Bold Spirit

Bold Spirit: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America

by Linda Lawrence Hunt

Reviewed by Marj


Behind on taxes and the mortgage, Helga Estby learned of a mysterious $10,000 wager for any woman who could walk across America. Hoping to capitalize on this wager, Helga and her daughter, Clara set out to make history.


I enjoyed this book for several reasons. It gave a very interesting historical persective of life in the late 1800’s from struggling on the prairie in Minnesota to beginning anew in the upstart town of Spokane Falls, Washington.

This is a book that stays with you because it is thought-provoking on so many levels: as a vivid snapshot of life in the 1890’s, as an interesting look at women’s roles, and as a testimony to how our actions affect our families both personally and historically.

As a Genealogy enthusiast, this book gave me a whole new perspective on the importance and effect of the stories each of us has to tell. Helga did have a Bold Spirit. I’m glad Linda Lawrence Hunt finally told Helga’s story.