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Publisher's Summary

They knew the trip would be difficult, but they didn't bargain on hell.

The shout "giddap" starts the oxen down a path to the end of the world. For five months and 2,000 miles, the wagon train lumbers toward California on the Oregon Trail and into big trouble. The emigrants endure disease, dirt, and attacks from outlaws, and invaded Indians. Bitter strife erupts between ill-matched pioneers forced together by necessity. 

The 1845 wagon train is part of a vast westward movement; a monument to Americana that fascinates listeners 175 years later. 

In one of the wagons is a heart-sick physician, Hannah Blanc, whose tribulations are Jobian: the suicide of a beloved husband, unfair denial of her medical career by graybeards of the profession, and a nightmarish new "marriage of necessity to a vile man named Ed Spencer. 

The guide is a hard-to-figure mountain man, Nimrod Lee, who knows the trail, but is also looking for a man he needs to kill. Guilt over the murder of his Crow wife beclouds his conscience. Betrayal of his word to her chief father threatens his life. The killer of his wife is still out there. 

A love affair between Hannah and Nimrod is inevitable, but it's complicated, because for both, painful histories and mixed-up emotions make tall walls. The heart of the story is the pool of misgivings that threatens to drown their tenuous affair. 

The wagon train is a village of strangers locked together with no escape. 

Beyond all they must endure, the pioneers keep fighting, and keep coming. Those who make it are survivors; survivors with a great story to tell. 

A review by a founder of the Oregon-California Trails Association, historian and author William E. Hill: "If 'n you're hanker in' for a historical novel that is full of adventure and that takes a hard look at the "elephant," ie., the dangers and hazards, that so tried the emigrants going west, look no further."

This book is a finalist for the Chanticleer International Laramie Award. 

Reader's Favorite five stars

©2020 Fred Dickey (P)2021 Fred Dickey

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