In the early days of the American Pacific Northwest, small settlements dot the wilds of streams and dense woods. Isaac Evers, a community leader and former militiaman, has established a small colony on Whidbey Island. Though the area appears calmer than in the past, the northern indigenous clans still threaten the livelihood of Isaac's growing family.
While Isaac is away on expeditions, his wife Emmy tends to the many duties required of a property owner on Whidbey Island. Bold and assertive, Emmy has little time for the restraint of social mores. But as times on the island become more turbulent, her constitution and conviction are tested.
Elsewhere, Haida native Anah-nawitka feels the rush of his first kill and the satisfying vengeance cast from his hand to the head of the invading white colonists. Basking in the praise from his tribemates, Anah starts down a violent path that will alter a great many lives.
Meanwhile, the British and the U.S. Army are quietly grinding against each other following a boundary dispute, leaving men like Captain George Edward Pickett in a tight situation. In charge of the nearby Union fort, Pickett does his best to maintain his authority while he struggles with tragic events in his past.
Weaving these story threads together into a powerful whole, Gerard LaSalle tells the story of an unforgettable American adventure.
Praise for Widow Walk
"Widow Walk is American Historical Fiction in the finest tradition, a direct descendent of Last of the Mohicans and Cold Mountain. LaSalle recounts the brutal, poignant clash between Native American Indian tribes and white settlers in the Pacific Northwest with economy and beauty, writing clean, devastating prose that clutches at your heart. This lean, unsparing narrative will make you look away in sorrow--before raising your fist in triumph. A quintessential rendering of the American Experience."
- Richard Barager, Author of Altamont Augie Silver Medal winner 2011 Book of the Year Awards
"One thing we all learned well as high school freshmen - Washington State History is boring. Widow Walk changes that. The plot, framed in the rich historical detail of the land, is gripping in its stark reality and difficult choices. The characters are powerfully intriguing; some we follow with admiration, some with terrifying fascination. Even the geography of this northwest tale becomes a living part of the story, rich in details of the beauty and challenges of living and surviving at this time period in this land.
The plot skillfully weaves a tale that creates personal concern for Emily and her family; but Widow Walk excels when it takes on the clash of the cultures, and the battle for the land and its stewardship. It's not a simple plot about the good guys against the bad guys, but an intricate one about our interior struggles to find courage and integrity in personal life choices. Realities like Kidnapping and slavery weren't included in my Washington State History class; the only natives of memorable mention were friendly and acquiescing, with no apparent agenda of their own. Widow Walk provides a deeper insight into the violent cultural and personal upheavals of the `settlement' of the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.
The characters of Widow Walk are well conceived. Emmy is not some perfect fantasy heroine, but a complex, believable woman who struggles with how to live out her authentic inner strength, even before she is brutally plunged into every woman's worst nightmare. I've always joked that I wouldn't have made a good pioneer - I like my Starbucks too much. However, Emmy's story causes me to consider true courage in the face of true terror, and tenacity in the face of extreme physical and emotional hardship. Her story stuns and challenges me long after I put down the book.
I've always enjoyed the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, but I walk the land now with a deeper respect for those who came before, and the contrasting ease with which I can walk it now; allowing it to touch my soul without it challenging my very life. The Northwest has become more vitally present and personally sacred to me because of Emmy's story."
— Amazon Customer Review