New novel blends history and the strength of human spirit in stunning adventure
Mid-nineteenth century American history is well documented and studied, but the incredibly rich history of the Pacific Northwest is often overlooked. During the mid-nineteenth century, the American Pacific Northwest, with its lush land and spectacular landscape, was, teeming with resources, and dotted with emerging colonies of settlers. Cultural clashes, however, threatened the safety, security, and fulfillment of the ‘American dream.’ Fascinating, yet little known Pacific Northwest history, as well as dramatic adventure and raw emotion are woven together in Dr. Gerard LaSalle’s new historical novel, Widow Walk.
It was 1858 and among the dense forests of the American Pacific Northwest, small settlements began to form. Pioneer Isaac Evers, based on the historical figure Colonel Isaac Ebey, and his wife Emmy, settled on Whidbey Island and established a prosperous, small colony there. Their life was fairly quiet until a bloody attack on northern indigenous tribe members set a group of natives off on a path to revenge. When their path crosses the Evers’ homestead, chaos ensues. Emmy must use every resource and muster every thread of courage she has to protect and piece back together what matters most – her family.
Having lived, loved, and worked in the areas he writes about, LaSalle’s passion for the area’s history is apparent in every page. A book three years in the making, Widow Walk seamlessly blends our country’s early history with multi-dimensional characters based on true American pioneers. The needs and instincts that drive the main heroine, Emmy, are ones with which we still identify today.
“Heroes and heroines seldom understand that they are such,” LaSalle says. “Emmy is neither an idealist nor an ideologue, but rather a woman who is acting with the fierce instincts of a mother. She defies the odds in a male dominated society to repair her family and, in that process, stands up to the bully that lurks somewhere inside all of us.”
In his riveting work of historical fiction, LaSalle touches upon themes such as:
· Order, adorned with the trappings of “civilization,” is only just when it addresses fairly the most basic of our needs
· Advancements occur when theory is fortuitously met by survival and necessity – an epiphany is the result of change, not the motivator
· The evolution of our consciousness about the rights and responsibilities of all men requires heroic sacrifice
· Heroism is grounded ultimately and finally in the most basic of our needs
· There is a higher consciousness that we must will to endure
A fascinating look into a lesser-known part of our history, Widow Walk is a story instilled with bravery and hope in a time where nothing was certain – an American adventure that will stick with you long after the last page has been turned.
Gerard LaSalle is an MD, CMO, award-winning filmmaker, visionary and highly respected leader, teacher, volunteer, and a captivating story-teller. A graduate of Reed College, Cornell University Medical School, California Institute of the Arts, and having completed his Emergency Medicine residency at UCLA Hospitals and Clinics, LaSalle has not only left an imprint on the medical community, but has been honored for his animation and teaching films, feature-length documentary, and writing. LaSalle’s love of history and his native area of the Pacific Northwest were brought together beautifully for the making of his first novel, Widow Walk. The book’s sequel, Isthmus, is currently in the works.
Widow Walk is a selected Finalist in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards.