Author: Andra Watkins

Book Review | “Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace” by Andra Watkins Autobiographical account of a daughter & father

Posted Thursday, 15 January, 2015 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

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Last year, I participated in an epic historical fiction blog tour on behalf of a novel I was itching to delve into ever since it was first offered to me to review for the tour itself! The novel I’m referring to ended up being one of my Top Picks for 2014 (which is included on my End of the Year Survey for 2014; not yet released at time of this posting) due to the breadth of the story combined with the scope of a story-teller who left me ruminatively happy! “To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis” changed my perception of historical fiction as much as “Inscription” by H.H. Miller. Both writers wrote genre-bending narratives that etch themselves into your mind and heart, to a level that sets the bar quite high for others who follow suit.

I was captured by the journey Ms. Watkins was taking on the Trace, camping out in front of a computer with my Mum & Da, watching her videos like you might serial tv! Each video was honest and shot straight from the Trace itself! The only takeaway we wished we had of that experience is the little green calling card for “To Live Forever” which Ms. Watkins held up during each video! She captured our spirits by her unwavering honesty and her cheeky humour which gave us a lift of joy! Whilst she was on the Trace, I hosted her for a review and an interview (the latter of which she replied to at a stop!), but I knew then, what I know now… Ms. Watkins was one author I would support throughout her career. She has something quite special to share with the world and I knew I had discovered something quite extraordinary!

I was contacted by Ms. Watkins who put me in touch with her publicist in regards to reviewing her first non-fiction release, an autobiography of her journey on the Trace and the time she spent with her father. I was honoured she had reached out to me and I quite happily returned a reply to accept. I received a complimentary copy of “Not Without My Father” from Word Hermit Press in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

On my connection to Ms. Watkins: 

I felt connected to Ms. Watkins before and after I read her debut novel, “To Live Forever” whilst attempting to keep in touch with her via her blog. Life ebbed and flowed in the months between when I first met her through the blog tour and January 2015 when I am hosting her for the second time, but one moment in particular I remember we both experienced the same agony at the same time! In July 2014, we were both bitten by spiders and equally allergic to them! We had a lovely conversation about it on Twitter, and I couldn’t help smiling realising despite the miles, she understood what I was going through! She’s an incredible writer and motivating spirit — a person I am genuinely thankful my path has crossed with and of whom I am thankful to interact with during the year.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her through her blog as much as I enjoy our random conversations on Twitter. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

Book Review | “Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace” by Andra Watkins Autobiographical account of a daughter & fatherNot Without My Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace
by Andra Watkins
Source: Direct from Publisher

Can an epic adventure succeed without a hero? Andra Watkins needed a wingman to help her become the first living person to walk the historic 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did. She planned to walk fifteen miles a day. For thirty-four days.

After striking out with everyone in her life, she was left with her disinterested eighty-year-old father. And his gas. The sleep apnea machine and self-scratching. Sharing a bathroom with a man whose gut obliterated his aim.

As Watkins trudged America's forgotten highway, she lost herself in despair and pain. Nothing happened according to plan, and her tenuous connection to her father started to unravel. Through arguments and laughter, tears and fried chicken, they fought to rebuild their relationship before it was too late. In Not Without My Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace, Watkins invites readers to join her dysfunctional family adventure in a humourous and heartbreaking memoir that asks is one can really turn I wish I had into I'm glad I did.

Places to find the book:

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Also by this author: To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis,

Genres: Memoir, Non-Fiction


Published by Word Hermit Press

on 15th January, 2015

Pages: 238

Published By: Word Hermit Press, 15 Janaury, 2015
Converse via: #NotWithoutMyFather | #AndraWatkins | #NatchezTraceWalk444miles
Available Formats: Paperback

About Andra Watkins

Andra Wakins

Andra lives in Charleston, South Carolina. A non-practicing CPA, she has a degree in accounting from Francis Marion University. She's still mad at her mother for refusing to let her major in musical theater, because her mom was convinced she'd end up starring in porn films.

In addiction to her writing talent, Andra is an accomplished public speaker. Her acclaimed first novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis was published by Word Hermit Press in 2014.

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Posted Thursday, 15 January, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, A Father's Heart, ARC | Galley Copy, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Father-Daughter Relationships, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story, Memoir, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Natchez Trace, Non-Fiction, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Seclusion in the Natural World, The Natural World, Travel Narrative | Memoir, Vignettes of Real Life, Walking & Hiking Trails

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