A pampered socialite embarks on a journey to the Wild West where her life is changed forever.
A setting populated by hundreds of laborers, outlaws, and Indians is hardly the place for a wealthy general's daughter from the nation's capital. But Josephine Cain is determined to visit her father, who supervises the day-to-day work involved in the grandest ambition of post-Civil War America: the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Life with the railroad is far from the proper life Josephine is used to, and she faces deadly gunfights, harsh weather, and vigilante uprisings. She is torn between the West and the East; between her privileged upbringing and the challenges of a new frontier; between the pull of the suitable beau her parents approve of and an attraction to a rough but charming Irish railroad worker. But if Josephine is willing, and courageous, she just might find a new life, a unique purpose . . . and true love.
While the post Civil War backdrop is not the most original backdrop and setting, the cast of characters and the depth of historical detail makes this a memorable novel. It was chock full of history; from how the railroad men lived and ate, to what women's fashions were like in Washington after the war and exactly what it was like to travel west by train. This book didn't really center around romance; it was more about Josephine's journey of faith as she learns more about herself and finds her way in the world. The element that drew me to this novel was how Josephine must decide between two futures, even as she struggled against the realities of her present. She had some tough decisions to make, and the course we travel with her to get there is worth the read.