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Kickers Journey by Lois Cloarec Hart

Kicker Stuart has always been different. A bit of a square peg in a round hole. She prefers to wear men’s clothes and do manual work rather than to wear dresses and find a beau. Kicker begins her epic journey when she leaves her home village and begins employment as a hostler and farrier at Grindleshire Academy for Young Ladies. It’s here, six years later, that Kicker meets and falls in love with teacher Madelyn Bristow. The peaceful life Kicker has been enjoying, is about to change forever. Madelyn is a woman who knows exactly what she wants and that is Kicker. So, she comes up with an elaborate plan to make it happen.

In 1899, these two women from very different backgrounds, embark on their journey together. They leave their familiar surroundings in England for the wilds of Western Canada, they have no idea of what they will find or the hardships they will be facing.

They feel anything would be preferable to facing the wrath and the brutality of Madelyn’s father should he ever find out their true relationship status. Upper crust England, being full of prejudices, would never allow them the freedom to live and love one another. Even for a man and a woman from their different backgrounds, the social class divide would impede them, let alone two women together.

The two soul mates find their journey is as much about the heart as it is the soul. They find themselves struggling against gender expectations, the class divide and also themselves. At their journeys end is hope and the chance to live their dream of a life of love together. Even then, there are those they have to watch out for.

This book is a well written blockbuster, A wonderful story of an epic heartfelt journey through the lives of Kicker and Madelyn against all the odds.

This story begins in rural England with Kicker as a young girl and ends in Galbraith Crossing in the wilds of Western Canada. This is a story that gripped me right from the first page and held me right through to the last page. We are treated to a glimpse into the lives of what it must have been like for these two women and other early settlers in an untamed country. A blow by blow account of the hardships and the fight for survival suffered by so many in the wilds of Western Canada.

All the characters play a significant part in the progression of the story. Whether nice characters or loathsome. They are all fully developed and multidimensional.

The historical facts have obviously been very well researched. It’s hard to separate the facts from fiction as it’s all so cleverly and intricately woven together. The story is full of twists and turns throughout. I could feel the call of the wild and actually lost myself in this story. Although this is a long book, it still wasn’t long enough for me. I wanted more.

If you like stories of the old wild west set in America, I think you’ll be delighted with this book. There are similarities between the two different countries and it makes for spellbinding reading. Definitely a book to re-read.

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