. Collen follows her fears and changes to bring readers along for an exciting emotional and physical ride into danger and revised living: ‘This is not the beginning of an exhilarating trip on my beloved river. It is the beginning of the end. The end of my time in civilization.’ Nellie is leaving a piece of her heart behind, but discovers new ways to fill the gap in a story that winds through the West via boat, wagon train, emigration train, and emotional confrontations.
“Collen creates an outstanding synthesis of history and personal experience that bring readers into a world that moves from a comfortable one to one which, by choice, embraces austerity and adventure. Where is home for the suddenly-nomadic Nellie; and can love survive the journey? Readers looking for a fine stand-alone story of a venture out West and the characters' motivations for both undertaking the unknown and remaining and growing as a couple will find Walk Away West an invigorating novel of change and challenge. It works well either as a follow-up to Nellie’s previous adventure [Flirtation on the Hudson] or as a stand-alone historical novel for newcomers.”
“J. F. Collen pens this historical tale, Walk Away West, with a passion for adventure. A masterful wordsmith, Collen has an ability to describe the wonders of the time period with historic accuracy. The realism continues with the captivating and often humorous dialogues that resound with dialects and the language of the era. Furthermore, her creativity in illustrating the sights and sounds, fear and pain, wonder, and excitement immerse the reader in the setting of the story. Character-driven, the life of the main character, Cornelia Rose, takes center stage. The young protagonist is more than just a pretty face. She is intelligent, well-informed on current events and historical facts, making her a stimulating conversationalist. Her character is honed and shaped by her clever and prestigious husband, motherhood, and the challenges of life. However, there are parts of her demeanor that remain stifled; her flirtations continue to get her into trouble. At times you love her strength and courage, and others, you want to jump into the scene and slap her silly as my mother would say. However, as this leg of her journey comes to an end, you sense there is much more waiting for Cornelia Rose in the West. J. F. Collen’s Walk Away West leaves you desiring more of this adventurous saga.”
“Walk Away West was like a breath of fresh air. As a lover of historical fiction, I was entranced not so much the journey, but by the social constructs and mores of the time. It is so rare to find an author prepared to so thoroughly invest themselves in an era that the reader is transported instantly to that time and place and feels an integral part of everything. Author J.F. Collen paints a picture with words that is both captivating and entrancing. One can truly imagine the beauty of the Hudson Valley at the time through Cornelia Rose’s eyes and the sheer desolation and loneliness of the trip on the Erie Canal. The language, for me, was the key to this tale. The use of the common vernacular of the time and the social mores and constraints, especially on women, sang through the narrative unashamedly. I particularly loved the two sides of Cornelia Rose and her relationship with Obadiah. In many ways, she was a modern, crusading suffragette who did not buy into this idea of a ‘woman’s place’ and the constraints placed on women of the time to hold their tongue and not involve themselves in matters that were beyond their ‘delicate’ minds. Yet, she still longed for the simple, comfortable life of the middle-class, city-dwelling housewife that she saw in her mother. Conflicted and scared, Cornelia Rose still chooses to follow her husband into the unknown with courage and forbearance. This is an absolutely fantastic story and one I can highly recommend. I need to know what happens next, so will definitely be reading the next book in this series. Kudos to the author for generating such a need in this reader.”