Adversity can squelch the human spirit . . . or it can help us discover strength we never knew we had.

In 1844, two years before the Donner Party, the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend company leaves Missouri to be the first wagons into California through the Sierra Nevada. They enjoy a safe journey–until October, when a fierce mountain snowstorm forces difficult decisions.

The party separates in three directions. Some go overland around Lake Tahoe. Others stay to guard the heaviest wagons. The rest of the party, including eight women and seventeen children, huddle in a makeshift cabin at the headwaters of the Yuba River awaiting rescue. The months ahead will be long and at times terrifying. But with friendship, family, and enough courage to overcome their fear, these intrepid pioneers will discover what truly matters in times of trial.

Award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick plunges you deep into a landscape of challenge where fear and courage go hand in hand for a story of friendship, family, and hope that will remind you of what truly matters in times of trial.

Awards:

  • Bestseller List, 2019, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA)
  • Bestseller List, 2020, Christian Booksellers Association (CBA)
  • Finalist, 2020, Will Rogers Medallion Award, Inspirational Western Fiction

Reviews: 

“Kirkpatrick is a commanding innovator of the historical genre with her depth of research and lifelike characters.”—Booklist **Starred Review**

“Jane Kirkpatrick has turned a scrap of history into a story of courageous women strong enough to meet the challenges of nature–and of men.” —Sandra Dallas, New York Times bestselling author

“What an incredible journey this novel is! It’s moving and beautifully told, and I absolutely loved it.” Molly Gloss, award-winning author of The Jump-Off Creek and The Hearts of Horses

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