The story of Grandma Gatewood will inspire listeners of all ages by illustrating the full power of human spirit and determination, and answer the question so many have asked: Why did she do it? - (Ingram Publishing Services)
Emma Gatewood told her family she was going on a walk and left her small Ohio hometown with a change of clothes and less than two hundred dollars. The next anybody heard from her, this genteel, farm-reared, sixty-seven-year-old great-grandmother had walked 800 miles along the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. And in September 1955, atop Maine's Mount Katahdin, she sang the first verse of "America, the Beautiful" and proclaimed, "I said I'll do it, and I've done it."Grandma Gatewood, as the reporters called her, became the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone, as well as the first person-man or woman-to walk it twice and three times. The public attention she brought to the little-known footpath was unprecedented. Her vocal criticism of the lousy, difficult stretches led to bolstered maintenance and very likely saved the trail from extinction. - (Ingram Publishing Services)
Library Journal Reviews
Emma "Grandma" Gatewood did not necessarily seem prepared for a 2,000-mile walk along the Appalachian Trail. With only $200 and a small pack holding a change of clothing, the 67-year-old woman often depended on the kindness of the strangers she met along the way for food, water, and nighttime shelter. The first woman to complete the arduous trek alone when she did it in 1955, she eventually hiked it again two more times, bringing national attention to the sometimes poor conditions and highlighting the need for preservation of the Appalachian Trail itself and the National Park Trail System as a whole. Patrick Lawlor recounts Gatewood's remarkable story of sheer will and determination with skillful cadence and tone. Depending on the context, he alternates between a steady-paced narrative voice and a distinctive character voice. He enunciates well and inserts timely pauses for emphasis and reader reflection. VERDICT An inspiring biographical account about overcoming the odds and achieving one's dreams. A great audiobook to have on the shelf for anyone seeking an uplifting story.—JoAnn Funderburk, South Garland Branch Lib., TX
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Publishers Weekly Reviews
Montgomery introduces listeners to Emma Gatewood, a woman who walked the length of the Appalachian Trail at age 67 in 1955 and twice more in the decade that followed. By her amazing feats, she secured attention and interest in a decaying national treasure and helped preserve it. Through research, interviews, and journals accounts, Montgomery pieces together Gatewood's physical journey, interspersing it with her life story and the challenges that lead her down the Appalachian trail. Reader Lawlor has a warm and inviting voice that is soft but deep. It invites the listener to follow along in Gatewood's journey. He provides a good cadence, combined with a strong emphasis and warm delivery. He fleshes out Montgomery's prose with a bit more personality and enthusiasm than the text has on its own, which makes the production more enticing. His character voices are not impressive, but that hardly detracts from the listening experience since the story is focused entirely on Gatewood. A Chicago Review hardcover. (Dec.)
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