Summary: The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding is a book written by Christine Wunnicke that tells the story of a woman, Esther Wilding, who undergoes seven transformations throughout her life as she searches for her true purpose.
1. Esther’s First Skin
Esther begins as a young girl named Hannele in a small town in Germany. She is shy and unsure of herself, but has a deep love for nature and the animals that inhabit it. One day, she witnesses a group of boys tormenting a helpless bird and decides to intervene, showing compassion and bravery. This moment marks the beginning of her transformation and sets her on a path towards discovering her true self.
As she grows older, Hannele becomes more aware of the limitations society places on women and rebels against them. She changes her name to Esther Wilding and moves to New York City, where she works as a journalist and meets influential figures such as Nikola Tesla and Mark Twain. Through these experiences, Esther’s first skin sheds to reveal a more confident and independent woman who refuses to be defined by societal norms.
2. Esther’s Second Skin
Esther’s second skin is shed during her travels to Cuba, where she falls in love with a revolutionary named Jesus. She joins his cause and becomes a spy for the rebels, using her skills as a journalist to gather information. However, Esther’s loyalty is tested when Jesus is captured and she must decide whether to risk everything to save him or continue fighting for the cause. This transformation shows Esther’s willingness to sacrifice for what she believes in, but also the toll it takes on her.
After learning of Jesus’ death, Esther returns to New York City and spirals into a deep depression. She finds comfort in opium and begins to question the purpose of her life. This leads to her third skin, where she searches for answers in the magical world of spiritualism.
3. Esther’s Third and Fourth Skin
Esther’s third skin is shed as she explores the world of spiritualism and communicates with the dead. She becomes a medium and gains fame for her abilities, but also attracts the attention of skeptics who seek to discredit her. In her fourth skin, Esther becomes disillusioned with spiritualism and seeks a new purpose.
She finds this purpose in the suffrage movement, where she meets influential figures such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Through her involvement, Esther sheds her fourth skin and embraces her role as an activist for women’s rights.
4. Esther’s Fifth and Sixth Skin
Esther’s fifth skin is shed during her travels to Egypt, where she discovers a love for archaeology and unearths ancient secrets. She becomes an expert in the field and gains respect from her peers, but also faces discrimination as a woman in a male-dominated industry. Her sixth skin is shed as she navigates this difficult landscape and proves herself as a capable and knowledgeable archaeologist.
The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding is a story about transformation and the search for identity. Esther’s journey takes her through various stages, each shedding her old skin to reveal a new layer underneath. Through it all, she remains true to herself and follows her passion, even in the face of adversity. The book serves as a reminder to never give up on one’s dreams and to always embrace change, no matter how difficult it may be.