Sunday, July 27, 2008

Girlfriends Hit the Road: a 1920s Road Trip Book Review of Eight Women, Two Model Ts, and the American West (2007)

Book Review of Eight Women, Two Model Ts, and the American West (2007) by Joanne Wilke

Author Joanne Wilke is a wonderful storyteller whose childhood memories waffle into the readers’ nostrils like homemade apple pie. She beautifully captures the story of her grandmother’s trip to California from Iowa in 1924.

Eight young women loaded their belongings into two Model T cars and headed to California. Wilke tries to answer the question why did these girls do this? How did they find the courage and convince their parents to let them go? Even though Wilke worked from living testimonies of some of the women who made the journey, read their journals and letters back home, this adventure had many gaps and conflicting accounts. Wilke supplements the story with her own childhood memories of spending the summers in Iowa with her grandmother. These added stories really make her grandmother come alive to the reader.

This is a fun, relatively short tale of a cross country adventure before there were real roads, reliable maps, or even enclosed cars. This grand scale of this journey makes me wonder if the women were able to return to their lives and be happy for the memories or if it woke a restlessness in them that was difficult to quench.

Looking for more? Please visit FaMiss - Women's Success History & Literature, including books & movie reviews highlighting historical and modern women experiences.

About the author: Allison Frederick is a writer and online marketing educator for other creative women. offers free Web 2.0 resources. She is also the author of an upcoming novel, A Portrait of Josephine, an academic-lite thriller. Find out how to receive a free copy of the novel by visiting

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