Cast of Characters
Aloha was a 16-year-old Canadian girl, fed up with life in a French convent school, who answered a newspaper ad for a travelling secretary in an around the world automotive expedition in 1922.
Walter was the leader of the Wanderwell Expedition who held a Svengali-like influence over Aloha and the other members of the ’round-the-world’ crew. He would eventually marry Aloha.
WILLIAM ‘Curly’ GUY
Curly, as he was known, was a handsome ‘stranger’ who insinuated himself into the Expedition and especially into the personal lives of Aloha and Walter. His background was, and remains, mysterious.
Edward was a Native American pilot, and ‘partner-in-crime’ to Curly. Eddie would fly anything anywhere anytime for anyone. His business and personal ‘connections’, on both sides of the law, were legendary!
Walter chose the ubiquitous Ford Model T for the Expedition vehicles, because parts could be sourced in the darkest, remotest corners of the world during the 1920s. His initial car soon became a fleet.
As we began the research and writing process for this book, we believed we had the makings of a fascinating travel adventure story about a young girl who set out to explore the world by car during the Roaring 20s. An engaging tale of cultures, mishaps, happenstance, and enlightenment during the roadtrip of a lifetime was at the heart of the outline for our story. We knew there was more - more intrigue, more questions, more drama - but as we began we didn’t yet have the key to that door. That all changed when we discovered a single line from an article in an obscure small town daily newspaper.
Before Aloha joined the expedition in 1922, Walter Wanderwell had a nasty habit of frequently getting arrested by local constabulary before moving on to a new city, usually quite hastily. The line in that newspaper described one such detainment and in the process exposed a secret that changed the course of the book: “…local police have released (Wanderwell)… but are mindful of a large government file on him…”
WHAT large government file?! And what does Aloha have to do with this?
Crucial details that had escaped our hours of poring over documents and files worldwide slowly began to emerge. Thus began a series of Freedom of Information Act requests that revealed a life on the road that was not all what it seemed, not all that was written in publicity materials, not all that was reported by zealous newspaper journalists. When Aloha’s name started to turn up as well in files from the FBI, the U.S. Justice Department, Attorneys-General in several states, and military intelligence files on three continents, we knew this book was going to be more than just an adventure story. But oh, what an adventure it was!
AUTHORS, PUBLISHERS & AGENTS
Goose Lane Editions
What people are saying about Aloha Wanderwell!
Carrie Rickey wrote a fabulous Aloha Wanderwell obituary for The New York Times providing the beautiful memory of her life.
It’s official! Guinness World Records has confirmed Aloha as the First Woman To Drive Around The World!
Co-Author Randolph Eustace-Walden lectured and signed copies at the Courtenay Museum.
Co-Author Christian Fink-Jensen lectured and signed copies at Winnipeg’s McNally Robinson.
Excellent book review in the current edition of The Georgia Straight, Vancouver’s Urban Weekly.
Co-Author Christian Fink-Jensen was interviewed this morning on CBC’s Radio Canada International.
A terrific review and interview from the Toronto Star’s ‘Book Section’.
Aloha Wanderwell’s global adventures described in her own words!