Cast of Characters

The key players in the incredible true life story of Aloha Wanderwell.


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.


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.

The newly appointed Director of the Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover, warned his field agents to keep tabs on the Wanderwell Expedition.


She imagined herself in the Wanderwell uniform, lecturing audiences, earning money and applause. But life on the road with Walter was so much more.

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!


These are the people responsible for bringing Aloha's amazing life to readers worldwide.
Uploaded image

Randolph Eustace-Walden

Randy has worked as a writer, editor, researcher, television producer, and director. He has twice been nominated for Emmy and Gemini awards and has won several Leo awards.
Uploaded image


Chris’s work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the Toronto Star, Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Quarterly, Rampike, Vancouver Sun, and Ottawa Citizen.
Uploaded image

Goose Lane Editions

Goose Lane Editions is Canada’s oldest independent publisher. For more than 60 years, we’ve believed in the power of words to inspire, to change, to enlighten. We believe that the pen can be more powerful than the sword and that ideas writ large are the most important resource on this small planet.
Uploaded image

carolyn forde (WCA)

Literary Agency
Westwood Creative Artists is Canada’s largest literary agency. It’s also one of the oldest and most respected. Our staff of eleven includes six full-time book agents who are supported by an in-house international rights agent and an outstanding network of twenty-four international co-agents.


What people are saying about Aloha Wanderwell!

“Women have always been an equal part of the past. We just haven’t been an equal part of history.”
- Gloria Steinem

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.”
- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich


The latest buzz about events, readings, signings, and rights.