Leisure, Aug 2004
In the 1880s, Charlotte Duncan accompanies her husband as they plan to head to California with a wagon train. Also making the journey is Charlotte's sister and her spouse. However, Charlotte's husband is accused of stealing and immediately hung.
Stunned, the mourning widow refuse to believe her spouse was a thief. Charlotte joins the wagon train under the protection of her brother-in-law. However, her real protector is scout Luke Ashcroft, who is attracted to the feisty widow and tries to keep her safe from her extended family. As the trek continues, Charlotte feels guilty because she falls in love with Luke. However, neither plan to act on their feelings as each wants to achieve their own dream not understanding their respective goals are identical.
This deep graphic look at the trail will remind gamesters of the Oregon Trail games as the trek displays the hardships of the journey and the cruelty as opposed to the more common image of camaraderie between wagon train participants. Because of this immense depth and details, readers will taste the climatic conditions and feel other natural and man-made problems as if traveling alongside Luke and Charlotte. This makes the plot seem more like a historical tale especially in light of the villain who seems pale and inane in comparison to the real danger, the trek across the country.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner