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 humorous and heartbreaking memoir that asks if one can really turn I wish I had into I’m glad I did.
Andra Watkins 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 addition to her writing talent, Andra is an accomplished public speaker. Her acclaimed debut novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis was published by Word Hermit Press in 2014.
Her latest book is the memoir, Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444 Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace.
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My Review –
First of all, I cannot imagine hiking the entire Natchez Trace! I have had the wonderful opportunity to drive the Trace on several occasions and it is a beautiful drive, no matter the time of year. We love looking for and spotting remnants of the old trail as it zigzags across the highway.
But to hike it, and to bring along a reluctant father? No – for all of the reasons Andra listed! But, then again, what a wonderful opportunity to get to know the person who was at least partially responsible for you being here.
To call this event courageous would be an understatement. Andra is a wonderful story teller and her wit will leave you laughing and crying throughout the book.
While the Natchez Trace itself is full of history and intrigue, Not without my Father is more a story about relationships and how a father and daughter came to terms with each other.
I definitely recommend the book if you love reading about relationships and also a little history thrown in. I’m giving the book 4 stars.
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